Friday, April 2, 2010

What Divorce Law is Doing to Marriage Part 22

More from the words of Jed Abraham

On cross-examination, your lawyer will get Dr. Karl to admit that she has no special training in the use of anatomically correct dolls. During the past five years, she has experimented in her practice with different kinds of dolls and different kinds of procedures. She currently uses dolls of her own design and manufacture. She has done no large scale statistical studies to establish benchmarks for how normal children would respond to her dolls. Without such benchmarks, her determination of “deviant” responses has no basis other than her particular subjective opinion.

Dr. Karl will also admit that she uses leading questions when she interviews children about abuse. Without leading questions, children will not focus on the unpleasant event, and they might even deny it happened. Abused children never fabricate stories about abuse, but they will typically give inconsistent details and even recant their stories. Leading questions help children concentrate on the abuse and overcome their reluctance to discuss it. It is true that leading questions such as, “Your father showed you his privates, didn’t he?” and “Your father touched your privates, didn’t he?” suggest the answer expected by the questioner. But children never lie, and they would never give an answer just because they know that an authoritative, overbearing, persistent adult questioner wants it.

Dr. Karl will concede that the penile plethysmograph is not a sex abuse detector. It cannot determine whether someone who scores positive on the test actually acted out in the past. She will also concede that your slightly positive score was within the margin of error of the test, and that it cannot prove statistically that you are sexually attracted to children, either.

Your lawyer will object to the volunteered answer because it was unresponsive to his question, and he will ask that it be stricken from the record. The court will sustain the objection and state that it will ignore the volunteered answer which it just heard. Your lawyer will tell the court he has no further questions for Dr. Karl.

Your wife’s lawyer will then request to redirect a question to Dr. Karl. She will ask Dr. Karl if your slightly positive penile plethysmograph score can prove statistically that you are not sexually attracted to children. Dr. Karl will answer no, it cannot prove that you are not sexually attracted to children.

Your wife’s lawyer will call your wife as her final witness. You will wonder who this primly dressed, matronly-looking woman is. Your wife’s lawyer will ask her to describe an average day caring for her children.

Your wife will tell the court that she rises at 7 AM to help the children get ready for school. She then makes the beds, tidies up the house, and goes shopping until 11 AM. She buys food several times a week to ensure its freshness. She may also buy clothing for the children. At 11 AM, she leaves for a six hour stint at a local telemarketing firm. She gets home around 5:30 PM and fixes dinner. The children leave school at 3 PM. They take the school bus home. The bus stop is a one-block walk from the house. They take snacks from the fridge. They are under orders to do their homework until dinner. After dinner, the children do chores. They wash the dishes, sweep the floor and take out the garbage. Then they wash the dishes, sweep the floor and take out the garbage. Then they finish up their homework and watch TV until about 9 PM Lights-out is at 10 PM.