Christopher Andrews, 51 year old, is Manhattan attorney who was gunned down by police after the incident of family violence. Due to, so far, unknown reasons, Andrews attacked his wife, Kathleen and his three children – 12, 13 and 15 years old, using knife and baseball bat. The domestic horror took place at their home resulting in wife and all three children suffering from stabbing and blunt trauma wounds.
After the daughter’s call, police arrived at the scene and found Andrews and his oldest son in the backyard, both armed. Andrews held the knife and the boy tried to defend the family with the baseball bat he managed to take away from his father. Police officers tried to take the control over the situation giving Andrews a chance to peacefully surrender. Unfortunately, disobeying officers’ orders lead to shooting and Andrews was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
The wife and children have also been taken to the hospital. The youngest son was in a critical condition and the rest of them suffered severe wounds, but were listed as stable. Also, the patrol officer who shot Andrews down has been released from hospital and reassigned according to department policy.
The actual motive for this domestic tragedy is still a mystery. Neighbors describe Andrews family as nice, kind, harmonic and respected by the community. There is no history of previous family violence at their home.
Andrews was a personal injury attorney in a small law company. The company recently ended up over $15,000 in debt and police officers are considering this as a possible reason for Andrews snapping out. Also, his brother died on 9/11 which certainly added up to Andrews emotional and mental breakdown. The real reason causing him to violently turn on his family members is yet to be revealed through investigation.
Meanwhile, the relatives and neighbors, still in a state of shock, are considered for wife’s and children’s health, praying for the tragedy not to cause any more victims. Personal injury attorney dallas told that it was not unusual to him to see the crimes of this type in his long career, but he also told that he couldn’t understand the reasons.
Divorce procedure and parents’ dispute over child custody is usually emotionally disturbing part of marriage termination in the courtroom. Most of the time, the children are the one who suffer the most. When there is a marriage with more than one child, common way of legal resolving child custody matter is to give children to one dominant parent, usually mother. It is not unseen situation when the family court separates the children to different parents, but it is not recommended.
As the real example of this legal, ethical and emotional problem there was a case of custody order between S. Deepa and her ex-husband Izwan Abdullah. These two had siblings and the court finally decided for boy to stay with his father and Deepa stayed with daughter.
The court’s decision shook the public reactions and many lawyers and professionals raised their voice against the decision. There are many different professionals involved in the process of divorce and child custody and even the Wrongful death lawyer pasadena, who is dealing with unrelated area, agrees that separation of children after the divorce will tear the family down emotionally, leaving children potentially fighting with guilt and regret for choosing one parent over another.
Namely, in this case, the family court judges decided to follow the rules of the Law reform act and the Convention on the rights of the child. This means that Deepa’s and Izwan’s children were invited to show up at the court and testify independently about where they want to stay after the divorce is completed. The judges consider that this is the only right way to decide and the only way to form a decision which will be in the best interest of the children.
The controversial decision remained, though many experts, including social workers and psychologists, do not agree with this. Their point of view is that judges are experts in law, not in child psychology which takes cooperation with other profiles to be understood. Neglected, it will lead to long-lasting consequences.
According to some recent information, pending and unresolved family law cases are piling up at the courts at Brisbane, while a small number of available judges is trying to cope with an overwhelming material. There is obviously an alarming problem with Australia’s family court system.
As many lawyers suggest and as trusted orange county family law attorney confirmed, New Zealand has better organized and more efficient family law legal system, which could be used as a role model for restoring Australia’s family court system.
It seems that two major issues are: lack of money and resources and complicated organization of the system, which holds back too many procedures.
Namely, insufficient part of state’s budget is freed by the government for family court system, leaving family courts without enough resources to work efficiently. Particularly, big problem is the lack of staff. Only a few family law judges are in charge of too many cases and as much as they work long hours, giving their best, it’s simply not enough to hold the system.
The second major issue is the fact that numerous aspects of family law are processed by different courts while in practice, these aspects are often connected to and included in the same cases. Particularly, family issues such as child custody cases are processed by Federal law, but domestic violence cases and protection cases are processed by the state law. These two aspects often go together, which means that people who are in need of court’s intervention on this matter have to go through a complicated procedure in different courts in order to complete a single case.
The solution is to settle one family court in charge for all issues and cases that fall under the family law. This especially refers to cases involving serious issues such as family violence, sexual assault or child abduction and molestation. Referring all these cases to one family court would increase efficiently of legal procedures, providing law protection for people in need for faster and cheaper. New Zealand’s family law system even offers online service for urgent situations. People at risk can get court’s order for protection instantly while some of these procedures in the current messy family law system can last for months.