Ottawa County, Michigan
My husband exhibited deep anger issues and instability from the early years of our marriage. After my father passed away, my husband’s anger escalated to physical abuse, emotional abuse, and dramatic suicide threats. To save our marriage and family, we cycled through a variety of domestic violence counseling, four PPO’s, physical separations, and police involvement. Finally, I realized the marriage needed to end in order to protect myself and the children.
When we entered family court, Judge Hulsing ordered weekly counseling between my ‘ex’ and our three minor children to repair their broken relationships. Counseling sessions with the children began, and ended, three times over the next three years. Although my ‘ex’ complained to the court that counseling with our children was a disaster, he filed a third time for parenting time.
After the adolescents declined to see their father, Judge Hulsing threatened to put me in jail me for ten days. The threat of my jail time made the adolescents agree to parenting time with their father.
On two separate occasions, my ‘ex’ contacted the adolescents from the scene of serious accidents after totaling his vehicle. The adolescents didn’t feel save riding with their father for this reason. Their father became angry, and insisted they ride with him despite their safety concerns. The adolescents stuck with their decision. They drove their own vehicle to parenting time with their father.
Because our adolescents did not feel safe riding with their father, my ‘ex’ took me back to court. Immediately – and without listening to the adolescents’ testimonies – Judge Hulsing ordered me sent to a medium security jail for ten days. I was handcuffed and led away without due process. Even worse, the judge’s action left my minor children alone in the courtroom – and without adult supervision or finances for the next ten days.
My legal rights to seven days notice of trial, legal representation, an opportunity to present my case in court, post bond, appear within 48 hours before another judge, and use a phone were ALL DENIED by Ottawa County’s family court system. Without due process, I was sent to a medium security facility, and locked in solitary confinement for 20 of every 24 hours.
After I was released from jail, my ex’s parenting time ended. Six months later, I was given total custody of our youngest minor child after my ‘ex’ admitted to ongoing abuse and suicide threats.
Judge Hulsing chose to remove himself from my case. Judge Engle was given my case and refused to order child support payments. Judge Engle’s ruling deprived me and my children from over $150,000 owed in child support.
Over the past eight years, I paid attorneys tens of thousands of dollars to move the court to require my ‘ex’ to pay his ordered child support and medical expenses for our children. The abuse by my ‘ex’ and the family court system continues to this day.