Injustices, great and small, happen every day in family court. The system is blind to fairness, and operates on a “best interests of the child” doctrine that is fatally flawed because it exempts women from acting in the best interests of children. What this means is that wherever possible the man is always made to pay for the female’s transgressions.
Most of the time these injustices are ignored, but every now and then there’s a case that’s so egregious it demands attention.
Take the case of USMC Staff Sergeant Brandon Parsons, a combat veteran who found, after his ex wife emptied his bank accounts and demanded a divorce while he was deployed, that their child – the reason he married her in the first place – was not his. Parsons did “the right thing.” Social conservatives would applaud him for marrying the woman he impregnated. He was the kind of guy who took manning up seriously. Not only did he fight for his country, he stood by the child that he thought was his own.
This was the biggest mistake he ever made.
A Superior Court of California judge has recently ruled that SSgt Parsons, a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, must continue to pay child support another twelve years for a child that ISN’T his—a payment that, counting the $50,000 he’s already remunerated his ex-wife, Crystal Parson, will put him on pace to pay over $250,000 before his legal obligation ends (twelve years from now), according to his lawyer. This payment, broken down, takes up approximately one-third of his current salary.
The judge, having made the decision because of a loophole in the events leading up to the ruling, didn’t hold back in his disdain for Parsons’ ex-wife’s actions. The first sentence in the second paragraph of the court’s ruling says it all:
While the court concludes that father was, in fact, despicably duped and victimized by Petitioner Crystal Parsons’s (hereinafter “Mother”) fraudulent concealment regarding biological paternity, a deception which has placed a significant, continuing financial burden upon Father, existing law, as applied to the facts of this case, precludes the court from setting aside the prior paternity determination or ordering genetic blood testing.
So how did this apparent calamity of justice happen? Here’s the gist:
After completing his first combat deployment in the Spring of 2005—of which he spent the majority of time fighting in Ramadi, Iraq—SSgt Parsons, then a twenty-year old corporal, returned to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and immediately began a sexual relationship with his then-fiancé, Crystal Domenech. Their first sexual encounter was, according to court documents, on April 5, 2005.
Seventeen days later, Crystal announced to Brandon that she was pregnant. Brandon, without questioning any aspects of her statement or the legitimacy of his biological paternity, decided to bump up their scheduled nuptials and spent the majority of his money (an estimated $20,000)—of which most came from his recent deployment—on her dream wedding.
What both Brandon and the court now know is that Crystal Domenech Parsons had been engaged in numerous sexual affairs while he was on deployment and, consequently, the child that Brandon raised—under the assumption he was legitimately the father—was indeed that of another man. (Crystal Parsons refuses to name the true identity of the biological father to this day.) Moreover, it was both alleged by Parsons and believed by the court that Crystal chose to sleep with then-Corporal Parsons purely to cover up her previous sexual encounters and pin the pregnancy on him, therefore having access to his military benefits.
Parsons wasn’t aware that the child wasn’t his for almost five years. Like many idealistic young men, he refused to believe that his wife could have cheated on him. It took a divorce and some hints from one of his ex-wife’s acquaintances to bring suspicion into his mind.
SSgt Parsons’ first inkling that he was not the biological father, brought to his attention by a former friend of Crystal, occurred in April of 2010, less than a year after their divorce. Within the month, Parsons had confirmed through an over-the-counter test by Identigene that the child he had been raising for four and a half years was not his.
“The worst part of being a paternity fraud victim is that nobody can help you,” SSgt Parsons told me in a recent phone interview. “When a guy is dealing with a break up, his buddy can say, ‘Dude, I’ve been there.’ Nobody knows what to say in that kind of situation. I broke down and the Marines around me just stood there.”
SSgt Parsons confronted his ex-wife soon after that. This is the exchange, according to Brandon Parsons, in his official court declaration:
After she had read the result I asked her to tell me the truth. She then began telling me that while I was in Iraq she had been raped. I told her that I did not believe her and to start telling me the truth for [Child’s name – Redacted] sake. I asked her how many men she had slept with while I was on deployment. When she did not answer at first I asked her if it had been more than 2 men and she nodded her head indicating “yes.” I asked her if it was more than 5 and again she nodded her head indicating “yes.” I asked if it was more than 7 men she had slept with. This time she screamed at me that she did not know how many. After she calmed down she told me that in March 2005 [a month before his return] she discovered she was pregnant and told her mother. She said that her mother told her that military spouse benefits were excellent and she should remember that she did not have insurance coverage for the hospital bills.
(It should be noted that, by all accounts, while Parsons lost the aforementioned legal case, the court never denied the plausibility of Parsons’ report of the events. In fact, the judge made it more than clear that Brandon Parsons’ side of the story was the most credible and that Crystal Parsons had acted “despicably” leading up to the ruling.)
It appears that the mother-in-law was in on the deception:
When they came into the waiting room [Child’s name—Redacted] came over to me and was talking to me when Crystal’s mother came and grabbed him and pulled him away telling him not to talk to me because I was a stranger now. She also began calling me names. I asked her to please stop cursing at me before the child. This made her really angry and she looked right in my eyes and told me that I should have died in Iraq like I was supposed to do.
Some people might not believe that a mother-in-law could be that evil. They most certainly can. There’s something sick about a lot of women of that generation — the mothers of today’s young women. They are the women who put the laws that have destroyed SSgt Parsons, an innocent party and a true victim, into effect. Their daughters are essentially mindless actors in the travesty playing out in courthouses across our land.
This kind of injustice cries out for action. I know our opponents want very badly to accuse us of being dangerous, violent men, but the opposite must be true: if American men have so far borne such injustice with as much restraint and patience as we have so far, we must be remarkably peaceful people. But eventually patience runs out. Restraint is a limited resource, especially when its burden falls so heavily on our warriors.
I would like the elites of this country to think very carefully about what kind of monster they have created with family law. If they value stability, they must reevaluate these policies, because they will eventually lead to tragedies. When enough men lose hope and perceive that their lives are irreparably damaged, some will resort to force and people will get hurt.
It’s time we started thinking about mitigating the damage, before it’s too late. This cannot go on forever — something has to give.