Stop White Collar Child Abuse by Judge's - Shared Parenting and Equal Rights for Divorcing Parents it the ONLY Way and scientifically proven best for children

By Alexandra Bogdanovic 06/21/2006


Whenever he's not at work, Gregory A. Harrington spends his time outside of the General District Court building in Warrenton.
For hours on end, he stands on the street corner holding a sign that reads, "Judge (Jeffrey) Parker denies me time with my children because I am an airline pilot." His two children, ages 12 and 14, are pictured on the sign.
But while the sign tells part of the story, court documents tell the rest

The pilot's petition

Harrington, who wears his uniform while he stands outside the courthouse, said he used to work for U.S. Airways and that he now works for a regional airline.

The Warrenton resident said he and his wife were divorced in Fauquier County. His ex-wife got custody of the kids, but Harrington said that he initially received permission to visit his son and daughter on Wednesdays and every other weekend.

He also said his schedule has changed since then and that he can no longer see his children on those days.

Harrington maintains that he appealed to the Fauquier County Circuit Court, where Parker presides, but that the court refused to change the original arrangement for visitation.

"All I am asking is to be with my kids when I'm not flying," Harrington said last week. "That's 12 days per month."

Frustrated by his experience here, Harrington said he has appealed to state lawmakers. Specifically, he said he wants the rules changed so that judges can no longer award sole custody of children to one parent unless the other parent is proven to be unfit.

"I went to the legislators in Richmond and they said to take (my case) to the people," Harrington explained. "So that's what I'm doing."

Harrington has started a petition, which people can sign when they see him outside the courthouse. As of last Wednesday, he said he'd gotten about 700 signatures. He plans to take the petition to Richmond in September.

"It's amazing how much support I've gotten," Harrington said. "(People in) about four out of seven cars will honk, or wave, or give me a thumbs-up."

A lot of people also stop to chat when they sign the petition, according to Harrington.

Last Wednesday, a woman in a station wagon honked at Harrington and then pulled over, motioning for him to give her the petition. After signing it, she commended Harrington for his efforts.

Another man who stopped to sign the petition also wished Harrington well.

"Nobody has a right to keep someone away from their family," he said.

The case files

Documents filed in Fauquier County Circuit Court show that the couple separated and Harrington's wife filed for divorce on April 6, 2001. She filed the complaint on grounds of "cruelty or constructive desertion."

Specifically, she alleged in a "bill of complaint" that Harrington has a "violent temper, and that he often treated her "with extreme cruel treatment" during their marriage. On one occasion, she claimed that he grabbed her, "bent her over a high-back chair" and smashed her head into the kitchen counter, causing (her) great physical and emotional pain and suffering."

Court documents show that Harrington's then-wife sought one "preliminary protective order" and three emergency protective orders against him between December and April 2001.

In the bill of complaint, Harrington's wife requested an emergency protective order against him. She also sought custody of the children and child support while the divorce case was pending.

Harrington filed a "cross bill of complaint," or counter-suit seeking divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty and desertion.

Specifically he alleged that his wife treated him "in a cruel and indifferent manner, subjecting him to repeated and unrelenting neglect" throughout their marriage. He further alleged that she was having an affair while they were together; and that she "deserted and abandoned him" by leaving the house with the kids while he was "away on business as an airline pilot."

He sought both temporary and permanent custody of the children; child support; and a court order "preventing the complainant (his wife) from imposing any restraint on (his) personal liberty."

Court records also show that in April, 2001, both parties entered into a temporary, court-ordered agreement governing their conduct while the divorce was pending. Harrington and his wife both accused each other of violating that arrangement, according to court records.

In particular, Harrington's wife alleged that in 2002 he "continued to harass and stalk (her)" that he "videotaped her on several occasions" and that he "subjected the children to the litigation in this matter."

In the court documents, Harrington countered by saying that his wife "caused frivolous criminal charges to be filed and wrongful protective orders" to be issued against him.

Last week, Harrington also said there were " a lot of false accusations made against him" during the divorce proceedings.

Criminal charges

Court records show that Harrington was charged with a misdemeanor count of stalking on April 25, 2003. The charge apparently stemmed from an incident that occurred in September 2001. He was found not guilty following a one-day jury trial on June 23, 2003.

He was also charged with contempt on May 9, 2002 in connection with an alleged offense that occurred in March of that year. The case was dismissed, according to court records.

Harrington is still facing a misdemeanor assault and batter charge which was filed in connection with an incident that happened last March, according to court records. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 16 and a jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 1.

In the meantime, Harrington said he plans to keep fighting the system until he finds a way to see his kids on a regular basis.

"This has been a four year battle to see (them). On the days I'm not flying I will be (out here)," he said last Wednesday. "It may not help my case, but it might help other parents."

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