Raw Footage Review: An Example of Divorce and Child Custody

The original response for this video comes from another YouTube user’s channel and video: Bar Bar – Dissecting Raw Material

This article is meant to provide an in-depth look at an example of how people work and conversations go about on a realistic level. This video is particularly striking, giving an example of just what some people will go to for their children.

This video basically shows a divorced father, named Caleb Leverett, trying to offer his son, Parker, a choice in regards to which parent he is to live with. Fortunately, the father and Parker try to go about it in a civil way, by at least presenting themselves to talk about it. The mother is adamant about “getting her son back,” and a heartfelt and hour long interlude proceeds.

The most notable thing about this video is the different ways that each parent goes about determining what is best for Parker. The mother throughout the video insists that he should listen what she says. Caleb, the biological father, repeatedly states that he is not forcing Parker in any way, and that he is free to leave or do as he pleases.

Another aspect of this whole dilemma worth bringing up is that, of course, the mother is the one who first insists on calling the police. One of the biggest problems crops up right from the beginning because of this, as child custody is a civil issue; one involving a conflict or dispute between individuals without criminal persecution, i.e. a legal dispute.  This is different from a domestic issue; one involving an actual conflict, regardless of whether any actual violence involved, within or between family members. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of confusing the two, and then we get situations such as the one shown in the video.

Going a step further, let the conflict in the video be a good example of what to expect if a poor decision is made in regards to who you decide to marry. No one likes to talk about or focus on such issues or situations, but they are just as much a part of “married” (or in this case, divorced) life as anything else. Let this be a warning to anyone who is thinking about marriage (particularly in the United States), and a reason to think twice before “putting a ring on it.”

I will briefly look over and discuss various points of interest from the video, offering some outside commentary and insight on what is happening:

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  • [3:30]: The mother finally comes out. Notice how she arrives with a baby in her arms? Anyone who has dealt with mothers can note evidence of mothers using their children as “props” to illicit sympathy.
    • [Author’s Note]: I myself have known mothers in their 30’s and 40’s, married women with homes and husbands, sleep around with several (if not more) younger men behind the husbands back, only to later bring their children to whatever rally or party or political protest or gathering to use as “emotional props” when faced with opposition. The Occupy Movement was filled with examples of this, even in my own town.
  • [4:45]: The mother explains that she isn’t going to “just let her kid go.” That in itself is understandable and noble, but then she states that Parker is “a kid that I have raised for over 14 years.” Thus completely disregarding the father’s presence or involvement, an involvement that conveniently, later in the video, is called upon when the issue of child support arises. Funny how that works.
  • [5:05]: She [the mother] says that “this isn’t the best way to handle it.” Again, at least the father and Parker had the courtesy to show up and talk about things face to face. The fact that she calls the whole thing “underhanded” is also noteworthy, especially considering her actions throughout the video.
  • [6:00]: The mother then moves in and attempts to open the car door, just assuming that she will get her way. Little acts such as this also help to give the manipulative grounds for claiming that they were “denied” or “had their hand forced.”
  • [6:25]: The first mention of getting the police involved is made, by the mother no less. Again, this is to reinforce what was stated previously in the article; that the mother has little understanding of the actual situation, and of course also misunderstands the difference between a civil issue and a domestic disturbance.
  • [6:40]: The mother begins employing yet another underhanded, but subtle, tactic. She begins addressing the father as “flossing his teeth.” This phrase sort of becomes her go-to phrase against the father throughout the rest of the video.
  • [6:48]: The biological father, Caleb, finally speaks, saying; “I can’t force him to get out of the car.” The sets the tone that the father is letting his son choose, in direct contrast to the mother who is trying to force her way onto Parker.
    • Just before this the mother blames the father for “encouraging” this behavior. Then, seconds later, she actually acknowledges Caleb as Parker’s father, in an effort to manipulate him into giving the mother her way.
  • [7:00]: The mother tells the father he can “choose” to give the mother her way. Notice how the only one who isn’t being given a choice is Parker? This is a prime example as to a large part of why divorce has such a harmful effect on the children involved; they don’t get to choose.
  • [7:30]: Another underhanded attempt at falsely pulling heartstrings is made when the mother says; “I told you we had things to do this Sunday.”
    • What exactly is it that’s so important for them to do?
      • A party
      • A barbeque
      • Going swimming
      • “Family-fun” plans
      • Why or how these trivial activities can even compare to something as grave and serious as her son legitimately not wanting to live with her anymore is a mystery.
  • [8:00]: The police are called. The step-father “dutifully” (a.k.a. like a whipped dog) makes the call, when he should know better. Again, this is a civil issue, not a domestic disturbance. Having a few cops waste their time and our tax dollars standing around and looking intimidating isn’t going to do anything.
  • [9:00]: The mother is trying to tell Parker that he isn’t doing the right thing. Parker rightly asks the following; “What is the right thing to do?” The mother, of course, does not and probably cannot, give a straight answer.
    • Manipulation is nearly impossible when giving direct, straightforward answers. A cursory glance at anything within the realm of politics will reassure this notion.
  • [9:18]: The mother, while avoiding the previous question, then redirects it back at her son.
    • It isn’t exactly “proper role-modeling” when you have to evade, avoid, and redirect such a challenging question back onto a child.
  • [9:23]: The mother again uses the children, Parker’s siblings, as a crutch to illicit sympathy. Fortunately the son can see that she (the mother) has no problem using her offspring as props, a sentiment of hers that he knows probably applies to him as well.

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For the sake of time, the article will from this point forward merely note a few more notable examples from later points in the video:

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  • [17:54]: The mother previously tried telling Parker that it isn’t right for any one person be in complete control. Parker replies: “No one is supposed to be in complete control. That’s why [there’re] two of you.” The mother, of course, has to pause for a moment to process the sheer level of logic on display.
  • [18:10]: The mother says “we can’t make people do the right thing.” Isn’t that exactly what she has been trying to do to Parker this entire time?
  • [33:50]: The mother tries talking to the police on the phone. Apparently getting the local police to come out on a call regarding a civil issue is proving somewhat difficult.
    • The mother then goes on to tell the operator that her “ex-husband will not release [her] child to [her],” despite Caleb’s insistence that Parker is choosing to do this.
    • Of course, the mother then continues to tell the operator that she “doesn’t want things to escalate.” Referring to a situation as “escalating” is one of the easiest and most indirect ways to get whatever nearby authorities involved. She is in a way forcing the police department’s hand by saying that.
  • [50:00]: Just before the police arrive, the mother asks for her “orders,” meaning the papers detailing Caleb’s visitation rights. The best way to note this was stated by another commenter on the video:

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“The only thing I have to say to this b**** is [that] only slaves are born into contracts.”

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  • [55:00]: The situation begins to intensify. Possible abuse is brought up by Parker, reinforcing his resolve to not go back to living with his mother.
  • [58:50]: The mother tries forcing the car door open, even threatening to “use force.” If a man were to say that, there would undoubtedly be assault charges.
  • [1:00:00]: Someone finally clearly states the difference between a civil issue and a domestic disturbance. Funnily enough, the only one causing any real disturbance was the mother when she tried to force her way inside Caleb’s car.
  • [1:02:00]: The mother accuses Caleb of having no respect for “his own child.” This, ironically, coming from the only parent that isn’t giving Parker a choice in the matter.
  • [1:02:18]: The mother demands a copy of the video, the father intelligently states, in reply to her query: “I’m not going to answer that question.”
  • [1:03:10]: Caleb mentions, in regards to the paperwork and costs necessary to take civil action: “[…] I just don’t have the $10,000, I just don’t.” Only slaves have contracts, and only property and pets are given prices. Having to choose between seeing your son or paying $10,000 is not a choice, but it is a clear indication as to where our courts and legal system have their focus.
  • [1:03:40]: The mother accuses the son of having a temper tantrum when, again, the only person throwing a fit is her. Yet another fine example of projection.
  • [1:11:45]: Caleb and Parker are free to go, and drive off.

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All of this is a perfect example as to why anyone considering marriage should do so carefully. Though my analysis and summary do not do the video justice, and should be watched regardless. Know that this is what you are most likely going to get into when signing that contract (marriage), and know that not only you, but also your children will have to bear the brunt of such decisions.


6 thoughts on “Raw Footage Review: An Example of Divorce and Child Custody

    • I find Black Heron’s article a little onside. I will grant the mother isn’t perfect, and her behavior can be manipulative. The last thing you want to tell an angry teenager looking for his independence is that “you are still child and you don’t get to make all the decisions.” “major temper tantrum,” and “I will hit you again, I will spank you.” Big mistake. The latter being particularly objectionable to people like me who think spanking teenage kids is deplorable. But, I’m sure that’s the Texas way and I won’t hold that against her. All this said, the father is the one displaying more immaturity here. The mother is emotional, understandably because, as she put it, was hit broadsided by this decision w/o warning. Courtesy also means letting the mother know what’s going on, not just a last minute text at midnight. The father may not be as emotional, but clearly manipulative in his own way. He told the court that because he “returned” Parker to his home, he fulfilled his legal obligation. That’s no doubt one reason the judge seemed angry. That’s clearly not the act of a mature father. A mature father would say to his son, I am not breaking the law, a cannot take you back with me. If the child refuses, that’s the time to call the police. From the court testimony and the video it seems clear which parent is the less fit to bring up a child. A stubborn mother who in an unpredicted moment of stress becomes overly possessive and even manipulative? Or a delinquent father who barely has enough resources to house one child let alone all four, calls up drunk, uses sleight-of-hand to pretend he obeyed the law, and speaking of manipulation, records the whole event then puts it upon youtube turning what should be a private mater into another episode of Dr. Phil. As regards alleged abuse, the testimony of Parker himself put that to rest. He told the judge that the reason he wanted to leave is because of fighting. When the judge asks physical or verbal, Parker truthfully answers “verbal.” The only physical alleged abuse that comes up is the “pressure points,” which cannot possibly be evaluated in and of itself; and being slapped. In a state where corporal punishment is legal, is that all the kid has to offer? What child hasn’t been slapped once or twice?

      As to the charge the mother had things to do that can mean many things. Including the fact the she had reserved this day to give his son a new Transam. Could this have been manipulation? Anything’s possible, but it seems to me a sincere show of the love for her son. (Funny isn’t it that you get to drive in Texas at 14, but it’s still OK to be spanked.)

      In short, the main message for me is, human interaction can be really messy, and often there’s no easy answer for anyone. Life can be painful even when everyone tries to do what to them is the right thing.

  1. You forgot to mention when she spontaneously mentioned Parker just ruined today’s surprise by mentioning she and her puppet new husband were going to roll the Trans AM around to the front to give to Parker. Her last ditch effort into trying to manipulate and brainwash him into staying with a bribery of a car.

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