Alisa and Andrew, residents of Utah and the parents of four children (known in court documents as A.S., C.S., L.S., and J.S.) divorced in 2008. Alisa was granted sole custody. After a substantiated child welfare referral regarding child neglect in February 2009, a voluntary services case was opened, but Alisa was uncooperative and moved to Montana. In May, it was reported that Alisa’s children were alone and unsupervised and that the children were very late to school. A slew of child welfare referrals from September through November related to both Alisa’s neglect of the children and the domestic violence of her new husband, Evan, toward both Alisa and the children. A family preservation case was opened jointly in Montana and Utah. In November of 2010, Alisa removed her children from school to homeschool them, but did not provide them with academic instruction. Alisa temporarily left Evan and took the children to Utah and spent some time with relatives there. She then convinced child protective authorities that she was being protective, stating that she was moving to California without Evan and was going to keep her new address from him. Alisa was told that the children must not have contact with Evan. However, Evan accompanied Alisa and the children to California, as had been Alisa’s plan. Alisa worked while the children, who were still homeschooled, stayed home with Evan. When a neighbor called the police in May 2011 after hearing Alisa screaming, charges of domestic violence against both Alisa and the children surfaced once again. The children were removed from Alisa’s custody and placed in foster care. Alisa claimed that she was leaving Evan, but was repeatedly seen with him or with fresh bruises. In July 2011, custody was granted to Andrew, the children’s father, who was living with a new wife and young children in Utah.
Date: May, 2011
Location: San Diego, California