2010 Shows

(Original Air Date: 12/15/09) Two years ago, Kate was a typical 4-year-old girl who loved to draw and take ballet lessons. But her world turned upside down when her mother, Diane, was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to move them out of state so she could undergo treatment. When Diane passed away, Kate became the focal point of a tumultuous custody battle between her aunt, Deborah, whom she lived with, and her biological father, Peter. Along with their lawyers, Deborah and Peter join Dr. Phil onstage to answer tough questions about where Kate belongs. Deborah says she has pictures that she claims are evidence of Peter’s questionable home environment. Could the photos damage his case? And, Mel Feit, a men’s advocate, sides with Kate’s father. Find out why Mel says he’s disgusted by the custody battle. And, family attorney Areva Martin weighs in.

Find out what happened on the show.
Replied By: ananatotwo on Feb 25, 2013, 9:22AM
First, today's date is 2/25/2013.  I would be very interested to know how this case has turned out.  I realize that alot of time has passed, but I only acquired a new computer a few months ago and only recently was introduced to You Tube, which is where I originally saw this Dr. Phil episode.

I want to make sure to preface this personal opinion with the statement that I am not a psychologist, psychiatrist, child specialist, lawyer, etc.  You get the point. . .I am not a professional in any field that would have a bearing on this situation concerning a little girl named Kate.  BUT, I am a mother of three adult children, the nana to two grandchildren, and have seen and learned alot in my 66 years of life.  And it is my opinion there had to have been a substantial reason why Kate's mother chose to go live with her sister in New Jersey and get treatment for her cancer there.  She told her sister Deborah (Debra?) about some form of abuse and, even though it was not legally binding, made sure to state in her will her wishes concerning Kate.  Why to all of these facts?  My first reaction when I heard the introduction to the show was, of course, Kate should go back to her father.  But, I tell you, within 10 minutes of watching the show, my opinion had swung to the aunt's side.  Is there anyone else out there that got a "squirrelly" (sp?) feeling in their stomach after watching the father?  Call is a 6th sense, mother's intuition, a gut feeling, but there is something not right with Peter (the father).  Firstly, how concerned of a father and husband could he have been to let his wife & daughter move to NJ knowing his wife was seriously ill with cancer?  Where was his concern for his daughter to be a support system to her while her mother would be undergoing serious medical treatment for cancer?  Not to mention being a support system to his wife. . .that speaks volumns in of itself!  Secondly, he has only seen his daughter FOUR times in 2.5 years since his wife died.  Any parent worth his or her salt would know that certainly is NOT the way to stay bonded to a young child!  (If he was even bonded to her to begin with and I have my doubts about that.)  Thirdly, it came out in the show that Peter has not helped Deborah and her family financially for the care and welfare of Kate. What has he been doing with all his money?  And Peter wants the audience of Dr. Phil to believe that he is a responsible adult and should get his daughter back?  And for the people out there who didn't think the condition of his house and back yard with all the dog poop in it was not a big deal.  I personally think that is a glaring example of an irresponsible and lazy little boy.  He is unable to keep his living quarters clean when it was just himself he had to clean up after (well, he may have a dog).  What is that house going to look like if he has a six year old little girl to take care of also?  But, to anyone who may be reading this personal opinion, there is something about Peter that I can't quite put my finger on but my skin began crawl.  There has to be some strong underlying reason why I have had such a visceral reaction to him. . .this is not a usual occurrence for me.  But I have learned to listen to my feelings and pay attention to red flags!  By the time the first segment of the show was finished, I found myself silently praying that any judge who may end up hearing this case has the foresight to order psychological testing be administered to Peter before any ruling be made.  I would be willing to bet the testing would show that Peter is not equipped to be a stable, patient, unselfish, gentle, and responsible parent to a little girl who has lost her mother to cancer.  And then it must be taken into account the bonding between Kate and her aunt that has taken place and the fact that Kate also now has "siblings" she has grown to love. To take Kate away from her support systems and the aunt who has stepped in to become her mother would just cause this little girl more loss, pain, grief, and confusion, and, in my opinion, would be just plain cruel!  Don't forget, readers, Kate's mother chose to go to her sister in her time of need. . .she did not want to be with Peter.  You have to ask yourself WHY? 

If anyone knows the outcome of this case I would appreciate it if you would let me know.  Obviously, I'm interested.    
Replied By: namchu on Oct 17, 2012, 8:35AM
I can't belive somone can just walk in and claim that a person is an unfit parent. they showed nothing to suggest that he cannot take care of that little girl. he seemed like a good man and the fact that he is prevented from raising his only child is outrages ! I hope the court will do the right thing and have Kate reunited with her loving father. and I hope her aunt will get some help.
Replied By: inawessels on Jun 25, 2010, 11:50PM
There's no doubt in my mind that the aunt should get Kate. This kid's been through a lot already, it will be devastating for her to go live with a father she hardly knows. But he should be allowed to visit her on a regular basis, so that she would know her father one day. When she grows older she herself can decide with whom she wants to live permanently. The law is suppose to care for the child but I found it seldomly take the child in concideration when determining his of her future. Its always adults who fights over them, they are never ask what THEY want.
Replied By: spoiledbrat38 on Jun 25, 2010, 9:09AM
Dr. Phil I have to disagree with you when you said the aunt has to prove herself in court.  The reason is we went through a grandparent visitation and it was us (the parents) who had to prove we are doing what is best for our children.  The burden of proof was on us not them.  It was so hard on our children and family. The father will have to do the same.  The aunt in my opinion has kidnapped this child from her farther and the state helped her to do so.  He will have the same battle as we did, but harder because they just took her away from him and gave her to the aunt.  This child has been through enough!!  She has lost her mother which couldn't be helped, but what this aunt is doing I think is worse and it could have been prevented.  Loosing a parent at any age is hard, but being stolen from one has to be even harder and what in the world could be going through her mind.  Our children were not stolen from us physically, but mentally they was taken from us for years.  Now they are happy children living the life they deserve and having a happy healthy relationship with us.  I hope the courts sees their mistake and returns her to the father.  They will build a relationship.  You can see from your show how much he loves his little girl.  Please tell him our hearts thoughts and prayers are with him.  If there is anything I can do to help please let me know or ask them if they need help.  Thank you
Replied By: zaviothan on Jun 25, 2010, 3:55AM - In reply to pjpage
Heyhey, I do agree with you with some points, the poor child have been through alot. And need to be with the people she loves, but then again.. The father never had a chance bonding with his OWN child. Which is terrible for both of them. A childs needs a father's love, and the aunt took that away from him. Deborah(Aunt) said alot of stuff, she was there when she died etc.. That have nothing to do with Kate, Kate could have had a great relationship with his father, but the aunt didnt want that so she went to court. And now the case have been up for 2 years +/-. And I feel sorry for the father and the child. Because the father never had a chance to know his daughter because of restrictions. I also feel sorry for the aunt, of course she wants the child, shes been feedin' here giving her love and a real family. But Kate would have had that family anyway's, I bet Deborah would have been there for Kate despite she lived 2500 miles away. And I honestly think Deborah should put herself in the fathers view. It must be awfull to loose his daughter because the aunt have fed and giving a child love. That's what family is for ..
Replied By: zanenobbs on Jun 24, 2010, 8:55PM
I was saddened to see that the natural father lost his daughter to the evil, selfish aunt. If you look at his web page, he has gone into debt with everything he owns to try to get his daughter back. The judge in the case is an absolute idiot and should be impeached for incompetence. The aunt . . . well what should happen to her is a matter of debate. She is evil, just evil. She betrayed her sister's trust, definitely lied and should be made to suffer similarly and charged with kidnapping. This proves that there is morality and the law.
Replied By: seventhmercury on Jun 24, 2010, 2:22PM - In reply to redcat_777
As a father with grown children, this was a hearth-renching show for me to watch. I felt sorry for the father and also for the aunt. Did you guys observed how this show's topic drained Dr. Phil of his usually calm emotions? However, unless the father is deemed unfit by a court of law, the child belongs with him, regardless of what the aunt thinks of him. What were the pictures of his dirty fridge all about?

In my opinion, the aunt came across as rude and mean-spirited. Her attitude, I presume, could have derived from conversations with her sister, the child's mother. I would like Dr. Phil to do a follow up on this situation, so we can all see how it ended. My prayer is that the child be awarded to her Daddy and have the aunt visit her in New Mexico from time to time. They are still family. 
Replied By: dbrider128 on Jun 24, 2010, 2:03PM
this shouldnt even be an issue or a question. give the dad his kid. i dont see on the birth certifcate or marriage license the mother, father and wites sister... do you? the guy loses his wife and now hes gonna lose his kid. the aunts already got her own kids. like come on lets just waste money on fighting over a kid who has a parent thats wants her. the lady says oh they never bonded his wife carried his child for 9 months and then the time the til they went to NJ. hows the father suppose to bond when his kid is 2000+ away? when hes working to keep the money and insurance coming in for his kid and wife. get real! id fight this to the death if i was the father this is completely unreal
Replied By: netherfield on Jun 24, 2010, 1:54PM
I'm on the side of the father.  It's outrageous that the "aunt" took out a restraining order, and accused the  father of abuse based on absolutely no evidence.  We only have HER word that her sister told her he was abusive.  Her sister's will done 6 months before she died leaves the daughter to her sister like she's chattel.  Get the kid as far away from that family as possible, back to New Mexico with her father so she'll have some chance at a normal life.  That "aunt" is a head case. 
Replied By: redcat_777 on Jun 24, 2010, 1:12PM
This woman knew from day 1 she was going to do this to this father, all of her stories are hearsay and when this father went to the funeral someone went into his home and took pictures of a mess that they were suppose to take care of while he was gone.  This was staged or had a previous motive long before this woman died.  GIVE KATE BACK, you can visit her anytime you want or move closer.  This is his child that you stole with lies and pre-meditation.   When he went to pick her up at the school to take her home to NM, why all the cops?  This was also pre-planned with the school,  It is sad that they are wasting all this precious time battling when she can have two people that love her to death.  This isn't the wild west, there are 100% ways to keep in contact these days.  Anyway this shouldn't even be an issue, give the guy a  first then check on the situation.
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