This is the last post in this 2 part series, discussing the role of a child therapist in a divorce case, and the importance of doing your own research before choosing one. It can make or break your children’s well-being. This is my story about Karen Tarpey.
Why you should always do your own research
Going through a divorce is incredibly painful. I know it’s a cliché, but it is really true: There is no guidebook to tell you what to expect. Everything seems to be coming from left field. It’s only after the fact that your attorney will have an explanation for why whatever happened, happened.
[Related Post]: What is the Role of a Child Therapist in a Divorce Case? Part 1
At my first ever divorce hearing, the one where Judge Timothy H. Pogue relied on hearsay instead of real evidence and then denied me Christmas with my children, I was also told we needed a Guardian ad Litem and a child therapist.
Judge Pogue then asked the attorneys if they had a GAL and child therapist mutually acceptable to both parties.
For the GAL, I had no choice. I was was just told “this is the guardian the parties’ attorneys agreed to.”
What about me having to agree to the guardian ad litem, someone who has such an important role involving my children?
As for the child therapist, a couple of days after the hearing my then attorney, Ann Frances Bleecker, said that she and Marie Louise Ramsdale, Kristin Mehera Leiter Golestan’s attorney, had agreed to Karen Tarpey as the children’s therapist. You can read the actual exchange here.
I decided to do my own research and Google her name and professional references. I didn’t have to spend too much time to be extremely concerned. Why? For now, I’ll just offer two reasons:
Reason 1: A Heartbroken Father
Please consider this Yelp review from a heartbroken father, Glenn V. He lost custody of his only child because of events fabricated by Karen Tarpey. He was a guy who had posted 1500+ other reviews of businesses, and over 2,000 pictures, so he’s definitely a real person who cares about his reputation in the online community as a respected reviewer. Here’s an excerpt of what his review said about Karen Tarpey:
“Tarpey played a significant role in preventing me from seeing my only child, knowing quite well that her passive aggressive manner was only to serve her bank account and not the best interests of the child.
She kept the therapy sessions going in excess of their natural course of events and fabricated opinions that — as it turns out, were nothing at all what my son had said to her…”
I understand what Glenn must have been feeling. Why? Because I experienced exactly the same thing with Karen Tarpey. I met up with Glenn over coffee. I was shocked to hear how similar our experiences were.
Reason 2: Report from the Department of Social Services
The South Carolina Department of Social Services filed a report concerning a case in which Karen Tarpey recommended that the court terminate a father’s parenting rights without ever having met the father. Here’s an excerpt from the appeal the father, Lamont Coles, Sr., filed before South Carolina Court of Appeals:
“At trial, …(Department of Social Services Case Worker) Sue Christopher testified she could not provide Father with the information he requested because a Department-hired therapist, Karen Tarpey, recommended Child not communicate with Father because it would not be in Child’s best interest.” In the footnote of the same document, it says “Karen Tarpey is a licensed independent social worker, with a master’s degree in social work, who accepts referrals from the Department. There is no indication in the record that Ms. Tarpey ever contacted Father prior to making this recommendation.”
These two incidents were enough for me. I did not want Karen Tarpey as my children’s therapist. I emailed Ann Frances Bleecker, saying I do not agree to Karen Tarpey be in charge of my children. See my email exchange here.
And how does my attorney respond?
Ann Frances Bleecker replied that she had worked with Karen for many years and
“based on my 28 years of experience in the Family Court I believe she would be the better therapist for Sky.”Ann Frances Bleecker | See source here.
So, this is when you want to trust your attorney, hoping she’s right and you’ve gotten it wrong. Right? Not so fast.
Only three months later Karen Tarpey made a recommendation to the Charleston Family Court to suspend my visitations with my children.
As a result, I was kept from my children, who were begging to see me, for over 70 days. I will tell the full story of this in an upcoming post.
Why was Karen Tarpey able to convince the court based on hearsay to take away my right to see my kids and their rights to see me? Because Kristin, the mother of my children, alleged that I told Sky that “Mommy is the worst mommy ever.”
[Related Post]: Kristin Golestan, Fully Staffed Yet Overwhelmed Mother
It never happened.
I never have, and never will speak badly about the mother of my children to my boys. That would only harm my children– which I will never do.
In upcoming posts, I will dive deeply into Karen Tarpey’s conduct. You will get to weigh on if you suspect her activities in connection with my children may have been unethical. You’ll have new evidence and experiences to consider whether she may have even harmed my children in the process, children who she was appointed to comfort and guide during the hardest time of their childhood.
Please scroll down to the comments below and share your point of view on this shocking situation, especially for my children. And again, thanks so much for your enthusiastic support! I don’t know how I could have made through all this without the love and support of my family and friends. This is the first step in our creating community around Helping Every Loving Parent (HELP) to spend time with their children. Every story is important.
Footnote: The Charleston Family Court and the Guardian ad Litem (GAL), Maria Averill, who are tasked with doing what’s in the best interest of the children, refused to consider any of the evidence I’ve shared with you. And as it stands, Kristin has exclusive custody of my children.