West Virginia Judge Lori B. Jackson Enables Child Abuse

Hello Everyone,

The information in this article has been fact-checked and vetted. Undertaking the reporting of the travesty you are about to read is not something I have taken on lightly. This is about as serious as it gets. I have worked on this article for the last 2 weeks. The Colonel is a former member of the Shrink4Men Forum and is, therefore, one of our own. In the coming weeks, I will be working with other men’s and father’s rights activists and, hopefully, a local journalist, to help bring some justice and peace to Lt. Col. Kirk and his family.

Decorated combat pilot and His Children Brutalized by West Virginia Family Court Judge Lori B. Jackson

When United States Air Force (USAF) combat pilot Lieutenant Colonel Joel Kirk was a young boy growing up on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in rural Georgia, his father took him to see the Blue Angels perform. This was a pivotal moment in the young Lt. Col.’s life. Attending the airshow inspired him to become a military pilot. Lt. Col. Kirk didn’t dream of becoming a pilot because he wanted to fly fast planes or because he thought it would be cool. He dreamed of becoming a pilot for his father.

In the Lt. Col.’s own words:

In 1979, I sat on a hilltop across from Dobbins Air Force base with my father and watched the Blue Angels roar overhead. I remember the look of amazement in my father’s eyes as he gazed skyward at the powerful jets. Here stood my hero, my guardian, my mentor in admiration and awe of something higher. I knew at that moment what I wanted to do.

I knew that some day I wanted my father to look up to me as I looked up to him. I wanted to make him proud. I wanted to show him and my entire family that I was worth the time, love and energy they invested in me. I didn’t want to gain wealth, cars, houses or land. I just wanted to be a man of honor and integrity. My grandfather served in the army during World War II. He was at Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge. I wanted to be like these wonderful men.

Lt. Col. Kirk worked very hard and graduated university in 1991 at the top of his class, Magna Cum Laude, and became a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps (USMC). (Yes, you read right; Kirk has served in both the USMC and the USAF.) Three years later, he realized his childhood dream the day he received his wings.

He writes:

In January of 1994, my father walked onto a stage in Pensacola, Florida in front of hundreds of people. On that stage, my father, a farmer from Duck Hill, Mississippi, pounded a shiny set of gold wings onto the left side of my dress blues. The tears welled up in his eyes on what was only the second occasion I had seen him cry, the first being my sister’s wedding day.

I did it! I made it! The relief was overwhelming. I had struggled so hard and accomplished something only 1 in 100,000 people ever do. But even more importantly, I made my father and my family proud.

The young officer was living his dream.

Enter Tina Taylor, a very beautiful and very destructive, personality disordered predator whom he eventually married and with whom he fathered two beautiful children — a son now 14-years old and a daughter now 12-years old. Today, Tina Taylor Kirk has destroyed nearly everything the Lt. Col. has worked so hard to achieve and is poised to abscond with his military retirement after years of unspeakable abuse and multiple betrayals, at least three affairs that have been documented (2 with other enlisted men and 1 with a mutual “friend.”)

Far worse, Tina Taylor Kirk continues to abuse and terrorize their children; aided, abetted and enabled by West Virginia Family Court Judge Lori B. Jackson, Ms. Kirk’s three pro bono attorneys Thomas G. Smith, Esq. (Smith, McMunn & Glover, Clarksburg, West Virginia), Jamison H. Cooper, Esq. (Cooper Law Offices, Bridgeport, WV), Afton Leanne Huston, Esq. (Smith, McMunn & Glover, Clarksburg, WV), and Clinical Psychologist, Edward D. Baker, Ph.D. (Fremouw-Sigley Psychological Associates, Morgantown, WV).

This story does not have a happy ending, but hopefully the exposure on AVoiceforMen.com, Shrink4Men.com and other websites, blogs and news outlets will help to bring about a just ending and conclude the ongoing judicial and financial abuse of Lt. Col. Kirk and the judicial and maternal abuse of the Kirk children.

Men’s rights activism growing track record.

Over the last year and a half, AVFM, in unofficial conjunction with the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), S.A.V.E. (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) and the men and women who support these sites and organizations, have established a growing track record of powerful activism. Through our shared commitment to equal rights, justice and protection for all, we have managed to expose the gross prosecutorial misconduct of Ellsworth, Maine Assistant District Attorney Mary Kellett.

Kellett will soon be facing the Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar for her breach of ethics in her malicious and frivolous harassment of Vladek Filler. Just this summer, AVFM, NCFM, S.A.V.E. et al championed the cause of Gordon Smith of Delaware. For some time now, Mr. Smith has been the victim of his ex Tiffany Marie’s Smith’s relentless and escalating false allegations of domestic violence and the complicity of Delaware law enforcement and its judiciary. Last week, the Delaware State police finally arrested Ms. Smith for her multiple false allegations and shameless harassment campaign. This story isn’t over yet as Ms. Smith was released on bail and, it is believed, continues to pose a serious threat to both Mr. Smith and their children of whom she still has custody.

Over the coming weeks and months, we will be turning our attention and activism toward Lt. Col. Joel Kirk and his children, who have been horribly wronged by the very system that Lt. Col. Kirk has devoted and risked his life to protect.

War is hell, and so is being married to and sharing children with an alcoholic, emotionally and physically abusive, Borderline Personality Disordered woman.

Before citing the many injustices, unethical, outlandish, biased and potentially criminal acts of Judge Lori B. Jackson, Thomas G. Smith, Esq., Jamison H. Cooper, Esq., Afton Leanne Huston, Esq., and Dr. Edward D. Baker, Ph.D., it’s necessary to provide some history and context. The Kirk marriage has a little something for everyone: false rape allegations, false domestic violence allegations, physical and emotional spousal abuse, child abuse, alcohol abuse and addiction, serial infidelities, financial fraud, identity theft, pathological deceit, and much, much more all perpetrated by Ms. Kirk.

Lt. Col. Kirk met Tina Taylor in 1991, three months into his Naval Aviation Training. He graduated Marine Officer Basic Training (otherwise known as TBS) near the top of his class, was flying Marine Aircraft and generally at the top of his game. It was instant attraction at first sight and the young officer believed he had met the woman of his dreams. In reality, the future Ms. Kirk is the stuff of nightmares.

Six months later, the Lt. Col. discovered Tina was engaged to a Navy pilot in California the entire time they were dating in Florida. He was devastated. Friends of Tina came forward after she left for California and revealed the truth about her promiscuity, drinking, smoking and drug use. While the Lt. Col. believed he had dodged a bullet, he says there was still a part of him that felt he was meant to be with her. Even after her fiancé called him warning him to “quit stalking” Tina or he would “regret it.” It would appear Tina lied to this man rather than admit she had betrayed him with the Lt. Col.

The false allegations started early on in their relationship and are just a glimpse of the hell that would later ensue. Their relationship should have ended then, but Tina resurfaced 2 years later.

The Borderline Boomerang and the never-ending, waking nightmare.

After receiving his Gold Wings in 1994, young officer Kirk was stationed in Southern California with a Replacement Air Group flying CH-53 Sea Stallions, even though he had requested to be based on the East coast to be closer to his family. If only the powers that be had honored his request the Lt. Col.’s life may have turned out very differently.

Soon after arriving in California, Tina tracked the Lt. Col. down and re-entered his life. She claimed leaving him in Florida was a mistake and . . . wait for it . . . that her boyfriend/fiancé was “abusive” and “threw her out onto the street.” She apologized for her past behavior and claimed to have found God. This activated the Lt. Col.’s knight in shining armor instincts. He rushed in to save his dubious damsel in distress and fell for her all over again.

It was only a few weeks after their reunion that the Lt. Col. discovered Tina’s relationship with the Navy pilot wasn’t over. After much denial and obfuscation, Tina finally admitted she was still seeing the man she claimed abused her, but only to “finalize” the relationship. Against his better judgment, Lt. Col. Kirk took her back.

He explains:

I had never seen crying and pleading like Tina engaged in back then. “Please take me back. Please!” “It was a mistake!” “I was just finalizing our breakup!” “Please!” I was conflicted for weeks with myself about what to do. This woman had nearly cost me my dream career in Pensacola and was begging me to jump back in to the fire.

It was very difficult to believe her at this point. I enjoyed a very sheltered childhood in a small town and was not fully aware of important warning signs that would have spared me a lot of pain. I had no knowledge of Borderline Personality Disorder and sociopathy. I came from a place where everyone trusted each other, from the best guys in the world in my Marine Officer Training, to my relationship with Tina. I never saw her coming. In my entire life up until that point, I had been taught to always forgive and forget and did not understand that some people are just untrustworthy and best avoided.

Looking back, I still don’t know how I rationalized taking her back, but I did. I took her back and it was at this point that I made the most critical and life-changing decision I would ever make. I married her and that has brought me more pain, agony and distress than any and all combined combat flying would ever do.

For those of you reading this who are unfamiliar with Borderline Personality Disordered individuals, you may wonder how a man as intelligent as Lt. Col. Kirk could have been so easily taken in by a woman like this despite the many warning signs. It is all too common for young, idealistic and, in many ways, naïve men from close knit families and traditional backgrounds like Lt. Col. Kirk, to be beguiled by and fall in love with women like Tina Taylor Kirk. Nice and trusting guys make perfect cannon fodder for this kind of female predator.

Lt. Col. Kirk is a decorated pilot. Over the course of his military career, he has been a Marine Pilot, a Combat Forward Air Controller (FAC) and a Marine Instructor Pilot. He is still an active Air Force Pilot. He was commissioned during Desert Storm. He served in Operation Northern Watch (Iraq), Operation Noble Eagle (U.S. after 9/11), Operation Iraqi Freedom (Iraq), Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operation Joint Force (Bosnia).

He has been deployed 7 times for wartime contingencies and received 6 air medals for his service. He has flown nearly 200 combat missions and served over 500 hours in combat and 4,000 flight hours in six different airframes, both rotary and fixed wing. Yet, because of Judge Lori B. Jackson, an either extremely incompetent and/or extremely corrupt West Virginia Family Court judge, this brave and decent man has had to stand by and allow himself and his children be abused by their mother, a woman who offered to sell the children to the Col. for $288,000 during mediation, which is documented in a letter written by Ms. Kirk’s attorney, Thomas G. Smith, Esq.

If you would like to read it (Children for Sale).

Notice how Mr. Smith emphasizes how generous Ms. Kirk is for offering to sell the children to their father for a paltry $144,000 a piece, and then immediately reminds the Lt. Col.’s attorney that mediation negotiations are inadmissible in court. It would seem that even Mr. Smith knows how reptilian his behavior is.

Harrison County West Virginia Judge Lori B. Jackson knowingly places children in the custody of an abusive, alcoholic, borderline personality disordered mother in the “best interests of the children.”

After over a decade of abuse and betrayals with more enlisted men (a very big no-no in the military, as in a career ending no-no), false rape allegations, $250,000 of debt incurred by and because of Tina ($40,000 of the debt was incurred via credit cards she opened in her name during a separation while living it up with her boyfriend/alleged rapist and the rest was from two mortgages also incurred jointly by Tina) and other horrors, Lt. Col. Kirk wanted out.

He wanted out for years, but knew he would face tremendous bias in Family Court, even with over 1300 minutes of audio recordings of her abusive rampages. He had to leave the children with their abusive mother while deployed in two-month intervals, which was bad enough. He was terrified of what would happen to the children if they were left with her all of the time.

Then, one crazy summer night in 2009, Lt. Col. Kirk seemed to have a way out drop into his lap. I have tried repeatedly to write a short synopsis of what occurred that evening, but am unable to effectively convey the sheer insanity of what transpired.

Lt. Col. Kirk recounts the events of June 28, 2009:

On the outside, Tina was mother of the year. At home, her head spun around on her neck while she turned green and vomited — and I mean all the time. I prayed for something or someone to save us. On June 28, 2009, Tina’s 40th birthday, she drank at least 5 too many martinis, all while the children and I pleaded with her to stop. She went into a rage that surprised even us veterans of such activity after years of her abuse.

From painful experience, the kids and I had learned to stay away from Tina when she was drunk and/or on the attack, to egress, and not to engage because it made her worse. If we couldn’t get away, we just went fetal and took it. Never ever did we fight back.

That night, I was trying to study for my annual check ride the next morning—a vitally important yearly test. We had spent Saturday and most of Sunday celebrating Tina’s birthday. Because it was her birthday, our video camera was lying on the table, so I filmed her. I filmed a raging Borderline abusing her family. She did not know I had come into the adjacent dark room because she was so wasted.

My son fled to a neighbor’s house for help, telling the neighbor, “Mom is going to kill us.”  My son was 11 when this happened. He ran down a pitch-dark gravel road in flip-flops over 2 miles for help.

When it appeared that my wife might physically harm our daughter, I stepped in and set the camera on a table. It filmed me calmly asking my daughter to go outside so she wouldn’t have to suffer anymore of her mother’s verbal tirade. I knew Tina would then shift her rage to a new target, me, and she did. When she tried to incite me into an altercation, I knew I had to leave. I retrieved the camera, grabbed a bag of clothes and walked out the door with her cursing and screaming at me all the way.

I thought I had turned the camera off, but luckily I had not. I knew my son had fled. I also knew my daughter was outside, but not where (I have 100 acres). I got in my truck, backed out and stopped at the barn to see if the children were there. Our daughter came running and jumped in the truck.

We started down the driveway and as we did, we felt a tremendous crash on the back of my SUV and heard a scream. I stopped immediately and got out. As I walked to the back of the vehicle, I saw Tina on the ground screaming and yelling like a demon. She had attempted to jump on the back of a moving SUV and fell flat on her face.

I asked her if she was okay and discovered very quickly that was a bad move. She came after me. I ran back to the truck, jumped in and locked the doors. She then proceeded to dismantle the side mirror from the truck and attempted to break the windows, cutting her hand in the process. There was blood everywhere.

She screamed for my daughter to unlock the door, but she refused to do so. I still did not know where my son was, so I was scared to leave the property and did not want to move with Tina hanging on to the truck. Because we didn’t have cell phone coverage where I had stopped, I left our daughter in the truck, stepped out and ran to a reception area to call the police. They arrived on the scene at the same time as my son and the neighbor. Tina then went after all of them.

As she was being arrested, she screamed that I had abused her. She told the officers to look at what I had done to her. I showed the police the video and Tina was charged with domestic assault and taken to jail. Once on bail, she filed a protective order against me for assault, detaining her and the children and that she was in fear for her life. She filed an ex parte motion that the children were in immediate danger and needed to be removed from me.

The Judge granted the motion and Tina came to court with pictures of her injuries and claims of abuse. I came with the video from that night, the testimony of our children to the court appointed CPS worker, the police and the neighbor witness. I was given sole custody of my children on her motion to remove them from me. No reprimand for her false allegations was given. If I had not had the presence of mind to film the events that occurred that night, I would have lost my kids, my job and everything.

I called HOPE, a Domestic Violence center in Harrison County, and asked for help. I was told Tina had already reported a claim and that they could not speak with me. Within a week, there was a letter from HOPE stating that my ex was a victim of a dominating, controlling husband. She had never mentioned that she was the one arrested for Domestic Assault and they never bothered to verify what she told them with the court or the CPS worker. I knew right then I was in for a long haul.

Guardians and child counselors were appointed. Therapeutic visitation was arranged. At the very first meeting, Tina attacked the children in front of the Guardian and the counselor while in session. My children hid and the Guardian escorted my ex out and filed an immediate NO CONTACT order. I was relieved. I thought finally, “That should be enough.” Oh, was I wrong.

Psychological evaluations were ordered. The services of Dr. Edward D. Baker, Ph.D. were retained. He diagnosed Ms. Kirk with Axis II Borderline Personality Disorder and Axis I Alcohol Abuse and diagnosed the Lt. Col. with Personality Disorder NOS (Not Otherwise Specified). Being entrusted with 25 million dollar aircraft necessitated that Lt. Col. Kirk be psychologically evaluated throughout his entire military career. Dr. Baker’s opinions are unsupported by 25 years of meticulous military testing.

Some of the more absurd findings by Dr. Baker include that Lt. Col. Kirk exacerbated Tina’s Borderline Personality Disorder because he was “too moral” and that she drank and had affairs to ease her pain from the marital conflict. This is ridiculous. It would be laughable that Dr. Baker believes a man not wanting his wife to cheat on him with multiple partners, to not abuse their children and not drink herself into oblivion while endangering the lives of herself and the children is “too moral,” if his findings were not used by Judge Lori B. Jackson and Ms. Kirk’s three attorneys to enable her continued abuse of the children and the Lt. Col.

Dr. Baker also determined that filming Tina was “abusive” because the Lt. Col. seemed more interested in making her look bad than nurturing the children. These are just the “highlights” of Dr. Baker’s biased and empirically baseless interpretations regarding the nature of Borderline Personality Disorder, marital infidelity, addiction, domestic violence and child abuse. Lt. Col. Kirk suspects Dr. Baker had decided the outcome of his report before he even met with him. The report itself is littered with factual errors and gross biases, but more on that in future articles on this topic.

The children were also evaluated by multiple professionals and found to be credible witnesses. During their evaluations, the children provided detailed accounts of their mother’s abuse. Statements from the children’s evaluations include:

  • “Dad just sits and takes it and mom just keeps after him.”
  • “Mom abuses dad and hits him.”
  • “We hide from mom until dad gets home.”
  • “The night mom got arrested on a scale of 1-10 was a 10, but we have 9s a lot.”
  • “Mom does not help around the house and when dad is gone we have to take care of ourselves.”
  • “Our father does everything.”

Originally, the court ordered that the only way the children could safely travel for visitation with their mother was if she had a Breathalyzer interlock installed in her vehicle. Within 5 months, Tina removed it without consent of the court and was held in contempt.

Judge Cornelia Reep was the original judge involved in the Kirk’s divorce and custody dispute. She watched the video, read the reports and awarded emergency physical custody to Col. Kirk without hesitation. Three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars later, Ms. Kirk strategically obtained new legal representation, while stiffing her first attorney for thousands of dollars.

Judge Reep had represented Tina’s new attorney during his divorce when Reep was a practicing attorney, which caused her to recuse herself from the case. Judge Lori B. Jackson took over and things changed dramatically for the worse. As it turns out, Judge Jackson should have also recused herself from the case as her husband is best friends with Tina’s attorney, Thomas G. Smith, Esq. This would also appear to be a conflict of interest.

The details of Judge Lori B. Jackson’s malfeasance are long and will be detailed at greater length in future articles, so let’s begin with the basics. For starters, Judge Jackson:

  • Is in the process of reversing custody. She ruled that although Ms. Kirk was drunk, hysterical and abusive, she still showed good parenting instincts unlike Lt. Col. Kirk who, although sober, acted just as irrationally by video taping the abusive episode instead of trying to calm down a drunk, raging, violent Borderline. A videotape, by the way, that Judge Jackson has gagged from public view.
  • Determined that the children had been unfairly separated from their mother because of court proceedings and not because of Ms. Kirk’s volatile and abusive behavior and alcoholism.
  • Determined, without a shred of evidence, that the children would be harmed if they were not returned to Ms. Kirk’s care because Lt. Col. Kirk is “equally dangerous to the children.” Bear in mind, Judge Jackson viewed the video filmed on June 28, 2009.
  • Determined, without a shred of evidence, that since Ms. Kirk had been the primary caretaker of the children prior to separation, that, by law, she should be entitled to that again despite her well-documented abuses. In reality, Lt. Col. Kirk has long been the children’s primary caretaker, even with his deployments.
  • Determined, without a shred of evidence, that Ms. Kirk had passed up employment opportunities by being married and should, therefore, be reimbursed. In reality, Ms. Kirk worked for all but 5 years of the marriage until the children were weaned. She holds an associate degree in business, a degree in holistic nutrition and multiple fitness training certifications.
  • Determined that Lt. Col. Kirk showed a lack of concern for their daughter because he “locked her in a truck” and did not console her when she was upset, even though it is impossible to lock someone in a vehicle without power locks. Clearly, the Lt. Col. and his daughter were in the vehicle to keep Ms. Kirk from attacking them until the police arrived.
  • Determined that Ms. Kirk’s expenses exceed her income, so Lt. Col. Kirk should pay her and that all credit card debt, even the debt she ran up during her affair while separated, was marital and Col. Kirk’s responsibility.
  • Determined that the divorce was “equal fault.”
  • Determined that anytime Lt. Col. Kirk deploys for more than 72 hours, the children will be in the full custody of Ms. Kirk. Keep in mind they have been living with the Lt. Col. and their grandmother for over three years and in the Lt. Col.’s home for the last seven years.
  • Determined that all of the Lt. Col.’s estate, including pre-marital assets (funds that the Col. has had since childhood and kept separate) was to be divided. West Virginia is an equitable distribution state not a community property state.
  • Created money that does not and has never existed in an effort to pad Lt. Col. Kirk’s credit side of the distribution ledger. This way, Judge Jackson could show unequal distribution and extort money from the Lt. Col. through a court order to pay Ms. Kirk an exorbitant amount of money. The amount created was over $70,000. This was even upheld in the last contempt hearing in which Judge Jackson ordered the Lt. Col. to pay even though she admitted in court, “That is clearly a mistake.” The Lt. Col. has an appeal schedule on this matter later this fall.
  • Awarded Ms. Kirk the Lt. Col.’s retirement, half of the marital assets, no responsibility for child support, $45,000 in spousal support already paid in the last three years and $12,000 more over the next three years regardless of remarriage. All marital debt, about $400,000, was given to Lt. Col. Kirk. Ms. Kirk, again with two college degrees, and who worked for all but five years of the marriage, was imputed at minimum wage for calculations that leave the Lt. Col. with over $1,000 a month in support payments to her for what will soon be 50% custody. This does not include the $800 a month in child support he was ordered to pay.

Judge Jackson’s rulings have nearly destroyed the Lt. Col.’s ability to support his children. He was also ordered to pay the bulk of the court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem fees. For over three years, he has paid Ms. Kirk over $1500 a month in pay and benefits while he had sole custody of the children and serviced 100% of the marital debt. Ms. Kirk has had no legal fees since stiffing her original attorney. Her lawyers work pro bono. Ms. Kirk also quit work after separation under the guidance of her first attorney in order to throw off the chart for income and place the lion’s share of burden on Lt. Col. Kirk. Mission accomplished.

Judge Lori B. Jackson basically ignored three years worth of recommendations by court appointed officials who were charged with determining the “best interests of the children.” All of these officials, with the exception of Dr. Edward D. Baker, agreed that the children should not be placed in the custody of their mother. However, even Dr. Baker agreed the children were truthful in their accounts when he interviewed them. Numbers of reports were submitted to the court attesting to Ms. Kirk’s unfitness as a parent and Judge Jackson has neither acknowledged their existence in her rulings nor has she stated why she disregarded them.

Judge Lori B. Jackson completely disregarded the children’s counselor’s recommendations and continues to disregard the children’s own custody requests to live with their father.

Judge Lori B. Jackson disregarded the detailed written report and recommendations of the Guardian ad Litem formed over her extensive three-year interactions with the children and thorough investigation.

Judge Lori B. Jackson disregarded the report by Children’s Protective Services.

Judge Lori B. Jackson has yet to acknowledge Ms. Kirk’s diagnosis of Borderline Personality diagnosis and its implications on her fitness to parent.

Judge Lori B. Jackson appears to have based her rulings simply on the word of an established mentally ill liar and the dubious opinions of a Psychologist who claims that Ms. Kirk’s many abuses, infidelities, alcoholism and rage were due to the effects of a “volatile marriage on her frail psyche.” It is also possible that there are relationships and/or political favors occurring behind closed doors, but don’t expect to see the truth or, for that matter, justice from Judge Lori B. Jackson.

More articles on Lt. Col. Kirk’s case are soon to follow by Paul Elam, others and myself. We ask that you consider supporting Col. Kirk when the time comes (and it will very soon!) by writing letters, posting respectful and civil comments on any news publications that carry this story, blogging about his story and/or simply by keeping Col. Kirk and his children in your thoughts.

Meanwhile, I have one question for Judge Lori B. Jackson, the pro bono attorneys, Thomas G. Smith, Esq., Jamison H. Cooper, Esq., and Afton Leanne Huston, Esq., and Dr. Edward D. Baker, Ph.D.:

Would you feel comfortable leaving your children in Tina Taylor Kirk’s care for a week? For a day? For an hour?

Didn’t think so.


Dr Tara J. Palmatier provides confidential, fee-for-service, consultation/coaching services to help both men and women work through their relationship issues via telephone and/or Skype chat. Her practice combines practical advice, support, reality testing and goal-oriented outcomes. Please visit the Shrink4Men Services page for professional inquiries.

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  1. knotheadusc says

    Wow, what a horrific story. As bad as my husband had it with his ex, at least he managed to leave the marriage with his career and retirement intact. Of course, he did end up losing his kids… but I imagine if they had gone to court, he might have had a similarly horrible outcome.

    It’s a travesty that judges allow these crazy women to perpetuate their abuse.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hello and thank you for registering with S4M.

      The LtCol began his military career in the USMC. He transferred to the USAF Reserve in order to be home more frequently so he could protect his kids from his wife’s rages.

      Dr T

  2. winston smith says

    Dr T,

    knotheadusc’s husband here. And I thought I had it bad. The judge may not have done her research though where it comes to awarding military retirement to Lt. Col. Kirk’s ex. I think the most DoD will honor is 50%, and then only if both parties were married for at least 10 years of the service member’s active duty time. Arguably though, all that means is that his ex can request DFAS send her 50% of his retirement directly.

    I made some tough choices so many years ago. Sometimes I regret not fighting for my kids in court, but it would have been an uphill battle that would have drained my already stressed finances and she would have still undermined my relationship with them when they weren’t with me. In the end, the best course of action would have been to listen to my instincts and not gotten involved with her at all. Uncanny–my guts have never lied to me. Not in war or peace.

    • knotheadusc says

      Military retirement can be awarded whenever there is a divorce involving someone with a military career that will be entitled to retirement pay. But DFAS (military finance) will only pay ex spouses directly if they have been married for at least ten years and at least ten of those ten years were during active duty service. A judge could still say that the ex spouse has to pay the ex spouse part of their retirement… It just means that the retiree has to pay directly instead of DFAS. The laws vary by state.

      Thankfully, winston smith’s ex waived her rights to his military retirement. She was more interested in getting the family home… which she then proceeded to allow to go into foreclosure because she didn’t want to hire a real estate agent to sell it. This, of course, led to financial ruin for both parties, which thankfully we have finally recovered from. It took years, though.

      • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

        In this case, Judge Jackson seems to think “equitable distribution” mean Ms Kirk gets all the assets and Col Kirk gets all the debt. I’ve seen some unfair rulings, but this is truly nucking futz.

        • knotheadusc says

          I totally agree. I am myself an Air Force brat and an Army wife and I don’t think it’s fair that military retirement pay can be turned into marital property. Retirement pay is, in essence, a retainer that the government pays to former service members. They can be called back to active duty after retirement if the government requires it; moreover, that pay is often hard won in war zones. When the service member comes home from a war zone, he or she may not be the same person.

          While I do have a lot of empathy for military spouses because it can be very difficult to keep a career going when you’re married to the military, I do think that there needs to be more discretion applied to how retirement pay is awarded to ex spouses. I really don’t know why my husband’s ex decided to forego his retirement since she took just about everything else. Maybe she thought she was being benevolent. Or maybe she figured he’d eventually come crawling back to her.

          This particular case is truly disgusting… especially that bit about “selling the kids”. I look forward to your next installment about this. I agree that Judge Jackson must have gotten her law degree from a diploma mill.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      I don’t think research, the law, justice or reality, for that matter, are Judge Lori Jackson’s strong suit.

      I will be covering more detail’s of Judge Jackson’s utter disregard for the law re” the Col’s retirement in my next article, which should be posted early next week. It’s revolting.

  3. TheGirlInside says

    Judge Jackson should be disbarred (or disrobed?). Is she up for election? Is anyone running against her? Have any appeals been made to the state judicial board? State Attorney General?

    As a woman, this case not only enrages me b/c I’ve seen too often nice men turned into hostile, paranoid men afraid of getting too close, and also because false claim of abuse / rape / etc. just makes it that much worse for those who have legitimate claims!!

    You know, there is some truth to the old adage, “if you’d have just shot [her] you’d be out of jail by now.”

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi TGI,

      Jackson can keep her robe, but I think she should definitely be disbarred. And then tarred and feathered. Well, okay, maybe not tarred and feathered, yet . . .

      My enraged-o-meter is spiking, too.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says

      Hi BBJ,

      I’m honored to be able to help the Lt Col and hope we can get some real results.

      Thank you for staying with this case, too. I know how supportive you’ve been and continue to be.

  4. Mellaril says

    To the misfortune of Lt Col Kirk and his children, his wife hit the “trifecta.” She landed a Cluster B apologist therapist, free enabling attorneys, and a sympathetic judge. I hope that eventually she gets what she truly deserves.

    What I cannot get my head around is the people that defend and advocate for her and others like her and are willing to sacrifice others to appease her. How can anybody with the faintest sense of decency force innocent people to endure abuse so the abuser doesn’t feel bad about themself? I understand her. It’s all about her and always will be all about her. That’s the nature of that beast. What boggles my mind is there are people in positions of authority and responsibility that believe it’s all about her. I don’t know how you fight that.

    Please keep us informed of things and if there’s anything the larger community can do. Maybe we can’t win them all but maybe we can help win this one.

    • Dr Tara J. Palmatier says


      I know. I don’t get it either. I don’t want to get it anymore, however. I just want to help put an end to it whenever possible.

      Will keep everyone posted regarding real life activities. We’re going to organize a letter writing campaign in the next week. Will post with the information as soon as we get it sorted.

  5. Funky Monk says

    I empathize with the Lt. Col., I really do. And worse, I can’t help but feel that his fate may be the same one awaiting me.

    As with him, I thought I was scot-free when I obtained sole custody of my son after my abusive ex-wife had written a potentially suicidal/infanticidal letter almost two years ago (see http://www.shrink4men.com/2011/12/31/a-new-year-story-father-and-son/). But we still needed to go through the formalities of the family court system, in order formalize the custody order, or so I thought. In order to do this, a social worker from the Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) was appointed to determine the supposed “best interests” of my son. I thought this would be a mere formality as I presumed that no one in their right mind would recommend a custody switch to an abusive individual charged with three counts of assault and probable mental health issues with only supervised access at that time.

    But, not only did the OCL worker recommend a custody switch, she advised that sole custody be awarded to the abusive mother, on the false grounds that I was not addressing my son’s medical needs and did not foster access to the abusive mother. The former allegation was levied because I refused to give my son antibiotics for a whooping cough diagnosis that his mother obtained by falsifying symptoms and taking him to the doctor without informing me (ie. my son was not coughing at all during that time period, as observed by his daycare and also by our Children’s Aid Society (CAS) worker, and the doctor who originally prescribed the antibiotics later recanted the diagnosis via a doctor’s note, saying it was based purely upon the mother’s fabrication of symptoms). The latter allegation was because I had not lifted supervised access in 16 months, even though there was no reason to do so because my ex-wife was continuing to breach her probation order by entering the home and attempting reconciliation with me, while breaching her court order by taking my son to the doctor without even informing me.

    So now, despite the recommendation of CAS, multiple psychiatrists and even three previous judges who not only gave me sole custody but never even brought up the notion of lifting supervised access, we are going to trial fight for custody based on the recommendations of one biased and negligent social worker. My ex-wife also has a crazy lawyer who will fight just for the sake of it and is essentially working pro-bono until a settlement is reached. All I need now is a judge comparable to Lori B. Jackson and the axis of evil will be complete. Incidentally, my ex-wife has had unsepervised onernight access 2 days a week since March 2012

    I have had sole custody of my son for almost two years now and he is thriving physically, socially and academically, and I never thought I would be in a position in which I would have to fight in order to maintain sole custody, given the history of our case. But here we are preparing for trial next week with my son’s very life at stake. I only hope that the family court system in my jurisdiction upholds their track-record of jurisprudence and maintains my sole custody order. But, even though irrefutable evidence and stable status-quo is on my side, the fact that I have male genetalia puts my case on more equal footing.

    I just hope I am not put through the wringer as much as the Lt. Col. was. :-(

  6. Paul Elam says

    Good work, Dr. T

    And to all here at Shrink4men. As some of you know by now, this article has been cross posted to avoiceformen.com. I am working with Dr. T on this effort at restoring some justice for Lt. Col. Kirk. and his children.

    I am here now to make and appeal to those of you expressing outrage at this outrageous story, and to those of you shocked by its contents but who have not posted your reaction.

    Please become a part of the advocacy on behalf of Lt. Col. Kirk. In the coming days we will be posting links to officials, media contacts and others that you can forward your thoughts to. Please don’t underestimate the value and importance of this.

    Through that kind of advocacy we have forced justice to be served on behalf of others like Gordon Smith and Vladek Filler. And while it did not make all their problems go away, it served to bring attention to their struggles and exposed the corruption by which they had been victimized.

    The fate of Lt. Col. Kirk, as a father, and the fate of his children, are far from secure. We don’t know precisely what we can do to effect a change in course for them, but we know for sure that our silence will seal his fate.

    When the contacts for media and state functionaries are made available, and they soon will be, please take five or ten minutes from your day and give it to this man who has already given us a career of sacrifice and laying all on the line.

    I cannot imagine that a single man or woman who has ever been negatively impacted by this kind of injustice will fail to respond by raising their voice.

    To those helping, and those who will, thank you.

  7. cuatezon says

    Sad story. Instead of ‘Lt. Colonel’ insert ‘Private First Class’ or ‘Joel Kirk, grocery store clerk’ and imagine the probable lack of interest on the public’s part and the increased pummelling he would be receiving from the courts, the attorneys, the psychologists etc. If he hadn’t had the camera on during the blowout what would have happened?

    Many men lived/are living very similar experiences. There are several facts of this case that parallel my situation.

    To be honest, we need many more women to speak up on men’s behalf. Men’s voices aren’t heard in the halls of justice, or we don’t do as good a job of standing up for ourselves against these psycho-evil women in the public domain. I don’t know, I just know it needs to all stop, now.

  8. cuatezon says

    P.S. The article hit on something key for me too – being naive. I used to believe in my heart all women (every single one of them) were motherly, kind, sensitive, and would never do anything to hurt anyone else or be selfish. Women were the nurturers and it was men who caused the problems. I came from the midwest small-town mentality too, and unfortunately continue to live very painful experiences similar to the Lt. Col. b/c of my being naive. Thought I was too smart to ever get caught up in these types of situations…alas, my emotional vulnerabilities and the sociopaths deceived me.

  9. scott2harrison says

    This is obscene. I see no way that any judge could justify this. That said, what is the judges attitlude toward the military? If she hates them, that could be what is driving this. If so, perhaps it would be a legal reason to have her recused.

  10. PaLee says

    As a woman and mother of three, I am incensed by the behavior of the ex, who is clearly a lunatic, the judge, the attorney’s for the ex, the first judge, and all parties who’ve clearly disregarded the “best interest of the children.” Why haven’t the people who’ve been charged with protecting their interests stood up and screamed from the hilltops of WVA? I’m sure, when it all began, the children , as their father did, probably believed the system would take care of them. I’m sure by 14, as it would be hard for a child not to, they clearly know they’ve been betrayed and have become cynical about anyone ever standing up for them or listening to what they need and want. As I’ve had some experience with borderlines, the ex has probably provided an Academy Award winning, Oscar level, performance about how she’s been wronged and Lt. Col. Kirk is everything she herself is! That’s the way of the borderline. It’s clear the people dealing with her know nothing about how good borderlines are at 1) acting, and 2) lying. This ex is a very, accomplished, most excellent liar.

    I know it’s little consolation, but Lt. Col. Kirk not only has put his life up for the Country, he’s giving his life for his children too! I am angered by the fact that this ex doesn’t seem to have one ounce of motherly love for her children. It’s obvious, if the facts of this story are true, that she’s willing to sacrifice, sell, or worse, any well being they may have a chance at to get all the money she can. It leaves me wondering if it would be to her advantage, that she might be the kind of mother who would acutally kill them if they got in the way of what she wants and inconvenienced her life a bit? Has anyone ever broached the subject that the children’s lives actually are in danger when they are with her? I guess Susan Smith’s friends and family didn’t see it coming either when she drowned her two! Heaven help all of these people if physical harm comes to the children while in her care! Unfortunate the same weight of potential damaging harm hasn’t been awarded to their psychological well being.

    Perhaps there is still a chance for some type of justice as there was mention in the story of something going to appeal. I have never heard of such miscarriage of justice. I will follow this story and wish Lt. Col. Kirk well. Is there a method for providng funding for the cause of men such as this soldier and father who have sacrificed to fight for our Country whil at home they are waging war with borderline personality bitches who seem to have sought them out to destroy? Who in the heck needs enemies? Un-friggin’ believable!

    A fried of mine told me I wouldn’t believe it if I read it, and I am still in shock after having read it. The ex, the judge, the ex’s attorneys, all seem to exist in their own personal depth of ignorance, especially Judge Lori B. Jackson. They give real women a very, very bad name. Thank you, Dr. Palmatier for exposing this treason by the court. Again, I will follow this story – please make it known how women who want to support men who’ve been shafted can help. One doens’t attain the rank of Lt. Col. by being the bad guy the ex would have Lori B. Jackson believe. If he were the one with disorders, the military would have vetted him out long, long ago. One lingering question I can’t help but have, from a woman’s perspective as well, is who in the heck is paying the Judge and the ex’s attorneys off? Please, please keep going until all the facts are known.

    • cuatezon says

      PaLee, it is unbelievable yet true. Per my earlier post on this article, if he had been a Private First Class or just regular Joe, and not a decorated Lt. Col. in the Air Force, imagine the lack of interest from the public AND the continued pummeling he would be receiving at the hands of his ex-wife, the judge, the psychologists, attorneys, etc. Joe Kirk is fortunate that he’s in a higher level on the social spectrum. Anything less and he would be chewed to pieces outside of the public’s eye.

      At risk of hijacking this article/topic to me – the judge in my case wouldn’t give me custody of my daughter, and, allowed my ex to fight my weekend visitation, despite the fact that I was almost $8,000 (eight thousand dollars) ahead in child support, and the ex was a documented practicing alcoholic, suicide attempt and lock up in local psych ward, and other atrocities/lunatic behavior I don’t have time/room to list here. I’m a fairly successful guy too but not at the level of Lt. Col Kirk…Point being, this stuff is happening all the time its not an isolated incident.

  11. BroiledBunny says

    This is just SOOOO horrible. I thought I had it bad.
    I commend the Lt. Col for his self control, restraint, and patience.
    One thing I’ll say that I learned finally was You have to be the 1st to file the EPO.
    Allowing her to file an EPO after being released is just ridiculous.
    The minute you see something like this, with or without children and your spouse or Sig other is in jail, tell the cops I need an EPO!!!

    I’ve experienced many of the exact behaviors of his wife, but thankfully, I
    managed to escape when my now X was arrested and I got a restraining order.
    AND we weren’t married or had kids. I can seee what I might have been in for.

    Sir, I shall say a prayer for you and that your struggle comes to a rightous end.
    Interestingly, as I read the artile and how it says that men from good homes with strong family ties and traditional values make the best targets. Damn, I see that now.

    Please, get this beastly woman out of his life, wallet, and into a mental institution where she can spend out the rest of her years wacked out on Thorazine.

  12. John says

    Yet another example of the decline of the fundamentals of Western society, a father gets shafted in every way possible, a family torn asunder and the tearer gets the spoils! What’s new here?

    Never mind this man has put his life on the line (probably more times than he cares to admit), his reward from the very society he has served and protected is to be reduced to servitude by a court system that punishes (more often than not) the victim!

    Dr T if you were diagnosing a person that would do this to another person what would your diagnosis be??

    Lt Colonel Kirk you are dealing with a disordered system ….

    Your advice for your children with regards to marriage maybe timely, I don’t see too many younger people pairing up anymore …… I have two beautiful daughters, both would love to have a boyfriend, there friends are in the same circumstance … Boyfriend drought?? Perhaps it is a silent revolution with younger men? When you consider three generations have passed with this divorce epidemic, what else could a young man think after seeing this happen to his father??

    Statistically guys if you live in the UK your odds are less than chance to have a good outcome, in the US, Canada and Australia your odds are just chance alone for a reasonably happy existence or a complete life changing shit storm …. DO NOT GET MARRIED ….

    Good luck Lt Colonel Kirk I am hoping you will have all this behind you soon and you and your children will resume your lives together …

    • tallwheel says

      It’s just sad. I always just wanted to have a happy family like my parents’. Only recently am I beginning to realize how much the odds are against me in ever fulfilling that dream. Maybe feminism stole that opportunity from me.

      When Lt. Kirk got married he was just trying to have his piece of the American dream and have a happy family. It only takes one of the two parents to destroy that dream. Luckily, he seems to have two lovely children, and I hope that they can be protected from this monster and be given the best chance at a happy life possible.

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