The Dark Side of Divorce

The news around New Jersey on June 17, 2015 seemed to be ripped from the pages of a crime novel or movie script. Specifically, Neptune Police Sergeant Phillip Seidle was accused of killing his wife in front of their 7-year-old daughter, several onlookers, and police less than a month after they had ended a two year long custody battle over their minor children. Their 7-year-old child is the youngest of their nine children and the eldest is 24. Reports indicate while Seidle was off duty he ran his ex-wife off the road in Asbury Park, Monmouth County, New Jersey and shot her while the child was in the front seat. When nearby police arrived at the scene, Seidle held a gun to his head and said he did not want to go to court anymore. The police recognized him and managed to talk him into rescuing his daughter but did not use any police force or help the wife. While the child was rescued and out of harms way, Seidle somehow managed to fire more shots into his ex-wife’s car. After a half hour standoff with the police, he eventually surrendered to the authorities. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

In this case, there had been an alleged history of domestic violence, which went unreported. The late wife had claimed in the divorce filings that her husband had been cruel to her throughout the marriage and cited several instances which included: abusing her verbally, emotionally, and physically; holding a gun to her head and kicking her in the stomach when she was pregnant; and punching her in the face when she questioned him regarding pornographic charges on the cable bill or why he was playing video games. The wife also alleged he was an adulterer and was not financially supporting the children. After a two -year custody dispute, the late wife was awarded custody.

Witnesses to the shooting heard Seidle complain to his ex-wife regarding their child custody battle, he was tired of making the mounting alimony payments, and having limited access to the minor children. This is not surprising, per the National Center for Women and Policing, which indicates that domestic violence is two to four times likelier in law enforcement families than in comparison to regular American families. Political and legal commentators including family rights watch groups criticized the judicial and legal process for what may have set off this enraged father and ex-husband.

The Bronzino Law Firm: Representing Clients Facing High Conflict Custody Cases

Whether you are the mother or father of minor children, custody battles can be emotional and get drawn out depending on the parties’ circumstances. Some parents may get violent or deadly. Please call the qualified Brick, NJ Divorce Attorney for an initial free consultation at(732) 812-3102 to discuss your impending separation or divorce and issues related to custody of the children, especially if there is or will be threat of violence. The case can be handled amicably or peacefully resolved through the courts. Do not delay. Please give us a call today.