Same song, different verse......In the continuing saga of the Will and Laura Perry divorce action, Judge Bruce Wettman reminded both parties that they are not the first couple to wind up hating each other at the end of a divorce. He told them the system can not solve all their problems and if he had to see them again, he would throw both of them in jail and then have to decide where the best place for the children would be.
The latest action involved Will Perry again asking for custody of the children. The filings have stretched from the divorce filed on March 7, 2008 and sparked interest in the community because Perry had previously been involved in court suits with several high profile businessmen in Fort Bend including former Mayor David Wallace. Testimony was filed in that case that Perry took the action in order to ruin Wallace’s political career.
But immediately after filing for divorce on March 7, 2008, Perry filed for bankruptcy on April 11, 20008, an action which has allowed him to avoid much of the community property sharing common in divorces. During the bankruptcy filing, it was revealed that the Perrys could not live on his approximately $30,000 per month trust fund, his salary from his development company, and Mrs. Perry’s fees as a surgeon.
Since both of those legal events, Will Perry has brought Laura Perry back to court several times including a criminal case where his girlfriend, now his wife, accused her of “keying” her car. That case was dismissed recently for judicial economy as Judge Brady Elliott threw up his hands and refused to continue.
In August, 2009, Will Perry filed to change custody of their children because he accused Laura Perry of having a romantic relationship with an unsuitable person. During that hearing, Laura Perry’s relationship with this man was questioned as was his prior arrest of “indecency” and accusations from his divorced wife that he had inappropriately “peeked” at her daughter. The daughter testified to this accusation.
Testimony showed that this person (we'll call him "Bill Smith" since he was not allowed to testify about the incidents he was accused of) had been around the children on numerous occasions. The only official charge that was offered about him was a 10-year-old trespassing charge, but a retired policeman who supposedly made the arrest was brought in to testify that he was only inappropriately dressed on the occasion.
Judge Wettman ordered both parties to be careful what they said around the children and ordered Laura Perry to not let "Smith" be around the children.
In the latest custody hearing last Friday, Will Perry’s legal team offered the testimony of the private detectives that Laura Perry was still seeing "Smith" although they admitted that their surveillance did not find any incidents of him being around the children.
The problem was that Laura had moved into the same apartment complex as the man after she had moved from her house. She said that because of Will’s bankruptcy, her parents had to rent the apartment for her under their name and after she discovered that she was not supposed to let her children be around him, it was too late to get out of the lease although she tried.
Will Perry testified that he had surveillance on Laura Perry for the past several months for 10-12 hours per day, seven days a week because he didn’t trust her judgement. Since he was in bankruptcy, his father, well-known developer and home builder Bob Perry, a conservative who donates large amounts of money to conservative causes, had been paying the bills for the private detectives.
Although the detective had testified that their surveillance was covert, Laura Perry testified that the children were aware they were under surveillance and were frightened by the action. They called the detectives “the directors.” At one point, Laura Perry had even had to have one private detective removed by the Meadows Police after they entered a private hospital where she was visiting her mother.
Laura Perry’s mother, Donna Woodcox, testified that she helped Laura move into her apartment and she never saw "Smith" with the children. She said the children were very aware they were being followed and filmed as it was very obvious. She said they were upset and didn’t understand.
Despite Laura Perry’s testimony that Will Perry had married a porn star who had an internet site called LucySummers.com, and she didn’t want her children around her, Will Perry testified that was not his wife. The girl in the web cam video had piercings that his wife did not have. In fact, Will Perry testified that he had met his wife at church and she was now expecting twin boys on April 27. That date was a little more than six months hence, and Will Perry testified that the court suit had so upset Stephanie that one of the twins was in distress.
Will Perry also testified that their daughter had made an out cry against "Smith" on more than one occasion but Laura testified later that the daughter said her father made her lie.
In addition to placing Laura Perry under surveillance, "Bill Smith," who has since moved to another town near Houston, was also followed.
Will Perry testified under questioning by Laura Perry’s attorney that he would continue to follow her because he didn’t trust her judgement and he would place anyone she dated in the future under surveillance.
Perry also complained on the stand that he was allowed to spend Thursday nights with the children and every Thursday night had to be taken up with homework because their tests were always on Friday. He said Laura Perry didn’t do their homework with them which interfered with his Thursday night visits. He also complained that Laura Perry would not participate in her daughter’s ice skating. He said he could offer a more stable and safe home for the children. Will Perry’s bankrupt attorney was present during the hearing.
Laura Perry said she did not participate in the ice skating because she didn’t want to interfere with Will Perry’s time with the children.
Laura Perry tearfully told the judge that she had followed his order involving the children to the letter. She had ended her relationship with "Bill Smith" although she had never seen anything that judged him guilty of the things he was accused of.
She worried aloud that the Perrys will always do this to her. She said she was worried about her medical practice and that they might send someone to “take her down.”
She said she was currently dating two others but refused to give their names because of the Perrys. She said she thought it was in the best interests of her children that they not be around Stephanie Perry.
At the end of the hearing, the judge hammered Laura Perry for living in the same apartment complex with a man he had specifically ordered her to keep away from the children. He cited a specific distance of 1000 yards from which she must keep the children from him and said if he had been this specific in his earlier ruling, she would have to spend some time in jail. He ordered that Laura not take the children to any apartment complex where "Smith" resides. He also ordered the children to continue sessions with their psychiatrists and the parents must refrain from talking about each other or letting the children read court papers or view inappropriate web sites.
The way that Laura Perry has been treated in this whole procedure is part of the reason I’ve become a feminist. It’s an example of how the judicial system can be abused by those with the money to abuse it. Laura Perry married a man who has the wherewithal to continue to haunt her until their children are grown and gone. Then they will probably argue about who gets to see the grown children and their families on Christmas Day and who gets Christmas Eve.
And so it goes....
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