Read an FCVFC Case Study to See How We Handle Abuse by the Family Courts

Meet Cathy Michael, who lives in the Charlotte area of North Carolina. Her only “crime” was to request a no-fault divorce from her husband, with amicable terms of shared marital assets and shared custody of their three children.

The attacks and destruction

Into the circus that we call the Family Courts, enter Attorney Allison Holstein (whom we have reported on here), representing the ex-husband. This attorney decided to lodge a personal campaign against Ms. Michael, based on innuendo and outright lies.

She has advanced this personal campaign by personally reaching out to significant people in Ms. Michael’s life—employers, landlord, banking institutions, and anyone she can possibly make contact with—to defame Cathy Michael and to create false criminal charges against her.

In order to increase the father’s credibility in seeking custody of the children, Attorney Holstein and her client fabricated allegations designed to destroy Ms. Michael’s nursing career, to destroy Ms. Michael’s relationship with her children, and to leave her childless, homeless, and destitute, subjecting her character to defamation of every kind.

In addition, even as she removed the children completely from normal contact with their mother, Attorney Holstein manipulated figures of child support owed in order to extract every last penny from Ms. Michael.

(Ms. Michael’s own lawyer helped out with the fleecing and gouging by emptying Ms. Michael’s 401k into his own pockets while providing her no meaningful legal representation whatsoever.)

Because Attorney Holstein saw that there was yet a bit more to be taken from Ms. Michael, she, with the willing support of Judge Karen McCallum, forced the sale of a home Ms. Michael had purchased to provide a stable place for her children, and demanded that these funds be used to pay off child support that Ms. Michael never owed.

The most egregious aspect of this forced property sale has been related to the fact that a lis pendens property lien was placed on this property to protect it. Attorney Holstein not only requested Judge McCallum remove this lis pendens so that the sale of the property could go forward and all funds could be transferred to Holstein’s trust account, but she even wrote the court order for the Judge, ostensibly in order to save the Judge some time, which the Judge happily allowed.

In this way, the very last financial asset owned by Ms. Michael was removed, and she was left completely destitute.

Then, in the pièce de résistance, the court saddled Ms. Michael with permanent alimony.

Judge Karen McCallum’s opening statements in court were that Ms. Michael had no credibility whatsoever. And should we be surprised? Judge McCallum had been in conference with Attorney Allison Holstein.

In this circus called the Family Court, the father’s attorney was not only allowed but empowered to take vicious, destructive actions against the mother.

The fallout for the children

Even though no allegation of any kind of abuse or parental interference was ever charged against Ms. Michael, her two adolescent girls have been completely isolated into the hands of their father. They have no access to phones and are not permitted to speak with their mother or have any contact with her at all except supervised visitation, which Ms. Michael has not consented to because she has done nothing wrong.

Because the 17-year-old son decided to live with his mother rather than his father, Attorney Holstein actually entered a contempt of court charge, accusing Ms. Michael of brainwashing the son. The son’s response to this draconian action was to take up residence independent from both parents and seek emancipation through the courts.

The Role of the Foundation for Child Victims of the Family Courts

When Ms. Michael reached out to us for help, we reviewed all financial documents and additional material related to false criminal charges instigated by Attorney Holstein.

As a result, we have submitted complaints against Judge McCallum to the judicial board of accountability, and have filed motions for her to recuse herself from the case.

We have also requested emergency judicial intervention for removal of Judge McCallum and sanctioning of Attorney Allison Holstein.

The FCVFC has also filed complaints with the bar association, requesting that Attorney Holstein’s law license be removed so that she will never again be able to harm any individual through the legal system.

The FCVFC has referred Attorney Allison Holstein to the legal division of FCVFC, Family Law in the Public Interest, for filing abuse of process. Malpractice actions will also be filed for defamation against Attorney Holstein and her firm, Dozier Law Group.

The Foundation for Child Victims of the Family Courts,, is glad to speak with other victims and investigate their claims as well. You are welcome to write to us at or call us at 866-553-6931.


For further information:

Complaint Against Judge Karen McCallum

Complaint Against Attorney Allison Holstein

Spread the love
Close Menu