Great question. I've been dealing with asituation like this for awhile now with my Wife's best friend's son. They recently split up, the dad is beyond anything you could imagine. Seriously, and this is no shit here, a few days after they called it quits he burst into the house late at night with a shotgun and threatend to kill them both if she didn't take him back. Right infront of there 6 year old son. So he went to jail, not for five years, ten years, nothing like that...he went to County for 8 months!
When he got out we were sure that he would never be alowed around his son without supervision. Nope, wrong again. The county gave him partial custody.
Since then this poor little boy has come back from his father's house banged up and bruised. He never really explains why, but of course it doesn't take a genius to see this. His probation officer has been notified a thousand times, Social services and the courts have all been alerted, and he still gets to see his son.
This is a very very very touchy subject for me. It sickens me to see someone treat a child like that because I was a victim of child abuse, and I can not stand to see that happen to a child. Plus, I have a son with another women and I have tried countless times to get joint custody, or to just be able to see him for an hour alone and can't get it done. The mother has used my son to hurt me time and time again.
The courts won't do anything because we were never married. It's just plain bonkers! I can't get my head around it and may never be able to.
A childs life is fragile. They need love and protection, not abuse and torment for the sake of revenge.
So to answer your question, hell yes I lose total respect for those people.