CT Attorney Nancy Aldrich claims Ambrose failed to pay her $65,767 in legal fees.
At her $600 per hour billing rate, she claims the former TV writer stole about 100 hours of her time.
Aldrich retained attorney Alexander Trembicki, who filed a lawsuit in CT Superior Court.
Ambrose represents himself.
Here is the complaint:
Attorney Aldrich helped Ambrose win custody of three children. In doing so, the court removed the mother from the children’s lives.
Ambrose kept all the marital assets and his wife’s inheritance – more than $2 million.
The attorney who helped him through this, using her legal skills and political connections, is out $65,000.
Ambrose was a Hollywood screenwriter. He lived in Hollywood and New York, while his wife and children lived in Westport, CT.
He wrote for Law and Order, Judging Judy, Harry’s Law, NCIS New Orleans, Instinct, Family Court, and others. He got caught plagiarizing in 2017 for an episode of the TV show Bones.
He returned home unemployable, but with $2 million in marital assets he and his wife saved over 16 years, he could transition somehow.
His wife, Karen Riordan, was a stay-at-home mother. She raised their three adopted Hispanic children while Ambrose was away.
When Ambrose got home, Riordan asked him for a divorce in 2018. He refused.
He soon transferred their money and locked Riordan out of the accounts.
He had a plan. He consulted an expert on parental alienation. The theory of parental alienation is a CT
Family Court favorite. The idea is that children do not know who their abuser is.
If they think it is the father, it is the mother. It assumes mothers alienate their children when there is a divorce in the offing. It gives scant regard to children’s preferences.
If children want to live with their mother, not the father, parental alienation assumes the mother alienated them.
It assumes the father is good.
Ambrose and Riordan remained in their home with the children.
Ambrose began keeping a journal of every activity he did with the children. He was looking to prove parental alienation.
He demanded he put the boys to sleep. Strangely, he would get into bed with the younger son, who expressed his dislike of this.
Riordan put two chairs in the bedroom for Ambrose to sit on rather than hop in bed with his son.
The older son was seeing a therapist because of the tension and emotional distress his father brought into their home.
One day Ambrose physically abused and verbally assaulted their older son.
The therapist wrote to Ambrose.
From: William Horn
To: Christopher Ambrose; Karen
Sent: Wed, Sep 27, 2017 12:04 pm
The information described involving physical interaction of this nature is VERY troubling and puts us into a “whole different ballpark” regarding your, Chris, interactions with Matthew and indirectly what the other children might observe and experience!
Chris, regardless of how frustrating the situation is, there MUST be a “hands off” policy and this must stop immediately.
It is up to the adult to maintain control of their behavior when interacting with children. While I know how much you love and care for the children and am sure you do not want to intentionally hurt any of them, the chances of this happening, even accidentally, are raised exponentially in such scenarios.
You must understand in no uncertain terms that such behavior puts you at risk of losing access to ALL the children if outside agencies (DCF) were to become involved.
And as a “mandated reporter” I am required by law to alert them to any situation in which I am knowledgeable that puts a child at risk—such behavior as described in the email certainly falls into the category.
Ambrose made a clever response and got out of the jam of beating his child. He used the lure of money. He became Dr. Horn’s patient. He just needed some help – and Dr. Horn was the professional to provide it.
From: Chris Ambrose
Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 2:29 PM
Subject: Re: Phone Call
You can imagine troubling this whole episode is. What’s most disturbing to me is the that I caused Matthew (or Sawyer of that matter) such upset – especially of this variety. It’s really incomprehensible given my own history and the way I think/feel/act.
Is there a time tonight that works best for you? I’m open to whatever time / subject.
Dr. Horn confirmed the incident with Matthew and, as a mandated reporter, had to do something.
Ambrose promised to use him as his therapist. Dr. Horn agreed to take Ambrose as a patient and not report Ambrose’s abuse. Entering into a dual relationship violates ethical principles.
But Ambrose paid well and never quibbled. It was another wise move. He beat his son and got him to dislike him more. But with Dr. Horn as their mutual therapist, Ambrose could get intel on his son that could be used to foster the alienation. He would then blame the mother.
Ambrose used Dr. Horn’s unethical dual relationship with his son to unhinge the confidence and trust the child had with his therapist. The boy knew he could no longer confide his fears to his therapist.
The children did not like how their father lied. They nicknamed him ‘P’ for Pinocchio.
Ambrose kept a record of this in his journal. He was setting up parental alienation. For Ambrose it was not his constant lying that prompted the children to call him “P”.
He was the victim of parental alienation.
Ambrose began to joke about the children’s dog Cody, who liked to run unleashed. Ambrose joked Cody would end up dead. He would rin away and get run over by a car or impaled by a fence.
One night Cody ran out the door. Matthew ran to get him. Ambrose demanded Matthew come inside. A little later, the neighbor called. She said Cody was on her porch. Would Ambrose like her to collar him and bring him home?
Ambrose said, “No. I put a dish of peanut butter on the porch. Cody loves peanut butter. He’ll come home to get it.”
The children knew Cody never ate peanut butter. And wondered why ‘P’ said that.
A car struck and killed Cody on their dark street that night. Karen and the other two children returned home and found Cody dead on the road in front of their home.
Ambrose was in the house. No one was looking for Cody.
The children asked Ambrose why he lied to the neighbor. Cody had never eaten or returned home for peanut butter in his life. They asked why he didn’t stay outside and try to find Cody. And why did he refuse to accept the neighbor’s help?
Ambrose was hurt by their questions and noted in his book — more parental alienation.
As if he wanted to see the dog dead? He only joked about it in the past.
At the right time, when he had enough to document parental alienation, Ambrose retained one of the leading parental alienation advocates. She is CT family law attorney Nancy Aldrich.
Aldrich has a history of eliminating mothers from the lives of children using parental alienation.
Aldrich worked with Judge Gerard Adelman and saw that Westport mother, Paige Styvan, never saw her daughter again. Aldrich came highly recommended.
Ambrose then sued his wife for a divorce.
Ambrose moved to a separate house. The children did not like leaving their home to stay with him on weekends and holidays. They rebelled against staying overnight during the week.
Ambrose noted it all in his journal.
He purchased spyware from “Spy Guy.” He hoped to capture parental alienation in the children’s bedrooms.
When they came over, he hid recording devices that looked like USB drives in their bedrooms.
Some have suggested Ambrose wanted more than merely spying on his children to prove parental alienation.
They allege deviant interests.
There is no evidence of this yet.
Ambrose removed the doorknobs to their bedroom doors on Christmas. He needed access because the children, fearing him, locked their doors at night.
He took the doorknobs off the doors to ensure the children could not keep him out of the bedroom.
One night, Ambrose sneaked into the bedroom, took their pet hermit crabs, and hid them.
When asked, he denied knowing anything about it.
There were three hermit crabs, one for each of them.
Though they were only crabs, the children were fond of them.
The children found them dead in their cage on a basement shelf several months later.
Ambrose said, looking at the dead creatures, “you got to admit it is funny.”
The kids resented him for this. More alienation, Ambrose noted in his book.
Family Court Judge Eddie Rodriguez ruled the mother, Riordan, had primary custody. Ambrose had visitation.
Judge Rodriquez told Ambrose he had to file financial affidavits within two weeks. He could not expect to keep 100 percent of the marital assets.
His attorney Aldrich switched the case from Judge Rodriquez to Judge Jane Grossman.
The judge approved a guardian ad litem. He and Aldrich chose attorney Jocelyn Hurwitz to act as the guardian ad litem or GAL.
A GAL is an attorney who represents the children but bills the parents. Hurwitz billed at $400 per hour.
Because Ambrose had the marital assets, he paid Hurwitz. That meant Ambrose got to control the scope of the GAL’s work. And that meant Hurwitz knew that Ambrose controlled how much she worked.
GAL Hurwitz billed over $200,000 for the case.
Ambrose paid her. Her billings tell the story.
She spoke 20 times with Ambrose’s attorney every time she talked to Riordan’s attorney once.
She spoke to Riordan only three times, but spoke to Ambrose scores of times.
As mentioned above, Aldrich got the case switched from Judge Rodriquez to Judge Jane Grossman. If she did nothing more than this, this judge hopping earned her fees.
Mothers complained about Judge Grossman’s use of parental alienation. She separated mothers and children.
Judge Grossman faced a tough reappointment from the CT state legislature, with many mothers and families ready to appear at public hearings.
Attorney Aldrich’s son is CT State Senator Will Haskell.
He sits on the judicial committee. The committee recommends judges for reappointment.
Sen. Haskell could carry the day even if an army of mothers protested Judge Grossman’s reappointment.
Hurwitz knew this was important. Her law partner Jane Emons was once a judge. Too many parents protested Emons’ use of parental alienation.
Emons did not get reappointed.
Judge Grossman did not want to end up like Judge Emons scrounging for family law work.
Ambrose had it all arranged. He started pumping big money into Aldrich. Paying $600 per hour. She billed hundreds of hours. Hurwitz also started billing hard – at $400 per hour.
This was the home stretch when Riordan would have the rug pulled out from her. And the kids would lose their mother.
GAL Hurwitz’s task was to protect the children’s best interests. She met the children twice, then decided to recommend the children live with the father.
They needed a custody evaluation report to put this over in court. Parental alienation psychologist Jessica Biren-Caverly made the report.
Ambrose paid her.
Dr. Jessica Biren-Caverly recommended the children have 90 days of no contact with their mother.
This way, they could bond with their father and stop the alienation.
Aldrich, Hurwitz, and Ambrose got the Caverly report.
Riordan was not permitted to see it.
Aldrich and Hurwitz petitioned Judge Jane Grossman for an emergency hearing.
Aldrich argued before Judge Grossman that the mother alienated the children from their father.
Judge Grossman adored Aldrich and especially her son, Will Haskell, the senator who could control her reappointment.
Hurwitz backed up the parental alienation, making a special appearance at court at $400 per hour – paid by Ambrose.
Dr,.Caverly came too and was paid by the father more than $1000 for her brief testimony.
Caverly said the mother alienated the children.
The mother was not allowed to testify.
Parental alienation. A crime by mothers in Connecticut. It is worse than a father’s sexual or emotional abuse. Especially if the father has the money.
Throughout the proceeding, the children, then 13, 13, and 9, had no voice in where they wanted to live. Judge Grossman ordered the children removed from their mother and moved to their father’s home.
It was a shock of a lifetime for the children when they were driven away from their home one horrible Friday night.
They left the home they knew all their lives and went to live with their abusive father.
They were removed not because of a single allegation of abuse or incompetence by the mother. Not once, not in 13 years. They were removed because Ambrose paid for parental alienation.
The 90 days of no contact with their mother came with strings. Before the mother could see her children, she had to admit she alienated them. The court wanted her to sign a visitation agreement that confirmed she was a danger to her children.
She could not record any of the supervised visitation sessions. She could not see any of the supervisor’s reports on the visits.
The reports could be seen by the GAL Hurwitz and Judge Grossman. They would then decide when the alienation was cured, if ever,
Riordan could not choose the supervisor. Ambrose ordered GAL Hurwitz to select the suitable supervisor,
GAL Hurwitz selected parental alienation advocate Lisa Kerin.
To see the children, Riodan would have to pay Lisa Kerin about $400 per hour. Imagine a mother who raised her children alone for 13 years without a complaint now had to pay $400 per hour to be with her own children.
Riordan refused these conditions.
Ambrose moved the children far away to a rural home in Madison, CT.
The children lost their mother. They lost their home of 13 years and lost their friends and family.
Aunt B, 84, made many attempts, but Ambrose denied her any meetings with the children.
Meanwhile, the case stretched on.
The children became depressed. The father fired long-term psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Stubbe.
GAL Hurwitz concealed her letter warning of psychological trauma from separating children from their mother and risk of severe depression. Dr. Stubbe advocated for the child’s experiences and wishes over the father’s protection from parental alienation.
But Hurwitz knew better.
Parental alienation is a crime of mothers. In Connecticut, it trumps the best interests and wishes of the children. If children are traumatized by losing their mother, it is nowhere near as bad as the trauma the father will feel by not having control of his little ones.
Ambrose fired Stubbe and hired new therapists to prescribe the children medications to combat their depression over losing their mother.
The children took to social media. They reported their father abused them. They expressed anxiety and depression. Their father took their internet away.
One child wrote “I know I’m liking.”
Parental alienation is the most lucrative method for extracting big bucks for family law practitioners.
It took Ambrose over two years to win the final dissolution of marriage. He had to fight to prevent the mother and children from reuniting and alienating him all over again.
All three children called the police on their father. The children alleged emotional and sexual abuse. Police took them to the hospital on several occasions. Hospital documentation and DCF records identify concerns for children’s well-being while in the father’s care.
Aldrich and Hurwitz worked as a team – once until 2 am in the morning – to ensure the mother did not see her children after an alleged incident of sexual abuse by the father.
The judge stayed up later herself to prevent a DCF investigation of the father’s alleged abuse of his children.
In time, the children learned about their father’s penchant for pornography. He left the porn on his phone, which he gave them to use.
The websites suggested pedophilia with Hispanic boys and hair fetishes. They took screenshots and published them on social media.
The children were desperate to get attention. At 13, 13, and 10, they felt they had a right to be heard.
They wanted out of his abusive home and back to their mother.
Ambrose said it was alienation. He told the court he had to put bells on their bedroom doors. This way, he would know when they went in and out of their bedrooms. They might try to contact their mother.
Even though the children had not seen their mother in a year, GAL Hurwitz and Aldrich explained why they continued to long for her. They said the mother poisoned them against the father. They told the judge that the children do not need to be with their mother. The children needed more time away from her to overcome their desire to see her.
How hard they worked, Ambrose’s attorney Aldrich [$600 per hour] and the GAL Hurwitz, who represented the children’s best interest at $400 per hour, paid by the father, worked day and night.
Aldrich and Hurwirtz got DCF investigations halted. They told DCF that the children were lying about their father’s sexual and emotional abuse because they wanted to see their mother.
Someone leaked tapes to FR. These reveal Ambrose yelling, threatening, and calling the children racially divisive names. On one audio, he tells his children that police will always believe him, not them.
He taunts them about calling the police, reminding them that every time they did, his attorney, Nancy, and GAL Jocelyn forced the children back to him.
None of it ever worked to see their mother.
The children lived in a nightmarish hell with a demon and without the one person they loved the most.
But he had the upper hand.
The children saw a world where their voices were repeatedly marginalized. Their truthful narratives were disbelieved, and the liar, ‘P” won again and again.
And their dear mother was lost to them.
Parental alienation had won the day.
The Ambrose divorce and custody case ended on April 26, 2022. It ended two years and two days after the court removed the children from their mother.
There had been 36 days of trial. It ended when Riordan, who cashed in her teachers’ pension to fight for her children, ran out of money.
Judge Adelman ruled that since Riordan had no money for a lawyer and would not appear without legal representation, he would conclude the case.
Riordan never got to put on her case.
Judge Adelman did not order Ambrose to give his wife any of the marital assets. He declined to enforce orders for monthly support. He chose not to hear the children. They were 15, 15, and 12.
He denied Riordan’s motion to appoint the children their own counsel, who would represent what they wanted.
In the end, Judge Adelman ruled Ambrose could keep his wife’s $1 million share of their marital assets. He stole her $150,000 inheritance.
And Ambrose decided not to pay attorney Aldrich $65,767.30.
Ambrose will have to defend in court why he does not feel he has to pay his attorney’s bill.
Texts on his phone reveal a clue.
During an early hearing on the case, Riordan sought a restraining order from the physically menacing and sometimes violent Ambrose.
Riordan had experts and witnesses at court,
Ambrose was outraged that Aldrich did not have control of the judge to stop this.
Ambrose texted his bought and paid for GAL Hurwitz.
Ambrose called Aldrich “flatfooted.”
The judge had determined Ambrose was a “high risk” abuser.
Riordan’s experts were about to prove everything the children said about Ambrose was true.
Ambrose couldn’t allow this to happen.
He texted Hurwitz and ordered her to come to court and take over.
Aldrich was incompetent.
Hurwitz rushed to court and got the judge to adjourn the hearing. Thanks to the GAL Hurwitz, the court ended the TRO in a mistrial.
As the GAL, Hurwitz is not supposed to take one parent’s side over the other.
But who can blame Hurwitz if she did? She has her own children to support. She has to go where the money is. Hurwitz’s children go to expensive schools and require the best in clothing and dental work, which she never had.
Her modest reward is the $200,000 she got for supporting Ambrose’s parental alienation plan.
But why didn’t Ambrose pay his attorney? Well, he did pay her. He just did not pay her everything she billed. He gave her a forced haircut.
Sure, he paid Hurwitz in full. But he took that out of his wife’s share of the marital assets.
The $65,000 Ambrose owes Aldrich is less than 15 percent of her total earnings. She received more than $500,000 in this case.
A lot of money?
No, not really. It was an investment. Ambrose got his wife’s share of the marital assets, estimated at $1 million. He kept her $150,000 inheritance. So he is ahead even after paying Hurwitz and Aldrich.
But let us be realistic. He won the case. No need to pay a “flatfooted” attorney. No sense in throwing stolen money after bad lawyers.
During the case, Aldrich explained that a stay-at-home mother like Riordan is not entitled to money. She wrote to Riordan’s attorney on June 4, 2020.
“Why does your client believe she is entitled to any funds when she has contributed nothing throughout the marriage?”
Similarly, why should Aldrich get more? Again, it was Ambrose who architected the parental alienation strategy.
It was the GAL who won the case.
Why does Aldrich believe she is entitled to more funds when she contributed nothing throughout the case except to get her son involved?
Sen. Haskell of CT used his senatorial influence to get Judge Grossman reappointed. That was the carrot that removed the children from their home.
It was GAL Hurwitz and Biren Caverly [who did the custody report] that cinched the parental alienation.
Karen Riordan, a former special ed teacher, cared for her three adopted children for 13 years while her husband lived 2500 miles away. But he lost his job and had to come home.
Riordan was their primary attachment figure, but she did not figure that parental alienation is sold like beans in the marketplace.
There is a market place of unique proportions. Their product is children.
The market is called CT Family Court. Parental alienation is the coin of the realm.