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Messages - CustodyIQ

Moms Without Custody / RE: Parental Alienation
Mar 22, 2006, 04:29:40 PM
I think you're a very dramatic person who worries too much about future events and focuses too much on being a victim.  That's what I think.

If I was in my 20s, and some woman said she was my sister, I'd communicate with my mother.  And my mother would explain why the situation is what it is.  And I wouldn't be angry.

But you've intentionally burdened your young children with your past, without even knowing if a future like that would happen.

As I stated, I question if that is best for them.

I also gave you advice on handling the other situation.  If you now have evidence that she's being "terrorized", then take action in court.

As you yourself acknowledge, your approach to date on getting custody of your son has not gone well.  There may be nothing wrong with you, but there is evidently something wrong with your approach (i.e., if the goal is to convince a judge).

This means you need to spend some time learning how to build an effective case, and how to argue it successfully in court.

As a previous poster mentioned, recording phone calls is one example of gathering evidence (but check legal issues in your state).

Taking a 13 year old boy to a child psychologist is another example to have a credible expert witness testify as to a child's best interest.

Teachers' testimony about what a child expresses, or about bruises, is another example.

There's an excellent book called "Child Custody A to Z" by Guy White.  I strongly recommend that you get it.  It's likely not in a local library, but it's available at Amazon, and perhaps at your local bookstore.

Put together a solid case with solid evidence (not just "he said she said" between you and your ex), and the judge won't have much choice but to modify custody based upon it.

Good luck.
Moms Without Custody / RE: Parental Alienation
Mar 15, 2006, 07:33:43 AM
I'm very sorry for all that you endured in your first marriage and regarding the loss of your daughter.

That said, I think you should be thinking about the girl's best interest at this point, not what YOU want.

I think it was a mistake to tell your sons that they have a sister.  How does that benefit them, knowing that there's a sister out there they won't likely have any relationship with?!

If I were in your position, I'd try to find a way to learn how my daughter is doing.  Hire a private investigator, for example.  If it appears that she's well-adjusted, doing okay in school, calling someone else mommy, and completely unaware of you... I don't know how it'd be good for her to have you appear on the scene.

So... while I'm sympathetic to your position... I also think it's been way too much time without any action on your part (for whatever reasons).
Moms Without Custody / RE: Visiting my daughter
Apr 25, 2005, 10:54:55 AM
You mean... should everyone turn their lives around because you've decided to stop screwing up?

Isn't that the question you're asking?

The answer, of course, is no.

People who live destructive lives have a very hard climb back to the top to regain the trust and confidence of those around them.  Once you're able to demonstrate to the child's father and/or the court that you're on the straight and wholesome path, then it's time to ask a serious question about how to get you and your youngest daughter some quality time.

If you've been clean and straight for 6 to 12 months, then I think a court would probably take you seriously in terms of reconsidering what sort of parenting time you should have with your youngest.  And, it's possible that a court may order that each parent share some of the cost for that to happen.

You've got a lot of work ahead of you, but if you keep making the progress that you've described, your rewards will be awesome.  Congrats on what you've done so far.

Moms Without Custody / RE: Custody Evaluator
Apr 18, 2005, 11:58:11 AM

Wow, that looks very good too.  Nice, concise, and clear.  Pretty void of emotion (a good thing for such a document).

Let us know how it goes!

Moms Without Custody / RE: Custody Evaluator
Apr 13, 2005, 02:36:01 PM
I think you've got an awesome approach, if you can match up those three areas with the 3 plans that were close to 50/50.

In terms of "other issues," it may be that you don't have any.  It could include concerns about drug use, special needs, bad people in other home hanging around children, etc.

I'd be curious to hear what you outlined for the reasons that led to the custody dispute, because you're doing a fantastic job on the second request made.

Moms Without Custody / The Rolling Stones said...
Mar 18, 2005, 02:11:05 PM
"You can't always get what you want, but if you try some time, you may find, you get what you need."

I read your post on the other board, and of course, any positive step is a success.  Congrats on that.

You didn't get what you WANT.  But you got some of what you needed.  :)

But you were certainly helped by the judge by clearing up details (i.e., reducing chaos and conflict) and by a judge who apparently agreed with you that the schooling was a problem.... and who essentially told mom to shape up.

If that fixes things, great.

If not, you know you'll go back to court, and perhaps you'll have another incremental "success" in the kids' best interest.  My attitude is, what other option is there?!

Of course, we'll all know if we're successful in 20 or 30 years when our children thank us for doing everything we could.

My responses below...

>There aren't any naysayers here. Going to court is fine but
>you must remember...for every one person that has a success
>story, there are 99 that don't.

Of the 99 that don't, how many are well-educated in child custody strategies, have competent lawyers if not effective self-representatives, and (most importantly) have not given up?

>I am telling her, from experience, to proceed with guarded
>optimism and keep the focal point on the children...not
>proving what a slacker her ex is when it comes to parenting.

Sometimes maintaining a focal point on the children requires demonstrating the alarming actions of the other parent.

A hesitancy to express concern when the other parent is short-changing the children as a responsible parent is truly no favor to the kids.

>I have to ask you have a personal success story in
>family court? Not something you heard from someone or
>overheard...but something you personally experienced?

I view "success story" as any step of the way as we try to do what is best for our children or in protecting ourselves.  In highly conflicted co-parenting situations, the outcome is an on-going process until a child reaches 18.  So, I don't just view "outcome" as the determinant of ultimate success.

I defeated a false allegation made by my ex, with my arrest expunged.  I got a court order for my daughter to be returned local months after her mother unilaterally moved away with her.  I blocked a subsequent move-away attempt.  I've incrementally increased my custodial time with every passing year.  I've stayed the high road year after year and enjoy a deep trust and bond with my daughter in my home that her mother does not have with her (i.e., because the mother has chosen a different road and involves our daughter).  If interested, more about me is at

Those "successes" certainly come with supposed "failures"....

Both mom and I were going for sole custody.  We got joint.

I wanted mom sanctioned for all the crap she continues to pull.  Sanctions have never happened, though she's been lectured.

It took 5 months to get court orders for my daughter to be returned when mom moved away.  Is it a failure that it took so long?  Perhaps.

Nothing happened to mom for calling 9-1-1 and falsely reporting me, resulting in my arrest and imprisonment for a short while.  Is it a failure that she didn't get punished when I defeated the charge?  Perhaps.

I've got a ton of "failures" in addition to successes.  Comes with the territory.

> I, for
>one, would love to hear it. In the six years I have been on
>SPARC, I can count on one hand the number of court room
>successes from the posters on this board. And most of those
>successes only came after YEARS of battling and thousands of
>dollars spent.

Perhaps you and I view "successes" as something different.  Every positive step is a success, in my eyes.

Yes, continuing on a successful path does require persistence.  Yes, the family law system does tend to drag over years in conflicted custody arrangements.  Sucks.  But that's the playing field, if we want "success."

The one quality that successful people share is never giving up.

>I think getting the family court out of our families and
>learning to communicate with each other in an adult fashion is
>the best way for all.

That's a great objective.  Unfortunately, some people are far too broken in their psychoemotional development to meet such a goal.  Many of those who are in family courts against our better judgment are there because the other parent is incapable of civil, mature, reasonable communication.

>I will let that be my hope. :)

Again, I think that's a beautiful goal.  I concurrently can have the perspective that some people don't have that option, due to the inability of the other parent to meet halfway.
Moms Without Custody / What I've actually seen...
Mar 17, 2005, 10:54:53 AM

I think you've gotten great advice on how to best document and lay out your case.  Education is one of the most important things during childhood, so I wouldn't let the naysayers convince you to avoid trying.

Someone made a suggestion to see if the records show homework assignment completions.

If there are such records, you wouldn't even NEED a teacher's testimony.  You can simply show the records as evidence, and demonstrate that homework completion was nearly 100% on mornings after they spent time with you, and far lower on other mornings.

I was once in court awaiting a hearing for my own custody case, and one of the preceding hearings was a mother who had lost custody to the father 10 months prior.  She had lost custody because father moved 50 miles away, and so the court had to decide which one of them should have the child during the week.  The court picked dad (I'm not sure why).

At issue in this hearing was that the kid (I forget exact age) was getting Ds and Fs.  In mother's care, the kid was getting Cs and Bs.

The judge was VERY concerned about the poor academic performance.  Grilled dad on why it was happening, what was he doing about it, etc.

The dad talked about how he tries to help with homework, how he's started looking into tutors, etc.  Tried to say that it was just a child getting settled into his new routine, etc.

The mother kept arguing that in her care, the boy had done much better in school.

The judge finally said, "Obviously, this arrangement isn't working.  I'm not sure why, but it's not working.  This wasn't a problem before he was living with dad during the week.  We need to change it."

Judge right then and there reversed custody back to mom.  Boom, done in less than 5 minutes.

True story.

Let that be your hope.  :)
Moms Without Custody / RE: PAS
Feb 28, 2005, 12:09:43 PM

Others on this thread have given some good tips and support, so I won't repeat all of that.

I'd strongly recommend the book called Divorce Poison, by Richard Warshak.

Rather than getting into the debate about whether PAS is truly a "syndrome" or diagnosis, that book addresses causes/symptoms and proactive steps to try to combat intentional alienation attempts.

I found the book to be extremely helpful in making me feel empowered that I can have just as aggressive an approach to fight it as the other side does to advance it.

You can order it from Amazon, and there's a link to it on my website.

Best of luck to you in helping your daughter see the light.