Need advice on how to help a friend in his child custody battle
This is a discussion on Need advice on how to help a friend in his child custody battle within the Bob & Terry's Place forums, part of the The Back Porch category; (I know this is long. I am sorry. But I thought that before advice could be given, as much of the history should be presented.)
November 1st, 2008 04:06 AM
Need advice on how to help a friend in his child custody battle
(I know this is long. I am sorry. But I thought that before advice could be given, as much of the history should be presented.)
I need some suggestions and/or advice on how to help a friend in his child custody battle.
It seems that, for better or worse, the courts in the area of family law just do not base their decision on the facts. It appears to be based on who can make the worst, unsubstantiated charges first. So advice based on logic and reason may not apply. Just a disclaimer.
Here are the facts as I know it. For the sake of simplicity, I will call the couple Joe and Susie.
Joe and Susie get married. This is Joe’s first and Susie’s second. Susie has two daughters from the previous marriage.
Joe and Susie had another baby together. We will call him Sam. (He is now 5 years old.)
Years later, Susie decides to divorce Joe. She goes to lawyer. Lawyer knowing that he who strikes first wins in family court, files an unwarranted restraining order against Joe. This of course tends to ruin things like getting new jobs as it shows up and new employers tend to not like to see those types of things. Susie kicks Joe out. She gets to live in the house, keeps all the kids and absconds with lots of the money.
Divorce is really messy. At stake is the house, a 401K (Joe’s as Susie used all her money and some of Joe’s to “help” pay for college for one of her daughters. Joe does not know Susie did this.) and of course custody of Sam.
Since Susie struck first, nothing Joe says or does is believed. He is scum and there is no way the judge is going to believe anything. Every accusation Susie makes, even though Joe has witness and there is no evidence to support it, is believed by the judge. Any accusation Joe makes against Susie is summarily dismissed. Joe loses much of what he has. The only thing he really wants is Sam. He would give Susie everything for custody of Sam, but she refuses.
Divorce is settled. Even though Susie works at a relatively high paying job, she is broke. Joe’s lawyer was somewhat smart and just played the waiting game knowing that Susie was broke and would settle to get hold of the frozen assets. As part of the agreement, the restraining order is removed. (Oh joy) Each gets half of the assets.
Susie gets custody of Sam with visitation by Joe. Of course, she is making this as difficult as possible.
Susie changes her lifestyle. She is now living with a transsexual (man to woman) and exposing Sam to that lifestyle. Joe sees this as dangerous to Sam’s mental health and requests new custody evaluations. The judge does not see a physical danger to Sam so denies request.
Susie is dressing Sam in dresses and sending him to school this way. He is grossly ridiculed by the other children.
Transsexual lifestyle and behavior gets worse. A new custody evaluation is finally ordered. I was a reference for Joe. During my interview, the evaluator brought up her personal involvement with a “gender confused” boy. Sam is not gender confused. He just wants to make his mom happy. Me thinks this is not going to go well.
Evaluation comes back. Conclusion is Joe was overly aggressive in trying to get custody of Sam and the best thing for Sam is to let him explore his gender identification and less visitation by Joe.
So, what to do? The court just did not listen to the fact that a healthy boy living in a transgender/transsexual environment is not disruptive and dangerous to him. Because Susie instigated the divorce, the restraining order and such, any counter action on Joe’s part is not looked upon favorable.
What is worse, because he instigated this action and lost, he now has to pay for Susie’s attorney’s fees of $25K. He is already massively in debt because of all this.
Family law is irrational as far as I can see. His lawyer figures he is just out of luck and he should just get on with his life. He wants to be a part of his son’s life but the courts have essentially said, just pay child support but don't see him. Less involvement is better. And any further action may find him in jail on contempt charges.
Joe is asking me for suggestions as to what to do next. Logic does not seem to prevail. All my suggestions are based on a “fair fight” using the facts. That does not seem to apply. I am out of creative ideas.
Anyone have any ideas as what can be done?
Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.
November 1st, 2008 04:17 AM
Hmmmm buying a shovel comes to mind
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
November 1st, 2008 04:19 AM
I've seen a lot of people I know royally screwed by the abuse card. Ex claims child is being sexually/physically abused, causes instant action. Acuser has trump card, acusee has to prove no fault. I think I could claim abuse with a straight face if my ex cross dressed my child.
It should be as hard and as expensive to get married as it is to get divorced.
Last edited by ICTsnub; November 1st, 2008 at 11:57 AM.
Reason: bourbon induced spelling
November 1st, 2008 06:31 AM
Sorry but I have to ask, is there a better lawyer in town? While I do agree that us guys in custody cases get the short end of the stick, there are more creative ways to attack this. A. Move the case to a small town if you can, the cross dressing is not viewed as aceptable. B. Raise a media stink about the school not being "understanding" and "a safe enviorment" (documented if posable).
If this is a roll in the mud cat fight, then fight with all you have.
a creative lawyer can posabley come up with a few more ideas. after that shafting I'm not too impressed with the one he had.
November 1st, 2008 11:24 AM
having suffered through and succeeded in a child custody battle with my ex wife all I can say is he needs to keep track of everything she does, write it down, take pictures, record every moment of life he does spend with the child "memories" you know. It took me 5 years after separating to gain custody of my children. She will mess up, then pounce! It's hard to sit by and watch, believe me I understand...but the boy will turn around once reintegrataed to a "normal" lifestyle.
They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Previously known as "cjm5874"
November 1st, 2008 11:33 AM
November 1st, 2008 12:54 PM
Does the ex wife have a secret internet life?
This is quite literally how a friend of ours won his custody battle.
His current wife started looking his ex up on sites like MySpace and Facebook and such.
When she found her on MySpace she was surprised to see her posing nude in multiple photographs, bloging about how much she hates her mother, advertising herself for people to come and sleep with (and by people, I mean men and women). And so on.
Our friends wife just kept printing the stuff out and saving it. For weeks she just kept printing and saving, printing and saving and whella... the next court date they had a whole folder of evidence to prove this woman would not be a fit mother.
Custody was awarded to our friend that day.
November 1st, 2008 01:09 PM
Nothing speaks louder in court than evidence the judge or jury can actually see. If I was your friend, I would file a police report every time
Originally Posted by limatunes
the child was bullied or harassed at school. Sooner or later he will be assaulted and I would photograph any injuries, torn clothing, etc.
Your friend might need to find a better lawyer. This judge sounds like a gay rights activist and nothing is going to make him rule in your friends favor. A good lawyer could get the judge disqualified and replaced or a change of venue.
"First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
Edge of Darkness
November 1st, 2008 01:18 PM
While, I support people to do what they want in their own relationships...
Dressing the boy as a girl, and sending him to school when he doesn't WANT to do this, is really messed up.
Did anyone ever interview the child? I mean, or did they just listen to the mother's recollection of whats happening?
Hire a private investigator to look into whats happening in the kids life. Document anything that could be viewed as bad.
Aka: Party happened at house the other night, people using drugs, sex rampant.
Ect ect. Get a long list, dont just jump on the FIRST thing that happens. Man, this really sucks :(
November 1st, 2008 01:29 PM
When my son was in his senior year at law school he worked for a private attorney. They had a custody case in which they thought the dad had the better case and the mom was nuts. When it got to court, the judge had different ideas.
Someone has to make a decision and that is what the judge does, for better or worse, with the information available at trial, and sometimes just on gut instinct.
Keep in mind that men tend to come out on the short end of the deal in family court.
I like the advice you were given, be a good listener but offer no advice.
November 2nd, 2008 01:46 AM
First, the last stats I saw here were something like..... 93% of all "child molestation" cases filed in court had to do with divorces. Out of those, 99.9% were eventually dismissed, but in the meantime the women got the custody of the children and then the judge was reluctant to change it.
JOE ... had a very very stupid lawyer who was worried more about getting paid well, than defending JOE. By the sounds of it. There are all kinds of things the attorney "could" have done.... and didn't... obviously. Now, it makes it even harder.
He could approach that this is a chargeable offense in that it is "mentally harmful to the child"... but sounds like the attorney let them pick the person doing the evaluation, and they got a real peachy one. Let him "explore his sexual identity" ??? They have to be kidding. This must be either in Boston or San Francisco.
There is "appealing" the Judges decision, but expensive. The idea on the Private Detective and building a "history" along with video tapes... is a good idea and start.
November 3rd, 2008 02:34 PM
I hate to read situations like this. Ultimately the young son is the loser? The attorney's are the winners.
We are supposed to think that the court system will grind all this out and be a safety net to all parties involved. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
I don't have a good answer.
Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.
November 3rd, 2008 11:19 PM
I hate to say it..., but quite frankly the "family courts" and courts all together for that matter these days are not worth the paper they were penned on. I have a solution for these kinds of things, but society tells me it's illegal. Tell your friend good luck and maybe help him pay for a shrink. He's going to need one by the time it's all over.
"My God David, We're a Civilized society."
"Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
-The Mist (2007)
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