There is nothing more frustrating, devastating, and tiresome than dealing with child custody. I have been dealing with a dead-beat mother for a long period of time. Not to mention the ridiculous court system that give preferential treatment to mothers, even if a father can provide a better home and has repeatedly established themselves as having the best interests of the child at heart.
My situation is that my daughter’s mother does not support her education. She refuses to do any homework with her, she drinks, and she is all around a horrible parent. Yet, I still have an up hill challenge to get full custody of my daughter so she does not continue to fall behind in school. Mind you that I was deployed for a couple of years and my daughters educational testing scores are two years behind, I have had to establish that I am working with my daughter and her mother is not. The frustrating thing is that I had to fight to get 50% custody, and it’s not enough to ensure my daughter does well.
So, here are my tips on the situation so far:
- Research lawyers and find the best lawyer possible. You need an amazing lawyer. It’s worth the money because an amazing lawyer will be able to do more work in less time. Also, they wont waste time on frivolous things. Also, they will fight when they need to. I learned this lesson the hard way. My first lawyer was an incompetent moron.
- Document EVERYTHING. I keep a record of everything related to my daughters schooling. I make notes, notes of notes, I meet with her teacher, the principal, everyone. They all know what is going on. I ensure that the documentation trail speaks for itself and that the documents from the school can be obtained through subpoena. A state organization will not take sides in a case, but they will provide documentation. Judges love documentation.
- Do not speak bad about the other parent in front of your kids. No matter how much you want to, don’t do it. It undermines you completely. Let the other parent do it. Let your kid see it. Don’t respond to it. Your kid will love you for it and your kid will respect the hell out of you for it. If there are bad lessons being taught, don’t fly off the handle, wait until you get home and have a one-on-one conversation with your kid. Explain calmly why their other parent is wrong.
- Did I say document everything? Text messages, emails, if your kid is improperly dressed for the weather, take a picture. EVERYTHING!!!
Your goal here is to build an overwhelming case when going to court. Your goal is to obtain non-objective information. Going to court with opinionated information is not going to help you. Factual information will.
I hope this helps to get you on your way to giving your child a better life.