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  • #1
    To be honest, I am probably not the best to give advise. I averted a trial by only minutes. The best advice I got was to "try to rise above it", and do what you can for your child/children. I had a very adversarial ex who really wanted sole custody, however their actions resulted in me receiving sole custody on the interim. I settled on joint. I often regret that decision, but overall, it is likely the best outcome.

    I could never believe the garbage that came out in affidavits, but the judgement seemed to reflect some of the BS that was being thrown around. Have integrity, and hopefully it can shine through.


    • #2
      Judges dislike finger pointing.

      They like evidence. They look at what occurred during the marriage. Look at the reasonable probabilities based on facts. They look at what happened after and how each party acted and treated one another. This includes other close relatives to the child.

      They look at the least amount of disruption for the child and will try to apply the maximum contact rule if there is no proven reason not to.

      They look at the reasonableness of each party and how well they can get along and make decisions together for the child.

      Pictures are great of a parent with a child but they really prove nothing as its usually the other parent on the other end taking the photo.

      They sort though the finger pointing and bullshit and sift through it. At least that was my experience. Not hard to do with concrete indisputable evidence.


      • #3
        Originally posted by oink View Post
        For those that have been through the court systems to get / fight custody, do you mind sharing your "personal" experience with regards to the judge's perspective from what they heard from both sides please?

        How does the court deal with a party that just comes on and give their reasons for wanting sole custody as simple....I think am the primary caregiver because am the mother, I think it will be best for the child, I just can't deal with the other person etc

        Is there room for 'hearsay' or does the judge want hard facts to back up every story? How about evidence like pictures showing time with child, videos etc?

        What are the dos and don'ts, and what would you consider the best approach / strategy to maintain?
        High conflict is a valid arguement for sole custody.

        Inability to have meaningful and constructive dialogue may very well be the kiss of death to any hopes of shared custody.

        How you would counter that is using 'parallel parenting' model.

        In the mean-time try very hard to start getting along.


        • #4
          In my experience, the judge was quite perceptive in 'seeing' through what was written in the materials he had at his disposal in coming to a decision.

          For example, my ex alleged in his affidavit material that my parents were indifferent to the children and myself and had never made an effort to be a part of our lives. In my affidavit I countered his allegation simply by stating it was false and giving examples of their involvement. The judge wrote in his endorsement "The mother intends to utilize her parents to assit in caregiving, who have always played an active part in the children's lives,.........."

          Another example. My ex alleged in his material that when the children were in my custody I would deny him access. I provided proof (through emails and an affidavit of justice of the peace) that this was not the case. Further, when he did get interim custody of the children via an ex parte motion which indicated the mother was to have reasonable access on reasonable notice in the interim, he would NOT let me see or have the children until it got brought back to the courts via an interim interim motion which outlined exactly what that access was. During all this time I sent reasonable emails asking for access and gave multiple suggestions to facilitate it; each email he responded to stated: I will wait until the judge tells me I have to give you the chilrdren (she already did but it was ambigious).

          The judges response to all this nonsense? "I am influenced by the mothers willingness to facilitate access and by the fathers failure to do so"

          And finally, be honest! My ex claimed he was a continuous co-parent throughout their childhoods. While I never claimed he wasn't a good parent, he was a trucker and spent on average nine months of the year on the road - wasn't hard to counter that one! The judge made it quite clear in his endorsement as well: "While the father has been, and continues to be, a committed and caring father, the history of the relationship of the parties shows that the mother has been the primary parent since the birth of all three children."

          I was quite amazed how he was able to flesh out the 'inconsistencies' and be respectful in writing his endorsement; that takes class.

          It isn't easy being a judge I am sure, but it is not rocket science for them to see through 'his truth', 'her truth' and the truth that lies in between. It is your responsibility to tell the truth and document anything that can show her high conflict. Let the judge sift through it.


          • #5
            Scrapbook / dairy of farther's involvement

            I filed a scrapbook dairy of my involvement with our children, when I filed my document brief for trial. It consisted of 55 pages averaging one page for each month the children were alive. Each page contained 7 to 9 pictures with three main pictures in the middle with funny comments under these, then a main comment for the page itself that listed the activities and milestones our children had gone through. Up until the date of separation there were pictures of myself with our girls, and a few pictures of mom with our girls. But from the date of separation to present day there were mostly only pictures of our girls as I was the one taking the pictures. The opposing side's lawyer tried to have the whole thing thrown out, but the judge asked what was wrong with it. They then said that they didn't have a problem with the pictures just the comments on the pages.
            The Judge said something like "I'm a judge, I won't read the comments." and let it in. it was given an evidence number.
            This project I did for two purposes, one as a piece of evidence to show I was heavily involved with the children, second as a gift to the girls when they are older.
            I kelp the language lite and fun, as it was a gift for the girls. There were two pages in the journal which corresponded with the 3 weeks I didn't get to see our girls except for the supervised access that my ex allowed until the judge restored access back to 50% / 50%
            Those two pages had comments regarding the custody and access and court information and have since (after trial) been taken out of the journal for our girls.
            I felt these 400+ pictures showing how involved I was basically made it irrefutable that I was an equal parent in our children's eyes before separation and that I was "ready, willing and able" to be a fully involved parent after the trial.
            It included pictures of my comforting our child in the middle of the night, to reading to them before bed, to pictures of my explaining how sap came out of trees and made maple sugar and the expressions on our children's faces said it all.
            I even used some of the pictures during my examination in chief, and in my cross examination of my ex.
            It was priceless when I had my ex tell me the pictures were in the wrong order and that the picture of our little girl K2 was not drinking from a bottle at a few months of age that she had breast feed till 1 year. And state that she knew how to identify her own children. Then on the same sheet there was a picture of both our girls K1 and K2 sitting in a double stroller and me suggesting that perhaps she was mistaken and pointing to a red rash our daughter K2 had above her eye in both photos and then suggesting to mom she that perhaps she wasn't quite as good at identifying our children as she thought, before moving onto another question before she had a chance to respond.


            • #6
              I almost always found that a judge on a case/settlement conference was behind me and trying to convince my ex to change her position, but during motions was completely different.


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