Friday, August 19, 2005

How Fathers Can Win Child Custody

How Fathers Can Win Child Custody
A work in progress from
First draft - August 14, 2005

NOTE: This is a condensed version of a book that is being written on this subject. As the book is written, more will be added to this guide, until the book is ready for publication. Please stop back occasionally as we will be adding new material periodically, and will indicate when we do so. Since this guide is still in the process of being written, if you would like to share it with others, please give them the url instead of sending this article out in an email. Although this guide is geared to fathers, who are usually the most disadvantaged here, it can also be used to some extent by mothers who have been disadvantaged by the system. This guide is based on mostly anecdotal evidence from attorneys and others who have gone through the family court system, and should not be construed as legal advice.

(Click title above to link to article)

Update: I have to say that I don't like this article much at all. In truth, I posted it hurriedly without going over it - this was my mistake. I find some of the methods and directives as extremely questionable to say the least.

While I will not go over all the problems I see - I would certainly assert that there is a difference between an aggressive/proactive attorney and an aggressive/unscrupulous attorney. My pursuit of father's rights involves fairness for all parties - not further maligning the already fractured family court system.

As for getting an evaluator to ask the children leading questions that will reflect negatively on mom- this is wrong for a number of reasons. First, as this article would claim to present the view of a father's rights activist - it infers fathers (generally) have an abject lack of interest in to the actual best interests of their children but have a calculating desire to escape from as many child support dollars as possible. This *may* be true for some men - punishing ones soon to be ex appears to frequently occur during divorce and the perpetrator can be of either gender. However, I certainly would not call it the norm and it is not in any way the type of father that I find needing assistance within the framework of family law. Secondly, such a practice is simply devious by both the father as well as the "impartial" evaluator who is colluding with the father. Finally, as much as men howl about the manner in which protective orders are handed out (and they are distributed far too easily and with devastating consequences for those fathers falsely accused) we then should not advocate for "creative" or "leading" evaluations which will serve a similar purpose as a protective order garnered under false circumstances.

The directive Harass your ex is simply inexcusable - and I would assert pretty bad advice. First, again as much as men lament about the "harassment" they have to deal with when visitation is withheld, etc - we should not be advocating for similar tactics. Secondly, this is a person that in some capacity you will have to deal with for the remainder of your or your child’s natural like - harassing them will not help the current or long term situation. This is the parent of your child - even if they are unable to see the virtue of cooperative, joint parenting - this does not give you the right to throw this need out the window. Such a plan again ignores what is truly in the best interest of the child - having two concerned and cooperative parents. Finally, (at least in my county) a primary judicial concern when considering joint custody is whether the two parents can work together. I won't go into the constitutional issues involved in this nor how our family court system tends to breed discontent and retaliatory actions between parties - however, if you are actively harassing your ex and they can demonstrate this (and I believe there is much truth in that judges will view such behavior much more harshly when initiated by the husband) - where I live you have likely just screwed yourself out of any chance for joint custody.

And finally, this article advocates for father custody over mother custody. The responsible position is to advocate for joint custody with two cooperative parents. As demonstrated repeatedly in the research, this type of scenario is in the "best interests of the child."

I am going to leave the article up - however, for a counterpoint you can visit World O'Crap.

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Blogger K. W. Scrocco said...

I live in Atlanta, Georgia and there is a new movement here that probably is occurring across America but I've recently felt it close to home. We have a sect of male divorce attorneys in this town who represent or "misrepresent" mothers in heated custody battles against fathers. These attorneys are sympathizers towards the father’s plight and they "pretend" to advocate for the mother when they are actually colluding/cooperating with the opposing party, the father. These attorneys advocate against their own clients, the mothers, in an effort to "decide" the case favorably for the opposing party. Of course, they avoid the Judge at all cost and urge their clients to settle without a trial. The Judge would most likely ruin "the plan" and inject some fairness into the matter. Yes, this is extremely unethical but the State Bar of Georgia is a joke in this town so these lawyers know there is very little recourse. The mother has to literally spend money to bring a legal malpractice suit against her former lawyer. She must terminate him and spend more money to retain a new lawyer. She can file a grievance but the State Bar of Georgia does not handle cases where the attorney is accused of legal malpractice. They only handle ethics issues. Of course, this is an ethics issue but you have to prove that the attorney acted unethically. The attorney being accused of such conduct can and will "put a spin" on the story and will get the opposing attorney to "back up" his claims of "no wrong-doing". You ask how can your own attorney harm you and damage your case? Let us count the ways. #1 He can allow passages of time that adversely affect the case. #2 He can collude with opposing counsel in a way that does not suit your best interest. #3 He can "forget" to file or execute orders that would benefit you. #4 He can neglect to refute the allegations when you appear in court. #5 He can act with reckless indifference while conducting the discovery process. #6 He can prolong the case for his own financial gain. And it just goes on and on and on. Basically, your attorney can screw you in about one thousand different ways and then cover his tracks. I believe there is a sect of male divorce attorneys who are sick and tired of the mother always winning the custody battle and walking away with her husband's hard earned cash i.e. the house, the car, the furniture, his 401K, the dog, alimony, child support and the kids. These attorneys have decided to "judge" the case from their high-rise offices and give the real Judge the day off.

11:59 AM  

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