In this episode I explain the Three Ps of Child Custody for men who are going through a divorce or child custody battle.
In the circus that is Brooke Mueller’s life, the latest is that she has lodged complaints with the Los Angeles Police Department, alleging Denise Richards was abusive to Charlie Sheen’s boys, AND the two daughters he had with Denise! This is getting to be ridonculous.
I see false allegations of child abuse on a regular basis, it’s almost mandatory in a divorce and child custody battle these days. I see the same types of claims by the terrified mother’s who say “I’m afraid that ….” and THAT is how they get away with these false allegations of child molesting, or false allegations of negligence against the fathers. It’s unusual to see one woman picking on another woman, but hey in the wild world of the Warlock, when he has one women caring for another woman’s children because she can’t stay sober, it’s not unexpected.
If you’ve been accused of child molesting, child abuse or negligent parenting in a divorce or child custody case, take it from me, you are not alone, not by a long shot.
Check out the TMZ story here.
When I wrote What About Wally? Co-Parenting a Pet With Your Ex, I wanted to help people understand how to co-parent and share a pet. The topic has become more and more familiar as people continue to fight over their pets.
I am very proud that my work has been recognized by NEWSWEEK.COM along with the work of my co-writer, Steven May. This article means more people will learn about what they can to prevent additional heartache, and possible ways to solve their disputes so that everyone wins in a pet custody case.
Here’s the money quote:
“As people increasingly view their pets as members of the family, the issues of separation aren’t that different from child custody, according to pet consultant Steven May (who, it is true, has a dog in this fight). During his divorce, May hired family law attorney David Pisarra to deal with, among other things, custody of his daughter, three dogs, two cats, and a parrot. Pisarra had handled such cases before and even co-parented a pet himself. May and Pisarra co-wrote What About Wally: Co-Parenting a Pet With Your Ex.
Adopting an animal with a partner is often a first step toward starting a family, says May. And even if that relationship sours, love for the pet usually remains. He adds that couples can even mend some of the hurt and loss they are feeling with a good pet co-parenting plan.”
The book What About Wally? Co-Parenting a Pet with Your Ex, is available on Amazon.com
In Parental Alienation child custody cases, I’m often asked what is the best way to treat the situation. It’s very difficult because judges do not like taking custody away from a parent. When alienating behavior has progressed though, and the parent child relationship has been damaged, the recommended treatment plan is to have an intensive period of reunification between the alienated parent and the child, with NO contact from the alienator, and then a plan to reintroduce the alienating parent into the child’s life.
The goal is to provide the child with enough information about the alienated parent that they can form THEIR OWN concept of who their parent is, and that they will then be able to defend on a psychological basis against the alienating comments of the alienator. These cases are very difficult and painful for all involved. They are hard to prove to a court so kudos to the lawyers for Dad in the Dr. 90210 case.
This is what a reunification plan looks like, it seems to me that it must be what was going in the case of DR 90210 and his ex-wife.
Here’s an interview I did about why I do what I do, and what it is like. The website is for lawyers thinking about changing areas of the law, maybe they want to become a divorce or child custody attorney. It also is for people who are considering going to law school, and want to know what I do as a divorce attorney who fights for child custody for men.
Here’s a video that was done about my sharing arrangement with my ex and our dog Dudley. It’s a short video on Pet Custody and the book
What About Wally? Co-parenting a Pet with Your Ex that I co-wrote.
THE THREE P’s OF CHILD CUSTODY FOR FATHERS
I believe that parents should be forced to take an equal division of time in their children’s care. Fathers should be required by law to take their children 50% of the time. Mothers frequently withhold their children from the fathers based on the false perception that they are not nurturing enough. Courts tend to support this canard and the only way we will be able to change it is by men fighting for custody.
It is happening more often and as the studies are beginning to show, men are just as capable of being loving and nurturing parents as women. They simply have been denied the opportunity for too long. It’s the same argument that feminists made when it came to the workplace and equal pay. The alienating behavior is commonly masked as mom being “protective” – it’s bunk. We see this type of controlling behavior all too often in our practice, and it is a detriment to the father/child bonding.
It is understandable that when a child is young, they may need the mother for breastfeeding. But that is no excuse for a father to be denied solo parenting time. Frequently the mom claims that the father is not a good parent, or too immature, or too uneducated to provide for a newborn. I think those are weak arguments at best and disingenuous at worst. If a man is old enough to father a child, and to be required to pay child support, then he should be old enough to take up the mantel of parenting.
Today, as it stands, fathers who want to obtain, or increase, their visitation and custody orders need to keep in mind the following: Proximity, Paperwork and Persistence.
The Three Ps can make or break your chances of getting the orders issued by the judge. Most fathers start out a custody case at a disadvantage. When dad moves out, the children are left with mom, and that becomes the way the court is inclined to keep the situation. The moment that dad moves out of the family home is the moment that mom gains an advantage in child custody hearings. Here’s why – the courts don’t want to upset the children’s living environment. They focus on keeping the child stable, and that means in their historical home.
So how then does a man recover from the mistake of moving out of the house? He must show to the court that he can effectively parent the child, with as little disruption to the child’s routine as possible.
This means how far or close dad lives to the child’s home and school. This is a major factor in increasing, or acquiring custody and visitation. The closer dad is to the home and school, the more easily he can be present for the child, and the courts give this great weight. If the choice is for a child to be in a car for 5 minutes getting from mom’s home to school or a 25- minute drive from dad’s home, the court is going to prefer mom’s home. It is also more likely that the child’s friends and social network are close to the school they attend, which is a factor for the court.
Cases are won or lost on documentation. Dads should keep a calendar or a diary of all the time that they are with their child. In any contested case, mom has something that she will use to show the court how little time dad spends with the kids. A simple calendar which shows the days that dad took his child, and what they did on those days can make all the difference for a change in custody. If dad keeps the receipts for what he did with his child, it will allow his lawyer to prove that he took the child to see the movie “Cars” on a day when mom says he didn’t visit. This is a crucial credibility issue, and one that with a little bit of work by dad, can yield big gains. The court will see that dad is truthful, which goes a long way towards winning the credibility wars, which in turn can lead to more time with his child.
The biggest factor that affects whether or not a dad will win more visitation or even equal custody, is his ability to come back, time and time again. The successful dad in family court, is the dad who never gave up, and was willing to do whatever it took, no matter how difficult it was, or how long it took, to prove to the court that he wanted and was capable of being a loving, attentive, and present father. The successful dad who wants to increase his custody and visitation, will live close to his child, keep good records, and never give up when dealt a bad hand.
Society is changing, and as more men take up the duties of being a responsible parent, it will become easier for all fathers to have the custodial time and visitation they want with their children.
International work is challenging and exciting, and is a high stakes game. When we do international child custody work, it means late nights, early mornings and cross cultural discussions.
We have handled child custody cases involving Sweden, France, Germany, Portugal, Singapore, Thailand, Canada, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Russia and S. Africa.
That’s why I was asked to contribute some words for this article:
Men understand teams, and being a team member. This ad from Guinness Beer shows all that is great about men, their ability to fight tooth and nail for “their team” and then go have a Guinness and forget all about the game. The ability to come together as a team and play fairly.
These are the issues that we deal with in a Divorce or Child Custody case, because these greatest traits of men, will be used against them in a Family Law case. Your family is your team. You sacrifice, you change who you are, you play with a handicap for your team, just to make someone you love, feel a part of a team.
But that’s not divorce court. That’s a basketball court. In divorce court, you need to play by different rules.
Turns out that Jiu Jitsu master Rodrigo Gracie needs some protection from the authorities ! He’s asked a Los Angeles Superior Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order against a 5’3″ woman. Super smart move on his part!
Given who he is, he would surely be arrested in any altercation by the Los Angeles Police Department. Men like him have to defend themselves in court with their words, and he has to do it prove that he was in fear of her, and ongoing abuse. Depending on the judge he gets, this may be easier said than done! Men are not sympathetic petitioners for a DVRO or Domestic Violence Restraining Orders thanks to a society that thinks all men are abusive and no woman ever is.Women can easily play the “victim” card. A touch of a tear, a quiver in the voice and that scratching, hitting, cursing ex of yours becomes the “true victim” in the court’s eyes, UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO TO PROVE HER WRONG.
This is step one…