Divorce and Custody Depends on Preparation

I want to use yesterday’s post to show you what could have saved this woman a lot of pain and anguish. On our first call, she described her husband and the way he interacted with her family. She told me some of the things he had done over the years and things that he had done recently.

As I listened, and asked a few more questions, something became very clear to me. This man would be capable of doing anything. It was apparent to me that he was a narcissist and would do all possible to place blame on her and would even use the children to accomplish that end.

As we talked, I asked her what she would do if he tried to get custody of the children. She told me she was totally sure that he would never try to get custody. She said he never paid much attention to them or went to any of their school conferences or activities. She was vehement about the fact that he would NEVER try to get custody.

I explained that in more cases than I would like to remember, men like her husband did try to gain custody.

I told her that there are reasons as to why he might try to gain custody.

  • Having custody can cost less than paying child support.
  • Obtaining custody can inflict tremendous pain on a mother.

She did not give my opinion or suggestions much credence and was devastated when my fears became her reality.

When she went into court the first time, her husband did the unconscionable. He had been planning exactly what he needed to do to win custody and devastate her in the process. When I spoke to her that evening, she was totally distraught at what he had accomplished. She lost custody of her children without a fair or appropriate reason.

Now she is going through the fight of her life in an attempt to get her children back. One of the saddest parts of her story is the fact that the children are being used as pawns to hurt their mother. He will not allow them to see her or talk to her. He is ignoring what the court has ordered him to do regarding the children.

She was so broken by what had happened that for a little while she was considering  just giving up. I offered her some suggestions and convinced her that she needed to fight for her girls.

Had she covered her bases prior to that first hearing, this might not have happened. By ignoring the fact that her husband might try to get custody, she made no preparations. Had she taken my advice, she would have prepared her defense and offense.

She could have presented the court with the following pieces of evidence:

  • Notarized letters from the children’s psychologists, school guidance counselors, teachers, sports and dance coaches. Each letter could have stated the opinion of the writer about her mothering – Each one offering detailed opinions that she was an attentive, concerned and reliable mother who had interacted with them regularly.
  • Various types of proof that would show the court that her husband had made poor choices regarding the welfare of his children.

Think about how simple those precautions would have been. Think about the unnecessary heartbreak that she experienced. Think about the damage that has been done to the innocent children.

Please, do your homework and don’t make any assumptions about anyone. Be willing to see that what you think someone will do isn’t necessarily what they will do.

Photo: Chris P