All This Information About the Other Parent, When, How, and Where do I Use it?

One of the most common scenarios I see from parents who are new to child custody battles or parents who are still trying to sort out their custody battle is the wealth of emotions and data about the other parent that they do not know how, when or where to use it. If you use your information at the wrong time, it can hurt you, not to mention making it meaningless when you finally could have used it. So when is the right time?

How to Get What You Want From Your Court Hearings

When it comes to family court there is nothing more written about than people who think that the family court legal system is corrupt, antiquated, complicated, or somehow a system that fails the people in it. Despite these views it is the system you are forced to work with when resolving child custody issues. But if so many people are so disappointed in the system can you really expect the system to give you what you need? The answer is that you can if you know how the system works and know how to work the system.

Child Custody Court Hearings – What to Expect at Your First Custody Hearing

Nothing puts a knot in the pit of your stomach in quite the way the way that going to a custody hearing  at family court does. One of the most frequent questions I see is “What should I expect?”. Well if you haven’t been there or your last experience was bad, then you will want to spend some time educating yourself about what happens and how you should both prepare and act.

Child Custody Fathers Rights – Are Fathers Really at a Disadvantage in the Family Court System?

There are numerous articles, websites, and organizations that are dedicated to fighting for fathers rights. The common knowledge seems to be that father face an uphill battle and that mothers will always do better in family court than fathers. But are these based on truths or perception, or could something else be going on here?

Child Custody Paternity – Unwed Father Establishing Paternity Through the Court or Through the State

Society tells us that we should be responsible people. We should be loving and supporting parents. And of course we should always do the right thing even when it may cost us in some way. So what happens when a single man fathers a child with a married woman? This is certainly a messy situation, but should the same moral tenacity be rewarded? It should but that isn’t the way it plays out.  Based on a true story, a father was told to walk away.

I do not Like the Evaluators Report, What Can I do About it Now?

If you have come far enough in the court process to have had an evaluator finish and publish a report, you know that you are getting near the end and that if this doesn’t go well, you will end up having to live with the consequences a very long time. But what can you do about a report that you believe is biased, or that missed the mark on several key issues?

Child Custody Paternity – Unwed Father Establishing Paternity Through the Court or Through the State

Society tells us that we should be responsible people. We should be loving and supporting parents. And of course we should always do the right thing even when it may cost us in some way. So what happens when a single man fathers a child with a married woman? This is certainly a messy situation, but should the same moral tenacity be rewarded? It should but that isn’t the way it plays out.  Based on a true story, a father was told to walk away.

Child Custody Evaluations – I do not Like the Evaluators Report, What Can I do About it Now?

If you have come far enough in the court process to have had an evaluator finish and publish a report, you know that you are getting near the end and that if this doesn’t go well, you will end up having to live with the consequences a very long time. But what can you do about a report that you believe is biased, or that missed the mark on several key issues?

Child Custody False Allegations – Two Tools You Can Use to Defend Against This Very Personal Attack

There is nothing that is more surprising or hurtful than the bitter sting of a personal attack. And no attack is more personal than being falsely accused of something that involves your child. Whether it is an accusation of directly harming the child like a physical assault, or mental abuse, or if it is an accusation in an attempt to keep you from seeing your child like drug, or alcohol abuse it is all very personal.

Child Custody Visitation Exchange – How do You Document to the Court That Exchanges Do Not Work?

I have recently been reminded of how difficult a seemingly simple exchange of the child can be. I heard yet another horror story of how one parent made a huge problem over nothing. The questions are, can you stop it, can you prove it is a problem, can you ask the court to help stop it? It all comes down to documentation.

Proving the Other Parent Has a Criminal History, How Do I Do It? Is it Relevant?

Many times parents run up against a legal system that seems to be indifferent to criminals. While a parent may know that the other parent has a criminal history, it seems that judges do not want to hear about it or don’t care what the charges were. Are the criminal charges relevant and how do you get them into your custody case?

Child Custody GAL – Advice on How to Handle False Allegations of Drug, Alcohol Abuse, Child Neglect

Most any parent in  a high conflict child custody battle will likely have felt the sting of false allegations at some point. These types of allegations are deeply disturbing and hurtful not to mention the harm they can do to your custody visitation schedule. In some states a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is used as an advocate for the child when allegations have been made against a parent. The GAL’s responsibility is to investigate the allegations and make a recommendation to the court.

Visitation Right, Drug Allegation, Restraining Order - Advice For Parent Preparing For First Hearing

I recently received a plea from a distraught father who was concerned about his first child custody court hearing. His ex has made allegations of drug use, and has not let him see their child since they split up. She had also sought and received a restraining order. She had proposed 1 hour supervised visits, and a host of requirements (i.e. regular drug tests, hair, counseling, and access to all private medical records).

Child Custody Visitation Hearing – If You Never Want to Be Stalled Again, Then You Want to Know This

It does not matter if you are completely confident in your case or nervous and hoping for a miracle to get some visitation time with your child. Anytime you go to court there is always an air of uncertainty. But what happens when the other parent asks for a continuation?

Child Custody Order – What Should You Focus on When You Head to Your First Court Hearing?

Going to court for the first time can be a scary experience. The forms you filled out are unfamiliar to you and the terms are foreign. Not knowing what you will find when you get to court and not knowing what will come from any rulings can be very distressing. So what can you expect when you head to court and what should you focus on?

Child Custody Evaluation – Now That You Have Your Report, Do You Negotiate For More, Stop, Go Back?

Once your high conflict custody battle reaches the custody evaluators final report stage you find yourself at a new crossroads. Now you have a decision to make. Based on the findings of the custody evaluator you have 3 choices.

Child Custody Evaluations – You Know by the Time You Make it This Far That You are in For a Fight

One of the earmarks of high conflict child custody cases is that they do not get resolved by both parties agreeing early on in the process. Despite the best efforts of attorneys, mediators, judges, and even the parties themselves, the fight turns into a marathon event that feels like some type of survival test.

Child Custody Evaluator – When Choosing a an Evaluator Should You Use a Private or Public One?

It is a very common practice in high conflict custody battles to have the parents not be able to resolve their issues and need to head on to the child custody evaluation phase. Once you arrive at this phase you are confronted with whether you should use a public servant who works for the court as your evaluator, or if you should look outside the court process and choose a private practice evaluator.

Does Your Income Affect Your Legal Ability to Gain Custody of Your Child?

It is common to see people make the argument that if you cannot afford to take care of your child then you should not be allowed to have custody. There are also those who believe that custody should be decided on which parent makes the most money. While that may seem like a proper argument to some, other's believe income should have no bearing on custody matters. But all that matters is how the court will view this matter.

Visitation Rights, Drug Allegations, Restraining Order –Advice for Parent Preparing a First Hearing

I recently received a plea from a distraught father who was concerned about his first child custody court hearing. His ex has made allegations of drug use, and has not let him see their child since they split up. She had also sought and received a restraining order. This is part of our conversation. Shortened for brevity.

I am Out of Money and Dropped My Attorney Halfway Through my Custody Case, what now?

Navigating the family court system can be a nightmare. After all your background is not as a attorney. Just because you ran out of money does not mean that you are willing to throw in the towel, but what are your options? Can you continue on your won and just how does the process work?

Which Expenses are Included, Which Expenses are Not, Can I Know They go to my Child?

One of the common series of questions I see is about child support expenses, what is included, what is not, where the money goes, what is fair what is not. All things child support. No one likes to pay it and most who do think they pay too much. Of course when the shoe is on the other foot it is never enough there are often times issues trying to collect. So let’s look under the hood.

Child Custody Evaluation – Your Attorney is not Allowed to be There, so What Strategy Will You Use?

If you have been in a high conflict custody battle for any length of time, you may have come to rely on your attorney to write your motions, file your paperwork, take the reins at hearings and deal with the other parent or their attorney. But when you head into evaluation, you are going to be on your own. Do you know what you are going to say? Do you know what evidence you want to present? Do you have a strategy?

Child Custody Process – Just Getting Started? Learn to Identify the Traps Before You Fall into them

Whether you are thinking about filing for custody or have already filed but have not yet agreed to an order, you need to educate yourself about what works, what does not work, and what to look out for. Making a mistake at the start could rob you of the most important thing in the world. Spending time with your child.

Child Custody Evaluation – Was Temporary Order a Life Sentence, Can You Get Back What You Gave Up?

It can be extremely heartbreaking to discover too late that when you signed a temporary custody order you were signing away your basic visitation rights as a parent. Of course most of us think the word temporary means just that, temporary until it is changed. But when it comes to custody and visitation agreements, temporary can mean a life sentence. Heading into your evaluation may be your last chance to correct it.

Custody Visitation Schedule – What Type of Schedule is Normal Based on Age, Wed or Unwed, Job?

I picked these three criteria because these are top three questions asked when people want to know how they affect the custody visitation schedule of an order. You may be surprised to find out that what you once accepted as well know facts may not be facts at all.

How Does the Child Custody Court Process Work and What Do I Really Need to Know?

I saw this question posed as a search query and thought that maybe I should provide a basic explanation of how the child custody process begins, but also the logic that it follows as it proceeds through the court system. When parents cannot come to an agreement about how to share their parenting; time, duties, and financial responsibilities, the family court can help resolve these issues.

False Allegations – Preparing to Defend Yourself Against a Personal Attack

I was recently reminded of how personal an attack can be when a false allegation is made against you. The truly terrifying thing is that there is an air of being guilty until you prove you are innocent. While we grow up with the ideal that a person is innocent until proven guilty, family court is a civil court and has a completely different agenda from its criminal court cousin.

How to Prepare for a Temporary Custody Order and What Not to do

When custody hearings are first scheduled a parent typically has no idea what to expect or what they are in for. Many naïve parents believe that if they put their best foot forward they will be rewarded for being cooperative. But the real world could come back and severely penalize them for doing the right thing.

Are You Really Guilty Until Proven Innocent in Family Court?

I received a question from a person who wanted to know how I felt about family court, where a person could lie under oath and believed. But what would happen if those false allegations were proven to be false? Here is my answer.

Advice About Age Appropriate Visitation and False Allegations

I recently received a question from a mother of an 11 month old daughter. She wanted some advice about age appropriate visitation and how to handle false allegations that had involved CPS. Here is my reply to her.

Pros and Cons of Assessing Your Child's Odd Behavior an How to Proceed

A child can sometimes act strangely after parents split up. They can tell you they miss you and want to stay with you all the time, then turn around and be exactly opposite when they are with the other parent. Stating that they want to stay with them and not see you. There are many other odd behavior patterns that can emerge as well. Patterns that lead you to believe that the other parent may be manipulating them or that they are struggling with the situation. Before you make allegations against the other parent you should take a very close look at what is really going on.

The Current Custody Order is not Working, How to Prepare for Going Back

In high conflict child custody battles it is not uncommon for the original custody order to be insufficient in its ability to provide a framework for a smooth schedule between the parents. The original child custody evaluator may have underestimated the amount of friction between the parents. The visitation schedule may have too many interactions between resulting in yet more conflict. There may be too little time with the child, or a lack of attention to holidays. But now that is in place how can you make a change?

How do I Document in Preparation for Meeting with the Evaluator?

It is definitely a challenge to keep track of all the back and forth in a high conflict child custody case. You know you need to document the daily drudgery that has become your life, but what is a good way to go about it? How do you organize and track, email, conversations, voice mail and texts?

What Documentation do I Need to do in Preparation for my Meeting?

If there is any such thing as a common theme that runs through the child custody evaluation process, it would be the theme of documentation. But when it comes to documentation many people simply don’t have any idea of what to keep a record of. To simplify this process and help you understand what will be valuable to you let’s look at why you need to document.

Managing the Drama While Keeping Cool with the Evaluator

By this time you already know you are in a high conflict child custody battle but the drama just won’t go away. No matter how hard you try to keep away from the drama it just keeps following you around. You beg and plead, no matter what you do it is always met with resistance and claims of just another thing you have done wrong. Now you need to meet with the evaluator and you have no idea what kind of drama the other parent may try to use against you.

Getting Organized for Your First Filing and Custody Hearing, What to Expect

Child custody cases are always nerve racking because there is so much at stake for you and your child. If you’re new to filings and hearings though it can be put you even more on edge. This is a new world that you have no experience in so how will you know if you are making the right decisions?

Am I Required to Tell the Other Parent I Moved?

There are many conflicts that arise in high conflict child custody cases. Many of them involve a struggle over what information does and does not need to be shared between the parents. While joint physical custody guarantees certain rights and joint legal custody guarantees other's, there are many gray areas. One of those gray areas is the right of the other parent to know where you live.

Visitation Schedules, Give an Inch Take Mile, There is no Gratitude

Once parents have a custody and visitation order in hand you would hope that the high intensity conflict would become subdued and allow everyone to get on with their lives. But what happens when you give the child more time and then the yelling, accusations, and controlling behavior start back up?

I got Blindsided in the Filing, and at the Hearing, Now What?

Once upon a time there where two people who had a child and now it is anything but “Happily Ever After”. There are not many events in life that are as big a letdown as being betrayed by someone that you knew, at one time, to be the kind of person who would never betray you.

Headed for Evaluation and Want to Know What to Expect?

When you are in a high conflict custody battle you never work things out between the parties and you head of to mediation and evaluation. Why, because if you agreed there wouldn’t be any need to keep going. So of course the court has planned for this and provided and evaluator or in some instances, shortened the process and used a mediator to mediate/assess/evaluate your case. But what are you really getting into when you head for evaluation?

Problems With the Other Parent Not Showing up at Visitation Exchange?

If you have ever had to drive and pick-up or drop off a child from the other parent only to find they aren’t there, you know how upsetting it can be. To make matters worse they probably accused you of something like not showing up or abandoning the child in an effort to take the spotlight off of them.

What are Typically Considered Visitation Schedules You Can Propose?

In high conflict child custody cases any time you file a motion or a reply to a motion you cannot possibly know what will eventually be settled on. Even when I comes to something seemingly as simple as a holiday rotation that any reasonably sane person would adopt, it seems that the other parent can throw up seemingly insurmountable obstacles. One of the ways to get past those obstacles is to be prepared with a list of what you would like and why, as well as knowing what alternatives you have and how they might benefit both the parents and the children.

I got Blindsided in the Filing, and at the Hearing, Now What?

Once upon a time there where two people who had a child and now it is anything but “Happily Ever After”. There are not many events in life that are as big a letdown as being betrayed by someone that you knew, at one time, to be the kind of person who would never betray you.

I Have an Order for Child Support, I Have not Been Paid and I Do not know what to do

Statistics show that about 78% of parents pay their child support obligations in a timely fashion. But that the other 22% are either late or don’t pay at all. So how is it that they are able to get away without paying? Is there some way that you can get them moved into the ranks of the 78% that do pay? As a matter of fact there is and it’s easier than you might think.

I Do Not Agree With the Visitation Schedule, Should I Wait and See What Happens?

After going through a lengthy and painful custody battle you can end up with an arrangement that you don’t like and doesn’t work for you. While you may realize that you have a lot more than what you had hoped for and more than other's have, it still doesn’t feel right. Your friends say you should just wait and see what happens. Are you getting good advice?

How Much Time Do I Need to Wait Before Filing a New Visitation Schedule?

If you have ever thought that if you had “known then what you know now” you would have ended up with a better visitation schedule then you understand what this is all about. But since hindsight is 20/20 how can you turn back the clock and get a do over? You can’t go back, but you do have options going forward.

Strategies for Unwed Fathers to Win Custody

While times have changed considerably and long gone are the days when mothers were automatically given custody, the statistics still show that mothers get the bulk of custody. The statistics are even worse for unwed fathers getting custody. If the odds are so stacked against you should you even bother to try? Maybe things aren’t as bleak as they look.

Mediation, Assessment, Evaluation, Dealing With a Dishonest Parent

The title of this article really says a lot. Isn't high conflict brought on by a parent not being truthful? Someone who is controlling in nature and doesn't want to lose control. No matter how an honest parent might try to appease them, they just won't let it go. Continuous accusations, false claims, mudslinging, name calling. It is enough to make you think you're crazy. But you know you're not.

40% of Children are Now Born to Unwed Parents, What are Your Rights?

According to a report published by the CDC the rate of births to unwed mothers has reached an all-time high of 40%. This is a 25% increase from just 3 years before. With a huge increase in the numbers of unwed parents looking for custody orders, where does that leave you?

Where to do Visitation Exchanges and How to Keep Safe While Doing Them

There are very few people you can turn to for advice when it comes to a visitation exchange. But for those who are living in or have lived through a high conflict custody battle and fought through the exchanges you understand how frustrating, and at times scary, these exchanges can be.

Looking Organized, Despite the Drama, When you Get to Court

You have been put through the ringer with the other parent. You are frazzled, frustrated, bent, and twisted beyond your limits. How do you explain all of this to the judge when you get to court?

How Does Your Income Affect the Visitation Schedule?

Once a parent gets involved in a child custody case it is very easy to begin to question everything about their life and how it will factor in to the final decision of the visitation schedule. This is especially true if the parents are in conflict about the time sharing arrangement. In these cases it is all too common for one parent to threaten the other parent with not letting them have custody or visitation with the child because they don’t measure up in a number of ways. But is there any validity to that argument if one parent makes more than the other or if one parent is a stay at home parent?

I Can’t Believe The Judge in My Case Didn’t Side With Me, What Can I Do?

I have seen a large number of posts where people complain about the outcome of their hearings. But is the problem really with the judges, attorneys, and court system or is there another possibility?

Can Child Visitation Schedule be Changed?

As time goes by the visitation schedule that you once agreed too becomes outdated for a number of reasons. But are you stuck with the first agreement you agreed to or can you go back for a new one?

What is a Typical Timeshare arrangement for a Child Visitation Schedule?

A common question I see is about timeshare schedules and what constitutes “Typical” or “Normal”. When it comes to “normal” there is a wide variety but there are some guidelines and examples we can look at to give you some ideas.

I am Worried About My Child and the Long Term Effects on Them

When talking about a high conflict child custody battle, I don’t know about you but I don’t feel very comforted by people who use phrases like “kids are resilient, they’ll bounce back” or “don’t worry about it, it’s the only thing they’ve ever known”. To me that just indicates that this person is clueless about what’s really going on.

Why am I Paying So Much When I have the Child Nearly Half of the Time?

There are a number of factors that go into child support including things like insurance, income, percentage of time spent with parents, deductions, expenses, and the list goes on. Some states are far more complicated than other's and include a vast number of items, So many in fact that they begin to minimized the amount of weight they carry in the calculation.

Does the Non-Custodial Parent Have to Pay Daycare Forever?

Daycare expenses are considered to be work related and since both parents have an equal right to work, daycare is typically split equally between them. But at what point I daycare no longer needed and payment for daycare ends?

High Conflict Child Custody Evaluation – Overcoming Overwhelming Numbers of Accusations by the Other Parent

If you’re in a high conflict child custody battle, then you understand just how much “chatter” there is from the other parent that makes your battle high conflict. Of course if you find yourself mired in emails, texts, phone calls, and family disputes because of the sheer volume of issues that you have been accused of by the other parent, then you must be wondering if there is a way out of this.

Child Does not Want to Go – Real or False Allegation

In high conflict child custody battles there is always tension between the parents and both parents believe they are in the right. But what happens when children decide they don’t want to visit one of the parents during their visitation. Was it genuine or was it coerced behavior? What does the court expect?

False Allegations of Abandonment at Visitation

It never fails to amaze me at how cruel parents can be with each other when it comes to visitation with their children. During high conflict custody battles it is all too common for emotions to be running high and parents to be focused on hurting each other and using the child to do it.

Getting Help Collecting Your Child Support

As if life wasn’t difficult enough to deal with, it can be even more difficult when you can’t pay the bills because money you expected didn’t arrive as promised. Not only does is cause problems because you don’t have it, it creates a problem because now you have to take time to track it down and figure out when and if you’ll ever see it.

High Conflict Child Custody – Preparing your Child to Meet With the Evaluator

If you have been involved in a high conflict child custody battle for any length of time you know how bitter emotions can be between parents. You also know how difficult it can be to keep your children from being exposed to those raw emotions and how balancing those priorities can make you want to pull your hair out. But after spending all that time keeping your child away from the drama, how do you prepare your child to talk to the evaluator when it comes to that point?

An Honest Parents Guide to Understanding Dirty Tactics

There is nothing more devastating to an honest and trustworthy parent during a child custody battle than to have the other parent begin to use underhanded and dirty tactics. The most baffling thing is that you just don’t understand how the other parent of your child could stoop to such devastating lows. Dealing blows that will surely make your child pay the price for years to come.

False Allegations, Dirty Tactics, What’s an Honest Parent to do?

When an upstanding, honest, hardworking  parent get’s blindsided by an angry ex it can really shake you to the core. After all, all you ever promised to do was be the best parent and partner you could be. When the partnership ended you had no idea that you were going to be forced to explore the boundaries of the bizarre and twisted too.

Can You Really go it Alone against Their Attorney?

It is a terrible reality but unfortunately true that parents do not have the same ability to retain attorneys. Some parents have a much better ability to pay for an attorney than others. So what chance do you stand against the professionals at their office with their co-workers?

How Temporary Custody Orders Can Hurt You

Before a permanent custody and visitation order is issued it is common to have a temporary custody and visitation order issued. Parents may agree to visitation schedules and other restrictions that they would not agree to if the order were going to be permanent. But what does “temporary” really mean. Here’s what you need to know.

High Conflict Child Custody – 4 Tips on Filing Your Motions

There are few events in life that challenge a person’s emotions more than fighting on your child's behalf for the legal right just to parent them. If you were there when your child was born and felt the connection and bond between you, nurtured it through infancy and now find those feelings you know to be a sacred trust challenged by the other parent, then you know how important this is to get right.

6 Ways to Show Cause to Modify an Existing Visitation Order

Once a visitation order has been made it is generally followed until the child reaches the age of maturity. But sometimes circumstances change and the existing order needs to be changed. This creates a lot of anxiety for parents because although they know the order needs to be changed, they don’t know how to get started or what the court considers a reasonable change of circumstances that would qualify as “cause” and require a new visitation order.

Child Daycare – If a Parent Stops Paying it What Can be Done?

Child Daycare is one of those items that ex’s hate to pay. If they are capable of watching them at the time they sometimes look at it like they are forced to pay someone to keep their child from them. They may also feel that they are paying child support which should cover it. No matter what the disagreement, the outcome is that it is often the case that ex’s may stop paying their share of Daycare.

Child Support - If a Parent Stops Paying it What Can be Done?

When a Child Support order is issued, it is generally expected that the parent who is paying will make those payments on time and in full. There is often grumbling that accompanies it, but what happens when the parent threatens to stop paying or the do stop paying? Should you go back to court, you already have an order they aren’t following. Where can you turn?

Does and Unwed Parent Have to Allow Visitation?

The biggest difference between unwed parents and a childless married couple that is divorcing is that the unwed parents will continue to come in contact with each other while the childless couple will both go on their separate ways.

Can Anyone Get a Copy of a the Child Custody Order?

One of the greatest rights we have in the US is the right to a trial by a jury of our peers. Along with this right comes the responsibility of serving on a jury. Of course the reason this all works is because our judicial system is based on a model of openness and that openness allows court records to be accessed by the public as an assurance of keeping the system in balance.

When You Write Your Motion, Think About Your 15 Minutes in Court

When acting on your own behalf (In Pro Per) and filling out your own paperwork, make sure you think about what you are going to do and say when you get to court. It can be memorizing to fill in the boxes and make sure you have filled out the required fields, and then forget to write a comprehensive document that outlines what needs to be said.

Child Custody Evaluations – False Allegations, Laying a Trap

The child custody process can be long and painful especially if parents are in high conflict. High conflict parents already don’t like each other but when they can’t agree on who should raise the child, where the child should live and any of the other day-to-day activities of the child then the wheels may come off altogether. When a high conflict parent feels trapped they may resort to lying about the other parents character just to gain the upper hand. But what if you were expecting that?

Preparing for Dirty Tactics, Surviving, and Winning

The child custody process can be long and brutal especially if parents don’t agree that they are both capable of raising the child. When one or both parents claim the other parent is not fit is when the process becomes prolonged and ugly. If no agreement can be reached in mediation it is time to call for a custody evaluation. But beware this is when you get hit with the dirty tactics too.

7 Ways to Improve Your Chances of Getting Physical Custody

If you have heard the threat of having your child taken away and never seeing them again you’re not alone. This is a common threat in parents who have recently broken up or parents who were never together and have a child together. But beyond the threats, what can you do to improve your chances of gaining physical custody?

Is It Child Support or Paying The Bills?

The most common complaint you here from an ex paying child support is that they are paying far more than what it costs to support the child and that they take offense to paying the other parents bills. But what constitutes “Child Support” and what constitutes “Paying the bills”?

Learn to Speak the Language – 9 Legal Terms You Should Know

As soon as you enter the world of the child custody battle, you realize there is an entirely new set of words that you need to add to your vocabulary. There is nothing worse than heading off to your attorney’s office or to court for the first time and feeling like a foreigner in a foreign land. Once you realize that your child's welfare will likely be dependent on your ability to speak the language, or at least understand the language, it can be nearly overwhelming.

Turning the Tables on False Allegations

No doubt about it the most evil tactic in child custody cases is a parent who falsely accuses the other parent of doing something unthinkable to their own child. This is a clearly a tactic that is used by someone who is desperate and is intended to put the other parent on the defensive. Unfortunately it is a tactic that is effective.

Visitation and Physical Custody - What are the Differences?

When most people here the words “Child Custody” they think about the child living arrangements. When you throw in the word “Visitation” they get a “deer in the headlights” look and you can see the wheels turn. Unless you’re an attorney or have been through your own child custody process, you may not know what they mean or what the difference is.

“Losing Custody” All or Nothing?

When it comes to understanding the term “physical custody” there is always confusion over the legal definition. Nobody wants to be the parent that “Loses Custody”. But is it really all or nothing? Isn’t there a different alternative to losing?

If You’re Being Starved Out, You’re not Alone

Unfortunately high conflict child custody relationships are all too common. Shortly after a breakup tensions are running high and each parent is trying to establish control. The sad truth is everyone suffers in this conflict but the child pays the ultimate price.

Holding Your Angry Ex at Bay While Navigating Child Visitation

While divorce can be  a problem, it is made many times more difficult when you have to deal with an angry ex every time you exchange the children. In a high conflict relationship, it is very difficult to maintain any type of civility when you have frequent visitation exchanges. This gives a chance for angry parents to argue about anything and everything.

Defeating False Accusations - Mental Abuse

When it comes to playing dirty the worst trick in the book is to falsely accuse someone of a crime against their own child. It will make your blood boil and take you completely off of your child custody strategy. It creates the worst possible relationship between parents. It takes a special brand of “evil” to do that to a child.

How to Build and Use Bonds to Improve Your Visitation Timeshare

“Bonds” are one of the buzzwords that you will hear people use when talking about why they should have the children and not the other parent. Bonds are normally thought of as being intangible and indefinable. But wouldn’t you be miles ahead if you could show objectively that you had bonds and weren’t just using a buzzword? Of course you would.

7 Strategies to Improve Your Visitation Timeshare

When parents break up the most hurtful change is not being able to see your children on a daily basis. While the quality of spending time together may improve due to the parents splitting, the quantity of time may go seriously downhill.

Observations from the Real-World Family Courthouse

I always love to people watch when I am at the courthouse. The reason is that I always get affirmation from watching others that children have all the rights, parents just don’t get it, and judges have very tough jobs.

Family Courthouse etiquette 10 Do’s and 10 Don’ts

When you head off to court you definitely want to make a good impression. But going to court usually means your emotions are running high and people may not be at their best. Here’s a look at some things to watch for.

Making a Change When Exchanges Go Wrong - Part 1

This is the first of a 3 part series. After the long and arduous journey from divorce through custody battles and a final order, what are you going to do when exchanging the child breaks down? You need a plan so let’s get to work.

Making a Change When Exchanges Go Wrong - Part 2

I know I was astounded when I heard that. I mean, you spend thousands of dollars, hundreds or thousands of hours working on your custody case to get to an agreement, only to be told “go to court”. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You have done nothing but go to court and look where it got you, back at square one.

Making a Change When Exchanges Go Wrong - Part 3

Now let’s make a plan.

What You Need to Know About Custody Evaluators

Custody Evaluators play a major role in the child custody process. In fact, they play the biggest role of all when it comes to determining who will get what, what rules and guidelines will be put into place, and how the child will be handled by their parents.

How to "Flip" Drug Abuse False Allegations and Make Them Work for You

Now that you have filed all your paperwork and laid the foundation for you child custody order, you get hit with a false allegation that you are an unfit parent because of drug abuse. And just like that your carefully laid plans are up in smoke. Now you are in the fight of your life and you're on the defensive. How do you make this into a good thing? Let's take a look

2 Proven "Flips" to Make False Child Abuse Allegations Work for You - Part 1 of 2

There is no more terrifying feeling than being in the middle of a high conflict custody battle with your ex, unless it's being thrown completely off guard by being falsely accused of child abuse. Wouldn't it be great if you could turn the tables and make it work against them? Now you can.

2 Proven "Flips" to Make False Child Abuse Allegations Work for You - Part 2 of 2

In the first part of this series we talked about how high conflict parents may falsely accuse you of child abuse. How terrifying it can be to be wrongfully accused and how it changes your case. But what happens when the call CPS? How can you "flip" that into a good thing?

Helping Your Child Understand What is Happening

When parents split up and the very fabric of family life changes, children can be very concerned and upset by their lives being turned upside down. How much do you children know, and what should you tell them?

11 Most Common False Allegations

If you thought your custody case was going to be fought on the facts and then you found out that you have been falsely accused of something horrendous, you're not alone. Find out the most 11 common false allegations made when going through a child custody battle.

If I Move do I Have to Tell the Other Parent?

Having a child with an ex creates a huge number of questions about how to handle different situations. What are you required to do by law, and what are you not required to do are the questions that will keep you guessing. One of those questions is “What do you need to do when you move?” let’s take a look.

How to Prevent Drama during Exchanges

There is nothing more gut wrenching than having drama play out while trying to pick up your children from the other parent. Whether it’s the phone ringing over and over, they don’t show up, demands, verbal abuse, or holding onto the child to negotiate some change, it is enough to drive some people over the edge and create a potentially dangerous domestic situation.

Strategy Tips for Unwed Fathers to Share Custody

In child custody cases mothers have always had the upper hand. Unwed fathers, on the other hand, have always faced a seemingly insurmountable uphill battle. What chance does an unwed father stand against the argument of the mother-child relationship? If you plan your strategy right, the answer is a very good one.

Parenting in a High Conflict Relationship

You really want to be prepared to answer mediators questions about parenting skills and styles if you expect to have a shot at an a successful custody agreement. If you have tried co-parenting with your ex but had it create more problems than solutions, then you may want to try a different approach.

“Baby Momma Drama” Does this Stuff Belong in Court?

I hear from people all the time about their ex doing this and doing that. Ex’s love pushing your buttons and getting you going, but how far is too far? When does it get to the point that you need to act and how should you act? While Jerry Springer may make for entertaining television, does this stuff need to be brought to court? How do you sort out the “baby momma drama”, from a real issue that belongs in court? If you’re totally enraged at your ex for dropping off late, not showing up, not paying, yelling, screaming, texting, yada yada yada, then let’s calm down and sort it out.

Child Support - How is the Amount Calculated?

One of the great mysteries of child custody is the way that the amount of money paid from one parent to another is calculated. Sometimes the amount of money involved seems to be too little help and other times it seems far more than is needed. A lot of that perception depends on what side of the equation you are on.

Strategies to get Your Visitation Order Revised

Most people assume that once a child custody order has been adopted by the court, it is final and cannot be changed. The fact is that any and all orders can be changed. Let’s take a look and see how and why.

Do I Have to Follow the Vacation Schedule?

The visitation schedule is a great benefit to working out time to spend with your child, but sometimes it seems to work against you. While it has the advantage of being a consistent guideline, it lacks flexibility when your schedule needs it to be flexible. Here are some ideas to make it work for you.

Steps to Handle Problematic Exchanges

For some people child visitation is a smooth, simple, and easy process. One parent stops by and picks up the child from the other parent and the matter is done. But what happens when parents have trouble being civil, harbor resentment, or even have a restraining order in place?

Child Support - Can Visitation Be Withheld If One Parent Doesn’t Pay it?

Of all the threats one parent can make against another parent, the threat of keeping your child from you is likely the most painful. Angry parents will look for reasons to withhold child custody visitation, but what do the courts say about it?

Determining Physical Custody - How Does the Court Decide Who the Child Lives With?

If there is one subject that tears at a parent's heart it is the issue of custody. Determining who gets custody and visitation is different in every case. There is no exact formula to follow, but there are guidelines and principles you will want to follow to make sure that your child gets the best possible arrangement.