In custody situations it is really best to have an attorney because of the emotional issues involved. I go pro se when it is a matter if child support unpaid or a change in support, or when CSE sticks their nose under the tent. I, being a disabled vet, also handled all of my VA appeals since I don’t trust anyone who works at any VA office as far as I can throw them. How old are your kids?
If they do want to come and live with you, use a hidden tape deck in your home and don’t bait them up, just get them to start talking and you will be surprised how much incriminating stuff they will tell you about her, especially if she goes off and leaves them alone, etc. If you have good ins. where you work, then try to take them to the counselor or psychologist regularly. You will be surprised what the kids will tell them.
You can do much of this prep without an attorney. Then when you think you have your BB’s all stacked go to an attorney and present your case before you retain him. Additionally, you need to carefully pick an attorney because, as you know, many just want to run the bill up. If you wait too long the courts will say that the kids have developed a “Long Standing Relationship” with their mother and won’t give you the time of day, but if the divorce is less than 5-7 years old you may stand a fair chance. Believe me, I was shocked that I won custody, but I followed the recomendations which I have posted.
I voluntarily turned over all financial documentation in the divorce. I answered everything openly and honestly, because I was under oath. I got to watch her then lie, cheat and steal and she got almost everything she wanted. Her attorney even help her craft some of the lies.
I wish I could say morals, values, honesty win and we have a fair legal system, but my experience proves differently. During my custody battle, I was interviewed by the Gardian Ad Litem. I told her I would like joint custody with my children half of the time. She told me that half of the time would be too much time away from their mother. Can you believe the biasis in that statement.
It was A-O.K. for the children to be away from me (their other parent) more than 50% of the time. This court appointed representor of my children didn’t even contact all of my references. Needless to say, she was totally on my x’s side despite me showing that she had no morals and had a history of mental problems.
Thank you for your advice, I will pursue it, but I think in my case I need to carry a “big stick” in order to get the job done. I’m sorry if this comes accross negatively. My situation has been unbelievably frustrating. I truely do appreciate your advice and encouragement.
I love your attitude and style. I’ve been totally screwed over by my ex. She caused the break up (adultery), fought me over custody and won, stole most of my personal belongings and I get stuck with an unbelievable child support.
Then on top of that she hasn’t paid me the for her share of the credit card debt that was ordered in our decree. I been paying her interest on the cards! To add insult to injury, the last attorney I had accomplished nothing except churning and running up my bill. Last December in order not to declare bankruptcy, I moved from my one bedroom apartment back in with my parents.
This is coming from a guy who makes a good (Gross) salary.
I’m a fighter and I have been looking into doing some stuff Pro Se. She has an expensive attorney funded by my child support. The only way I can win is to not let it wipe me out. She treats the kids terribly and now they want to live with me. I am waiting until they get old enough for custody battle #2. Can you give me any tips on preparing myself for Pro Se representation?