How Will My' Not So Perfect Past' Affect My Child Custody Case?

Apr 27, 2017

At some point in your past you've done something wrong. That’s just a part of being human but when it comes to a custody case if it's a really hotly contested case you can bet the other side is going to try to bring up whatever the mistakes you've made in the past to the judge.

The point I want to make is that whatever it is that you've done in your past you really have to own up to it if it does come up during your case. Don't lie to the judge. Some people are going to have made worse mistakes than others like lying to the other party about something. On the other hand maybe the party committed an act of domestic violence against the other party or convicted of a DUI or has a past drug use or has a drug offense, criminal record, convicted felon

If that's happened in your case then you really have to come clean and you have to tell the judge what happened, explain where your head was when that happened. But really you want to pivot and talk to the judge more about where you are now and what you learned from that experience and how you're going to use that experience to improve the lives of your children and make sure that they don't make the mistakes that you've made.

Obviously if you're making these promises to a judge about how you're not going to mess up like you did before you have to back it up with action. Recently I was in court on a custody matter and both of the parties have some different issues going on but one of the issues that the other party the mom has is that she's doing drugs. Of course the judge in custody case turned to the mother said if I were to order you to get drug tested today would you test positive for illegal drugs? The mother was very upset and started crying and then she said yes. In my mind she did the right thing by saying yes because if she had said no and then the judge ordered her to test then she would have proven to be a liar in the judges eyes. Then the judge would have never trusted her about any of anything again.

So she said yes and of course the judge chastised her a little bit and that was kind of the end of it. But I want to fast-forward six weeks later mother did not back it up when she told the judge that day that she was not going to do it again. So the mother didn't back up her words with action. We just had a hearing a week ago and my client suspected that the mother was still doing drugs and we brought it up to the judge and the judge ordered that mother take a test. The mother tested positive for the illegal drugs that she had been doing 6 weeks ago and this was just a urine test. What that tells us is that she'd been doing the drugs recently so it remains to be seen what's going to happen. I suspect the judge is going to require mother to continue to test on a random basis and I wouldn't be surprised if the judge ordered mother to have only supervised visits with the child or maybe suspended her visits altogether until she gets clean.

My point is even if you had a drug issue in your past, if you're making an effort to turn it around and you're backing up your words with actions. You’re showing the judge how you're changing yourself and change in your life because your kids are the most important thing to you & you will eventually be ok.

Sometimes it takes time for you to earn the judge judges trust back and it may be more than just a couple weeks, maybe months it may be years , but what's important is your kids are going to need you and so to be a part of their life you have to take action in the right direction. That means you have to act the right way for quite a period of time until the judge sees that you're ready.

Don’t give up because your kids need you and your kids deserve to have you in their lives and you really have the responsibility and obligation to do whatever it takes to be a part of their lives.


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