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Can I Leave the State With My Child Without Telling the Other Parent?


I had a client recently who had been with her partner for a while and he had been emotionally and physically abusive to her.  She wanted to leave the state and take their child with her.

She wanted to know if she could just do that without letting the other parent know because there was no court order in place.  I always say in many of my videos that you have to consult the laws in your jurisdiction. 

 I don't know what the laws in your jurisdiction are because I have viewers from as far as Australia.  In cases where there has been emotional abuse or domestic violence if the other parentI has been involved with the life of the child to any extent, it is probably not a good idea to take the child and run.

 It seems like that would be the easiest thing to do in many situations. It would probably would be the safest thing to do for the parent and the child but in the long run it could really cause some heartache for you and the child if the other parent...

Don't Let Setbacks in Your Custody Case Get You Down


Setbacks are just a part of life. Everyone will experience setbacks in their life. That includes judges, attorneys, you, the other side in your custody case. I wanted to cover this topic because of a very difficult and challenging case that I experienced.

In this case the father was my client and his ex had taken off with their child and they had shared custody. He eventually was reunited with his child after not knowing where his child was for 3-weeks.

Over those 3-weeks we filed motions with the court trying to get some sort of relief or orders that the child be returned to my client immediately. The problem was we did not know where my client's ex was, so we weren't able to serve her with paperwork.

At one point we had tracked her down to Aruba from her Instagram account but there were no pictures of the child so we did not know where the child was either. It felt like a roller coaster especially with the filing of all these different motions. And when the judge would make these...

Don't Project Your Personal Issues Onto Your Child


In family law cases often one party will move on with a new partner leaving the other feeling betrayed, bitter, hurt & angry & projecting those negative emotions onto the child.  This is a super huge topic and I know that therapists probably work for years with people on this topic and it's not something that I can cover in a 3-minute video.

 I'm a perfectionist and when I'm helping with my daughter with her homework I can see myself really wanting to force her to do everything perfect and make every letter perfect. That’s not what I want to do and I check myself and I'm sure I'm doing it in ways that I'm not aware of.

 What I see in these family law cases though is people who are aware of what they're doing and they do it anyway and they do it in a way that's harmful to the child.   Let me give you an example and this is kind of a it's a comprehensive cumulative example of a lot of cases that I've had over the years.  It is where two...

If You Are Facing Obstacles in Your Custody Case Think Outside the Box


In this video I talk about tapping into your creativity to overcome obstacles in your case.

As you go into your family law case don't forget to tap into your inner creativity. I believe all of us are artists whether you paint or draw pictures or a mechanic that works on cars, or someone who likes to cook in the kitchen or help your child color.

Because we are all artists we are born with this creativity that we can choose to tap into it or not. There are a lot of chances and opportunities in your family case to tap into your creativity.

This is an example I want to give and I've talked about this case in other videos as well. In this case my client who was the father, their child went missing for a period of 3-weeks. We jumped through all kinds of hoops to get the child and get the judge to order the mom to remand the child to my client's custody. There were a lot of setbacks along the way, my client didn't give up on me and I didn't give up either.

But one of the obstacles we had...

The Importance of Legal Definitions in Your Custody Case


Today i want to talk about the importance of legal definitions in your custody case. Whatever country or state you are in you need to look at the custody laws for your state. There is probably going to be a section of the law that sets forth definitions of certain legal terms.

For example it is probably going to have definitions of what it means to have legal decision making or legal custody of your child. Also physical custody, parenting time or domestic violence. There are a lot of definitions for custody and you really need to get familiar with these definitions.

The reasons I want to bring this idea up specifically because in one of my client's cases (father of the child) the other party was accusing my client of domestic violence during the relationship. He discovered by definition of domestic violence didn't apply in his case. But what he also discovered in the definition section of the statutes in his state, was that not only did the law in his state provide for domestic...

'Preserving the Record' in Custody Court & Why You Need To In Case You Appeal in the Future


As you head into trial for your custody hearing not only should you be worried about what it is that you're talking to your trial judge about (because your trial judge is the one who's going to be making decisions about your custody case. And also decisions about your future, your finances and your future with your children.

However you also need to be worried and prepared about a courts involvement in your custody case down the road. Hopefully in your custody case you are going to get a result that either you're really happy with or that you ca at least live with.

But if you find yourself getting a result after your custody trial with your trial judge and you're in a situation that you're not happy with. Or it's not one that you can live with or not in the best interest of your children. You think that your judge abused his or her discretion or the result was just plain wrong, then you may need to appeal those results.

The appeals court is going to look at many things but one of...

Before You Begin Your Custody Case Be Sure You Are Clear on What You Want

One of the most important things you need to do before you begin your custody case is be really clear on what you want.

You have to know what you want and you have to be able to express it to the judge. Because if you can't express it if you don't know, then there is no way you are going to be able to convince the judge in your custody hearing or the other party to give you what you want.

Another really important thing is not just know what you want but knowing the reasons why you want what you want. And making sure the reasons for your request actually support the request. I know this sounds kind of vague so I'm going to give you an example.

The other day I was in custody court on a case and I was representing the mother of a little 9-year old girl and she and Dad had been sharing joint custody several years. They had been doing really well from my client's perspective. They were also exercising an equal parenting time plan.

Out of nowhere Dad serves my client with paperwork to...

Do You Feel Bullied or Threatened by Your Ex in Your Custody Case?


This can happen a lot not only when there is an attorney on the other side and your representing yourself. But when you have a party on the other side who really feels like he or she can get his or her way by threatening, it happens a lot. It could be called interference with the custody case.

I talked to a father who was a potential client on the phone recently and he was very grateful to be talking to me because he was so scared and terrified that he was going to lose all rights to his kids and he was never going to get to see his children again.

His soon to be ex-wife in the case was telling him what rights he had and the rights that she was saying he had, was no rights to the children. She was telling him things that were not true.

One lie she told him was that like that "everyone" should know that when two parties are going through a divorce that the children need time away from the father to bond with the mother. And because this father didn't know any different, he was...

Should You File a Lawsuit if Custody Disputes Persist After Court Order?


Filing a lawsuit when you & your ex continue to argue over custody issues after a court order has been issued is not always the best plan.

If you and your ex have already received a court order where the court has dictated what sort of custody plan you're sharing with the other parent or what parenting time and child support looks like, hopefully things will be settled for a while.

In many of my cases though, even after the court has issued an order, parties still end up getting into arguments and falling into dispute. A lot of these people in the middle of disputes with their exes come to me and their immediate knee jerk reaction is wanting to file a lawsuit.

So if you've ever been to family court before you know already that filing a lawsuit is not the path of least resistance. In most cases it takes a lot of energy, money, time and patience. It can be overwhelming.

So when people come to me and tell me 'my ex and I are not getting along because of X,Y & Z' I almost...

Difference Between One Party Having Sole Custody & That Party Terminating Other Party's Parental Rights


In this video I want to talk about the difference between one party having sole custody or sole decision making over the children, and that party terminating the other party's parental rights. 

Let me tell you where this is coming from. Over the last couple of days I had a father come in to see me and he has spent a year long battle with his ex-wife over their children.

They fight like cats and dogs about everything and right now they are going through a custody battle and the father is just plain tired and ready to give up. He was considering just giving her all rights to the children. So, I need to clarify what he meant because when someone says to me that they want to give up all rights of their children then that potentially means having their rights as a parent terminated.

That is a big step. Having rights severed means that as a parent you will never again get to see your children. You won't have rights to parenting time or making decisions in your children's lives. Your...