First let me start by saying thanks for the prompt
response. I may have given you the wrong impression I plan
to fight to the bitter end for my girls but will do it in
a way as not to cause them extra undo pain or stress. I
just feel even if I do fight 100% I'll still get the
shaft. In talking to different lawyers some have expressed
what you've said "it varies from judge to judge" others
have said 1 has to prove the other unfit. Both of us have
done our part to care for the kids we're both great
parents and both have no upper hand on the other, this is
why I am SO concerned that gender will play a large roll
in who gets custody. The only thing I feel is giving me a
slight edge is that she is very bitter about our split and
has started using the kids against me, not letting them
call or talk to me if she is angry and so on. I on the
other hand have encouraged my girls to continue to speak
of and call her. Are there things I should be doing
different to help my case or not doing? (ig movies, bed
times, not disciplining them) Change my parenting in any
way or just do what I've been doing for the last 12 years?
Research is what brought me to your sight so I think I'm
doing that much right. My research is the only thing I
don't question right about now when it comes to this huge
change in my life. Thanks again for this sight and your answers.
Thanks for writing again. For background information, your prior post is HERE
The best advice I can give you is to worry about the things that you can control, and try not to worry about the things that you can't control.
You can't control the mindset or bias of the judge. If you have an experienced attorney by your side, one who is familiar with your courthouse, perhaps that attorney may be able to initially move your case away from a notoriously bad judge. But that's about the best for which you can hope.
In that you can't control the mindset of the judge, QUIT WORRYING about any mother bias.
All you can do is build your case as best you can, and the rest is up to fate.
I already recommended a book to you (Win Your Child Custody War
by Hardwick). I think you and anyone else entering child custody litigation would be very foolish not to purchase it and read it; as it lays out strategies, warnings, guidance, and general tips for every step of the way-- and there's no other book like it available. I am not the author nor publisher of that book. I am a seasoned child custody litigant who is telling folks-- you need that book!
The things that you think matter... you may find that they matter very little in determining child custody. When you say that neither of you has an upper hand right now, you may be very wrong. Whoever has the kids right now has a huge upper hand. That's just the way it works.
I think the most important decision you have at this point is who you hire as an attorney. If the mother has demonstrated a lack of willingness to cooperate or be reasonable for the sake of the kids, you should be looking for an attorney who has the capacity to be very aggressive because you're going to end up litigating this. If both parents are reasonable, I'd recommend an attorney who is an excellent negotiator and who litigates as a last resort.
One way to find a good attorney is to take a day or two off work and sit in the courthouse where your case will be heard. Watch attorneys perform before judges. Look for the ones who are assertive without peeving the judge, the ones who strongly advocate for their clients. As they exit the courtroom, ask them for their card, and later set up the consultation.
Most attorneys will talk a good game when you first contact them. You don't care about personality or anything else-- you want one who can deliver results... or at least give you the best shot.
Finally... once again... try to quit worrying about things you can't control, nor about things that haven't even happened yet. It's such a waste of energy, and it's hard to maintain confidence in moving forward if you're having to wallow in worry.