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Previous poster has motion denied to reconsider a bad custody ruling

Your Question:
I had to write again. your site is sooooo fascinating, I read it daily!

You do remember my husband's frustration with his 12 year old and her mother? I just wanted to inform you that my husband's appeal for reconsideration was DENIED. just like that. The judge stated that "the court was fully satisfied that it considered all of the issues raised in the Defendant's Motion and afforded the proper weight to all the relevant testimony and evidence adduced at the time of hearing". Ouch.

I've come to the conclusion that his attorney was not up to par and we are dealing with inexperience. Although I wasn't in the courtroom, I helped my husband prepare all of the supporting evidence, with documents from medical doctors and my parents who are teachers and my sister who teaches also. We put forth so much effort into this attempt. I'm still in shock over the judge's opinion and order from the January 25th hearing. I wish I could've testified, but for some reason, the judge threw us all out of the courtroom because "her witnesses" were sequestered? so that meant we needed to be too? No one could explain that to us. The ex's mother was in the courtroom the whole time, left, and went to pick up the child at school and brought her to the courthouse to testify. My husband didn't even know his daughter was going to be there. How was that allowed after listening to testimony? The things that happened that day just don't make sense to me.

My husband is such a great guy. He has always been there for his daughter since the day she was born and has had custody of her every single weekend in the 6 years we've been together. I know you say don't whine about fairness, sometimes I wonder if the old saying honesty is the best policy fits into play. It doesn't pay to be honest in a child custody case. Seriously. We're only trying to do what's best for the child.

I am sorry for getting lenghty with this, but I need some advice. My husband has a child support hearing on April 3rd. The ex filed back in Novmeber of 05, filed for 2 continuances which put them at a conference at the end of January. (My husband appealed her petition). I want to know if child care we pay to a babysitter to pick up his daughter and sit with her and the other children is allowed to be brought into the calculation? We paid over 2,500.00 to a babysitter in the year 2005. we have the documentation to prove it. the thing is do we have to break it down because it wasn't just her that was being babysat? His other issues are: her income. She claims she only makes, gross and net, as she documented, 790.20/month. She is capable of working more hours, all of her children are in school, and she works for her stepfather in a dept. store. Her potential earning capacity is a lot more than that. She had a cosmetology license and let it expire. She also had a previous job where she made over 1,000.00/month.(documented). also the fact that we have insurance available to her with dental and prescription coverage and she has his daughter currently on welfare!!! 3rd, my husband and the ex currently have a joint custody, even though he requests more overnights with her, she denies him that. Now that the judge has awarded the ex more weekday time, her grades have steadily declined and we have documentation of that also. (emails from teachers). What do you think?

You should think about a career in law. We'd hire you! thanks!!!!!! ( I loved the nutty award!)

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My Answer:

Thanks for the nice words.

I think you're done for a while, at least with regards to this court. Order the court transcript from the court reporter, so your husband can look it over to see if there's anything to appeal, but probably not.

Your husband lost. He lost his motion to reconsider. The judge was not convinced, and the judge doesn't want to see this guy again for a while.

You're writing from what was told to you (i.e., you weren't in the courtroom), so it's not really fair to analyze what you wrote about the proceedings.

I will say that your parents and your sister are both worthless witnesses. They have a bias. The court would be wise to ignore them.

Face it. You're done on the custody thing for at least a year, unless some huge tragedy happens. Use the year to lick your wounds and learn how to put together a good case that will convince a court.

I think you would be well-advised to get the books Win Your Child Custody War and Child Custody A to Z, both listed on my Recommended Books page. You have a year to study them, learn about solid evidence, learn about good witnesses, and most of all, learn about strategy.

You're complaining that honesty doesn't pay. On its own or coupled with ignorance of a system, that's probably a correct assessment. But if honesty is mixed with strategic tactics, it's a winning combination.

Regarding the child support, I don't know the technical answers to how your state handles the father's expenses for childcare of children not involved in the litigation. Only a lawyer in your state can answer that.

Regarding imputing the mother's income, keep in mind that your husband has probably already ticked off this judge. You're claiming that the mother can earn at least $200 more per month. If you got your way, what does that translate to in monthly child support? Maybe $20 less child support per month that the father must pay?!

Here's an entry about what it took me to convince a California court to impute a support-receiving parent's income. It was a ton of work, and everything relevant factor has to be covered (which may be different in other states).

All that work doesn't seem worthwhile just to pump up the mother's earning capacity by $200/month.

I think it'd be more valuable for the father to go into this hearing as nonconfrontational as possible, so the judge doesn't get further ticked off, to make it easier for the father to go for a custody change in 1+ years when he's really built his case (per those books I suggested).

These blows happen. I'm sorry. It's not fair. It's tough when we're beaten by poor excuses for human beings, but that's life. At least we're not in concentration camps, we're not in the midst of Iraq insurgency, we're not homeless, and we aren't bedridden with chronic illness. Life is still pretty good.

Today is a new day, and the past is the past. Learn from what happened (i.e., the judge told you, "Your case sucked"), get smarter, know that you can put together a stronger case that is meaningful to a JUDGE (i.e., not to you), and then have another shot at it in one to two years.


This website gives common sense advice that is not intended to act as legal guidance nor psychological guidance. The author is neither an attorney nor licensed psychologist. For specific legal guidance or specific psychological guidance, consult with a licensed professional.

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