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Previous poster received temporary custody despite accusations against her, has a few more questions

Your Question:
Dear Eric,

I have posted in the past about child custody, etc. Many things have happened since the last post. One was that I got "temporary" custody, despite the judge warning me it could change at any second. Upon rereading affidavits, your website, other websites and other research about custody, I still have some remaining questions.

1) I know that the court is not supposed to factor financial ability into child custody cases, but what about a case in which a father refuses the mother (or child for that matter) any money, including arrears, etc? How about when one parent is able support themselves (with child) and the other parent isn't? I have fully supported our child since birth. However, he paid me a small sum of money on the day of our temporary hearing, immediately before the hearing, but that was it. How would a custody evaluator factor this into the case?

(Oh and by the way, he is trying to get full custody of her.)

2) He has not been directly harmful to our child, ie. he has not physically injured her or anything like that. But how seriously does the court take into account smoking and drinking and things like that? (He smokes and drinks occasionally, I don't.)

3) What and how much evidence can/should I supply before it is really just too much? Do you feel that the petitioner often has the upper hand in court? (I am the respondent in this case.)

I just would like your opinion on some of these things, and I also believe that they would help many other frequent visitors to your website. I try to separate myself as much as possible from the dynamics of the case, but it is very difficult when all the accusations of wrongdoing are pointed at me. Also a tip for people: Someone made this website with tips on how parents can focus on their child's interests during difficult times.

Custody and visitation problems? We can help. can help you win custody, change custody, or reduce child support. Recommended by mediators and therapists and used every day by thousands of parents and families worldwide.

My Answer:

For background to your situation, click here.

A custody evaluator likely won't consider financial issues and will instead leave it to a judge to figure out how the child will be financially supported.

If the father is behind in child support, the judge won't like it, and it will damage the father's credibility if he's saying he wants sole custody out of concern for the child's best interest.

Occasional smoking and occasional drinking will not be relevant, unless a pediatrician has said that the child should not be exposed to second-hand smoke.

You should provide all evidence and testimony that is relevant. Part of a judge's job is to review all relevant evidence before rendering a decision. If you provide mounds of irrelevant or invalid evidence, it really dilutes your case. It's better to have 10 hard-hitting exhibits than 100 irrelevant exhibits. It's important for you to understand what matters, and what doesn't matter.

Because you asked the above questions, I suspect you haven't read the book "Child Custody A to Z - Winning with Evidence" that I list on my Recommended Books page.

I just don't understand why people think they don't need to learn what is most important to a court. That book outlines it. Buy the book, read it, and build your case in a compelling manner.

That said, per my prior prediction (in the prior post linked above), the accusations the father made about you really had no bearing on the judge's temporary ruling, right? My previous post was actually pretty darn good... sometimes I impress myself. :)

Your tone in this email seems much better than before. So, just learn more about building a solid case, stay the course (you already won the first battle), and stay away from FreakingOutVille!

Thanks for the website suggestion. It looks very helpful to many people.


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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