Custody disputes can be nasty, really nasty. Be it in a divorce, a paternity action, or a subsequent action to modify prior custody orders, allegations can fly back and forth, and parents can bring up the nastiest allegations and claims. The other side will fling all kinds of garbage at you, from minor incidents to completely false claims — and that will all be done to hurt you and make you feel defensive, if not downright combative. After all, the other party is making all of those claims to show just how terrible of a parent, and person you are. How could you not take that personally?
You do have your way to fight back; a plan to not only show how all those claims are false, but also to possibly show the other party’s attempts to malign you. This is a real strategy that may well not only prove all of that, but also help you win your custody claims.
Here is the plan:
• Every time junior comes home from school with a gold star on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a kind note, something like “thought you’d like to share in [child’s name] accomplishment.
• Every time junior comes home from school with a good grade on a paper, test, or project, scan, or take a picture of it and send it to the other party with a similar kind note.
• Every time junior gets selected to be in a school, or other, play; joins a team or some other activity; or is to be honored in some ceremony, scan, or take a picture of the announcement and send it to the other party with a similar kind note (or, if there is nothing to copy, send an email anyway with the information included).
• Every time you get some note or announcement about a school, or other activity, again scan it and send it to the other party; you might even want to invite that person to attend.
• Every time you schedule any sort of medical or dental appointment, email the other party and let that person know; and, then follow up with whatever information you learn from the appointment. Just an FYI note, or something similar.
• Send an email to the other party telling him or her just how excited junior was to hear from the other party, enjoyed the time junior spent with that person, or how much junior truly enjoyed the gift or item junior brought home.
• Be willing to work with the other party if there as scheduling problems (so long as it does not become an obvious abuse of the current custody orders).
• And never, never respond to any of the negativity in an emotional state; in fact, it might be better to completely ignore the insults and taunts you receive, and let your attorney handle all of that through counsel thereby documenting the other party’s bad conduct.
This will work in your favor. There is a rule in Utah that custody evaluators have to abide by, which includes, methods of communications between the parents, the ways in which a parent supports the child’s relationship with the other parent, and just how you are willing to work with the other parent to accommodate problems or conflicts in schedules. You will be showing your love of your child, and your willingness to let your child be with, and love the other parent.