My boyfriend and his ex have no formal custody agreement set by the courts, they have a loose agreement of him getting his daughter on the weekends, however the mother regularly arbitrarily decides to withhold the child--recently for a span of 2 months--due to monetary reasons and we are slowly building a case to take to court to prevent such situations. The mother regularly has many questionable habits regarding the safety of the child and our biggest concern is that she always texts while she's driving, especially after she receives the child back from him, like tonight for instance. My boyfriend feels that having evidence of such endangerment will not benefit him in the eventual custody case filing but I disagree and feel that, especially since such behavior is illegal and can cause a penal offense, he can certainly use this in court to his benefit but I am not certain and would like some clarity on the issue.
When I start to spout off about family court, many do not believe what I say. So here goes anyway.
The best way to manage a family court is with an attorney. Ordinary people are led by the nose on a circle and end up nowhere. The family court cares far less about prior allegations made outside its view and cares more for incidents that happen during litigation. So photos of some woman texting while driving will carry far less weight than an arrest for driving drunk with a kid in the car during the case.
You can assemble a bagful of complaints before court, but you'll be disappointed to find that none of that material matters. Instead, you need to craft a case after filing the petition, and be prepared for some losses. If the mother is the habitual residential parent, then dad will get visits. How much visitation he'll get depends on his acumen in the courtroom. No attorney, no acumen.
Other factors that will dim the court's view of you bagful of stuff is the assignment of an attorney for the daughter and perhaps a forensic psychologist to evaluate the parties. Much like Blasey-Ford went on and on about Kavanaugh, so will the forensic assigned by the court go on and on about the parents. The senate will have to decide what to adopt and what to reject, and most family court judges adopt whatever the psychologist says.
So your nuggets of knowledge will likely matter for nothing and the court will take a snapshot of the family as it walks into the courtroom door. As the case develops, so will the facts against both parents until the court picks a winner.
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