D.W. asks from Kemp, TX on May 26, 2007
Need Advice - Kemp, TX
My husband is trying to get custody of his kids we have already went to 1 hearing and it is pretty clear that the situation is going to remain the same.. but the judge went ahead and order visitation to temporarily remain the same and social studies were ordered for both households. We are considering trying to settle between the attorneys but we are wondering if we can do that or if we MUST do what the judge already ordered. I can contact the attorney after the holiday weekend but it is very hard to make contact with our attorney. All advice would be greatly appreciated.
A.W. answers from Dallas on May 27, 2007
first of all, my heart goes out to anyone having to go thru this. it's been over 10 years ago, but i went thru a 2 year long divorce and custody battle with my exhusband that cost me over $40K. feel free to e-mail me directly if you have any questions at all. chances are, i've been thru it & know how it works. ____@____.com or feel free to call me ###-###-####.
in response to your posting, you are probably right that if the judge has set temporary orders to remain the same, chances are they will remain the same in the final hearing. not sure what the kids' mother is doing that would prompt you guys to seek custody. luckily i have been blessed to have always been awarded custody, however, there have been a few times over the years when we have gone back to court to seek supervised visitation.
we've been thru it all...child studies, home studies, exchanges at the police station, restraining orders, exchanges at the childrens' place, etc. all of the home study type stuff is a joke. they send some court appointed person into your home to WATCH you interact with your kids and see how they respond to you, you respond to them, etc. even in my situation, i felt like i was putting on a show and acting much nicer than i normally would. the mom in your case will do the same. so in the end, the results will probably not have much change ont he orders already put in place. we even had a superviser go with my daughter to my ex's home for visitation (which i had to pay half of). when the supervisor would go in the other room or go to the restroom, my ex would grab my daughter by the arm and threaten her and say mean things to her.
i'm curious if you are going thru this in dallas county or tarrant county. mine was in dallas county, but they're all about the same. unless the child has been assaulted and nearly killed, it seems, they don't do anything.
now finally to answer your question about mediation. if you go to mediation...a couple of things can happen. with mediation you can hopefully get most of the junk agreed upon to save you money in court in the long run. if it's agreed upon in mediation, then the attorneys will just need to take the information before the judge for the judge to sign off on.
it is my understanding that if you guys mutually agree to not have the home study and call this custody thing quits, then whatever you agree on, the judge will sign off on, too.
the purpose of the home study would be if you were to continue to seek custody. if you are willing to drop it, then there would be no need for a home study. make sense?
there were a number of things in my divorce that the judge ordered for my husband to do that he never did. one of them was for his current wife visit the psychologist who was doing the home studies at his office for a consultation. that never happened, and unless i were to push it at the time and spend more $$$, then there is no other way for it to be pushed.
i'd like to give you the name and number of a man i know thru the southlake chamber of commerce who specializes in mediation. you may be able to reach him today even to get more information on what you are needing. be sure to let him know that A. W. with home interiors from the southlake chamber of commerce leads group gave you his information.
here it is:
Dan Snell, JD, PsyDp
Mediation, Diplomacy & Negotiation Services
2 moms found this helpful
K.C. answers from Dallas on May 27, 2007
Your attorney can file for mediation at any time. My husband now has custody of his son. Once it was ordered for home studies, we completed those but our attorney arranged for a mediation also. Turns out both attorneys contacted the home study person and she was in our favor so we didn't have to wait for the answer of the home study trial date and settled lots of things in mediation. You can file what you like with your attorney even though the judge orders things. I am short on time, but feel free to write me and I can give you more details of our situation and help you in any way possible. Best of luck to you.
K.A. answers from Dallas on May 29, 2007
You can settle between the attorneys but have attorney let the Court know what is happening. What you don't want to do is violate a Court order, which will piss off the Judge in your case. If you and your ex can agree on a workable custody and visitation agreement, that is alway preferable. Good luck!
K.B. answers from Dallas on May 27, 2007
my heart goes out to anyone going through this horrible ordeal.. I was the stepmom that wanted the best for my step children and was very supportive. We did all that horrible stuff and in the end, we were broke and the mother made us pay. P.s. we did win the custody battle, but then we had to deal with a vengeful, vindictive, emotionally abusive person who made the kids pay at every interaction that took place. think twice about trying to win in court. try your best to find a creative place to work together with this person. Brad Craig with Children in the Middle is based off 360 in Grand Prairie. That would be good place to start. Spend your money with him and not an attorney seeking full custody. We were eventually ordered to see him by the judge anyway. The final result in our case were kids on drugs, promiscuity, and quitting high school. And i will mention here the kids saw "the best" counselor in north texas once a week for two years. Good Luck and take care of yourself in every way.
A.W. answers from Knoxville on May 27, 2007
You must do what the judge orders until such time that the parties can come to an agreement among themselves. Parenting agreements are endlessly changeable until the children reach the age of majority. You and the attorneys can work out a stip to amend the parenting agreement with your own choices, provided you can reach an agreement. Any agreements you come to, however, must be approved by the judge.
If your attorney is not accessible to you, it's probably time to get a different attorney. If you truly feel that the children will be better served in the custody of your husband, and the judge is leaning toward not changing anything, you will need an attorney you can rely on and trust; if you can't reach an agreement in mediation, you'll have a very long court battle ahead.
A.R. answers from Dallas on May 27, 2007
DOn't worry, I went through the same thing with my Ex. THe social study is actually great, it will show how much better your surroundings and lifestyle fits your kids. Make sure to tell them everything. But how it workd is they will meet with you then schedule a visit. Upon the visit they will talk to the kid or kids, alone. Probably in their room, once finished they will ask if you have any questions and then tell you what they think. My "inspection" came while I was moving,so if mine went good I am sure yours will too. If you need a lawyer call Marvin Maloney, he is in Ft Worth off of Beach. I used him for my divorce and custody, I now have sole custody. He is a really great man, and he has his own firm. Good Luck, and keep your head up, it will all work out :)