Talking to your Children’s Neighbors on a Regular Basis
If your children live with your Ex, talking to the neighbors can provide you some valuable information, and possibly give you an ally in your quest to keep your child. Brandon’s dad knew something was up when Brandon’s stepbrother cut short his summer stay at the home of his dad and Brandon’s mother. Brandon’s dad, who was seeking custody, hired a private investigator who found out from neighbors that Brandon’s stepfather had hit his son and at one point said to him, “You can’t be biologically related to me.” The boy sought refuge at the neighbor’s house until his mom could pick him up. All that information helped greatly during depositions, custodial evaluations, and trial modifications. The courts recognized the level of instability and hostility Brandon saw/experienced on a daily basis.
Brandon’s dad attended every parent-child conference, taking notes at every turn. Brandon’s mother OK’d their child’s pre-school teacher to come to the home (Brandon was still living with his mother) for tutoring sessions. The teacher got several opportunities to see a first-hand account of the hostile environment the children faced. Brandon’s dad actually got the teacher to testify on the his behalf in the modification hearing.
Brandon’s dad took photos and brought a photo album over two years of visitation with his child to show the quality of home life he enjoyed with his dad. He also included photos of the ‘section 8 apartments and trailer homes that he had lived in with his mother during the same period. Ed note-the dad is unsure how much this helped is case, since it wasn’t mentioned in the final ruling. However, in my trial, photo albums were listed as the deciding evidence to my gaining full custody.
Next time we’ll discuss: Interact with your Child’s Life.
Paid feature Image from Adobe Stock photos.
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