[D]addy Got Custody, the final frontier. These are the voyages of good fathers. Their ongoing mission; to explore their children’s world; to seek out custody and new methods of winning; to boldly go where no man has gone before.
These words may remind you of Captain James T. Kirk or perhaps William Shatner. Today’s tip is about how you use your child’s name. Before we upgrade your thinking on this very important topic, I need you to take a moment and watch this trailer for the upcoming new Star Trek movie. Don’t worry I’ll wait.
Watch it one more time, besides I know you want to see that again. Pay very close attention to the words, I am going to make some references to them.
What is the True Worth of Your Child’s Name?
What is your child’s name? Here is a very important tip! Always USE YOUR CHILD’S NAME, and never reference your son or daughter as a PRONOUN. Not in court, not with a social worker, not with your attorney–NEVER. Next, if you have to lead with a pronoun for clarification, say “our” instead of “my”. This is harder than it sounds, but it is the talk of the custodial parent. Using their name, personalize the child-parent relationship so it is not a word on a page. Let me give you some right and wrong examples.
Opposing Attorney: “Where was ‘the child’ when he received those bruises?”
Your Wrong Answer: “The child was at his mother’s house when he got those bruises.” STRIKE ONE.
Correct Answer: “Bobby received the bruises in Mindy’s home.” GOOD ANSWER!
Opposing Attorney: “Which child was it that received the bruises, the boy or the girl?”
Your Wrong Answer: “The boy.” STRIKE TWO.
Correct Answer: “OUR son, Chris, not Melodie, received the bruises while in Mindy’s home.” GOOD ANSWER!
Opposing Attorney: “Why is it in the child’s best interest to be with their mom?”
Your Wrong Answer: “It is not in the child’s best interest to be with their mom.” STRIKE 3, YOU’RE OUT.
Correct Answer: “Well, let me give you the top 15 reasons why Chris should not be with Mindy…”
Practice Saying Your Child’s Name
Practice, practice, practice. Play the quarter game with your co-workers and friends. If you ever say “the child,” “my daughter,” or “the kids” pay them a quarter. It is so important that you start talking in this fashion about your children. You may never know the true worth of your words. Are you going to settle for a less than ordinary life, or do you feel like you were meant for something better? Something special. Your kids will always be children of two worlds. The question you face is… which path will you chose? Are you willing to practice and do the hard work to win custody of your kids? Then start right now by using their name all the time!
Buckle up. The wait is over. Value the true worth of your child’s name!
How well do you use your children’s names? Have you ever fallen into the attorney pronoun trap? What other suggestions help you in cross examination?