Hi this is billy terrain with the tip of the day. And this is not just a tip of the day. This is a tip of the decade.
This is a big one. And today we're going to talk about the top mistakes that people make in child custody cases. Yesterday I interviewed attorney Kylie Bigelow, who is in my office at modern law about messy custody cases. And she has this track record of being able to basically turn around cases in an insane way.
And the thing that I realized after talking to her is that, um, well, I mean. One of the things she said is that custody cases are like a game of chess and strategy matters very, very much. If you're talking high-end, complex custody cases, many times these are post-decree or, um, they're after an initial divorce. But not always sometimes it might be in a very, very messy divorce. And we know the game we as family law, attorneys understand what the courts want to see and, um, if when people mess up their case, and they lose custody it's because they are making tactical errors. They are. Making tactical errors, they are not understanding the situation or the rules of the game that they have to play.
Now it might sound super cavalier for me to call this a game. These are your children. This is your life. I understand that the stakes are incredibly high, but I also know how you can win how you can avoid losing custody, and it's, fairly simple, and it's, fairly predictable in Arizona, family court.
So why do people lose custody? Either number one? They do not know what it is. They are. Supposed to do or number two, they are prideful, and even though they know what they're supposed to do. They refuse to do what we attorneys or the courts, ask them to do as a matter of principle or number three, they are incapable of doing what the court is asking them to do so let's go through these three possibilities. Number one, you don't know what you're supposed to do if you are self-represented, or you have an attorney who is not who does not practice in family law has not been in Maricopa County.
Long, or you know, for whatever reason doesn't have a lot of experience with the judges with the cases, maybe you don't know, maybe it's a bad strategy. Possibly you don't know what it is that you're supposed to do. And essentially what you're supposed to do is focus on having a relationship with your child and a positive relationship with your child, focus on getting parenting time with your child and making that that parenting time, meaningful focus on meeting, the needs of your child, um, focus on. Seeing them as a human. And as the center of the universe in the family court custody case, do not focus on the other parent. That is my job. That is my job as a lawyer.
Your job is to focus on your child. Now, if you are representing yourself, this can be hard because you have to be the lawyer, and you have to be the parent and as a parent, you must focus on your children. And as a lawyer, you do need to bring forth any truly troubling issues with the other parent and there's, an art to this and. The art is to always focus their behavior on the child. So the child is the center of the universe. The most important thing meeting the child's needs and believing what the child says is key to winning child custody cases.
So why don't parents do that? Well, maybe you don't know, maybe you don't know what it is that the judge wants to hear or you, you do know that that's what you're supposed to do, but it's just too difficult. You know, or you're prideful.
You want to tell the judge about what an awful. Person the other parent is that they smoke to marijuana, or they, um sleep in too late, or they don't feed the kid right? These are not your focus if you want to attack the other parents on fitness, then you can say things like my child's needs aren't being met because the other parent is failing to do x, or you must focus on how the parents' behavior affects the child. So I don't care if they're smoking marijuana. If you can't tell me exactly how that's hurting your child every time you think about how. You're going to attack the other parent make sure it's in terms of how it relates to your kiddo.
Let me give you another example, let's say, you want to say that dad stays out all night and has lots of girlfriends. Okay and he's bringing strange women around the child. Okay. So that might be something that you would say in court. Hey, this person has had. I can prove he's had six girlfriends in the last year.
And my child has met all of them that's, not good enough. Instead, you might say things like you. Know, um, you might say things like father has a history of choosing dangerous women that have exposed the child to pornography drug paraphernalia, um, or father, has exposed the child to pornography drug paraphernalia through the girlfriend.
So everything that you are doing needs to be focused around your child. And if you need help with that get a consultation, maybe even a couple of hours with an attorney can help you script your case to win to get what you want. And to make sure that you.
Don't lose custody. The way you lose custody is by failing to understand the game that you're in and failing to craft your testimony and your facts to the way. The judge needs to hear it there's. A reason that Kylie turns cases around it's, because she understands exactly what it is that the providers. And the judges need to hear pride might stop you from doing that. If you are so focused on your rightness, if you think that if you refuse to listen to what your child is telling you, if your child is.
Complaining about the way that you're disciplining them, but you refuse to make any changes to that. You are at risk of losing custody. If you are a very authoritarian, parent, and you're you're you're, you know, disciplining your child in a way that is hurting them psychologically or is humiliating them like taking a door off their room or removing all of their things something that you may think is perfectly acceptable. If you are unwilling to think about how this is affecting your child and how they.
Feel you are at risk of losing custody. You have to change the way you think about parenting. Now that you're in a custody battle, you have to parent it differently, and it's harder. But you if you're unwilling to do that, if you're unwilling to make changes to the way that you behave, you are at risk of losing custody. And then the final way that you could be at risk of losing custody is if you are an addict, or you have a mental health disorder and you're, unable to get the proper treatment or. You're, unable to get, um to make the steps that you need to make in order to s to get custody having a mental illness, won't kill you. I mean, won't kill your custody case having a mental illness will not prevent you from having custody of your children having an addiction will not prevent you from having custody of your children.
And when I say custody, I mean, parenting time, I mean, legal decision-making it is a lack of treatment that will hurt you, and that that could cost you custody or parenting. Time of your children, if you listen to your lawyers, and we tell you listen, you have to test. You have to go to rehab you if you take the steps that we tell you to take, you will not lose custody of your children, because Arizona does not want parents to lose custody of your children.
Arizona wants both parents involved. And so as long as you are willing to listen to your lawyers to get the right lawyers to do the things and say, the things you need to say to keep your child, and that might mean making. Changes to the way you parent to the way you interact with the other parent, um, if you're willing to do that, I can almost guarantee you that you won't lose custody. So if you've got a crazy custody case, reach out we're in phoenix, Arizona and don't, forget to subscribe talk to you soon.
Dated : 05-May-2022