What can you do if your ex has tens of thousands to spend on child custody litigation and plans on taking you to court repeatedly in different states until your ex gets full custody? Plenty.
The questions really are 1) can you do some or all of these things; and 2) should you do some or all of these things?
Options (note that these are merely options, even if they are not particularly appealing options):
- Match your ex at least dollar for dollar in the fight, if you:
- have the ability to match your ex at least dollar for dollar in the fight (ability means you are able to spend this money, not that it’s easy to spend this money);
- are a fit parent or more fit than your ex AND CAN PROVE IT BY AT LEAST A PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE;
- can provide at least as much personal care and attention to the child as you ex can;
- have a fair, attentive judge assigned to your case; and
- understand that you could lose and are willing to take that risk and spend that nevertheless, win or lose.
If you don’t have the financial ability to pay, aren’t able to show you’re a fit parent, don’t have a fair, attentive judge, and aren’t willing to risk your time, effort, and money, then I wouldn’t recommend that you engage in this fight.
- File motions with the court to expedite the litigation, so that time and money are not wasted.
- File motions with the court asking the court to order your ex to pay some or all of your attorney’s fees and litigation expenses (if your jurisdiction allows it, and some jurisdictions, including Utah, where I practice law, do have such a law) in the child custody dispute.
- File motions to establish early on which state has jurisdiction over the child custody issue. Your ex should not be permitted to “forum shop” by moving from one state to another to improve her chances of obtaining a judgment favorable to her, which is why we have the UCCJEA or “Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act” to prevent that very thing.
Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277