Tag: odds

Father has 50/50 custody. Now ex is trying to take it away. What to do?

I am a father who has exercised at least 50/50 custody with my ex. Now she’s trying to take me to court for full custody and me getting every other weekend visits. How can I avoid losing 50/50 custody?

First, thank your lucky stars you are a father who currently has 50/50 custody of his children. Far, far too many fit and loving fathers who could easily exercise joint equal physical custody of their children and whose children would do nothing but benefit from the exercise of joint equal custody are needlessly and unjustifiably denied a joint equal child custody award by courts who simply cannot bring themselves to believe, much less conceive of, the idea that children being reared by both parents equally is better than relegating one parent to second class visitor status in his child’s life.

Second, the fact that you have been exercising at least 50–50 custody of your children for the past few years helps to make it much harder for your ex to build a case against you for modifying the child custody award in a manner that deprives both father and children of a 50–50 custody schedule. Again, be grateful this is the case, because if you were trying to win 50–50 custody of your children on the first go around during your divorce or other child custody legal action, the odds are grossly stacked against fit and loving fathers.

Third, if you are afraid that your judge is going to discriminate against you on the basis of sex, you need to understand this principle: “if it isn’t close, there cheating won’t matter.” Otherwise stated, you need to ensure that you win six ways from Sunday. you have to bring overwhelming amounts of evidence and proof into court, so that you leave the judge no option but to rule in your favor. Easier said than done, certainly, but now is not the time to become complacent or substitute hope for effort. Spare no expense to preserve your joint equal physical custody award. A necessary component of a winning case is that you are living a life beyond reproach. Get your house in order. If there is anything remotely amiss in your life, correct course immediately, clearly, and permanently.

Fourth, make sure you understand and that your attorney understands what statutory and case law factors and criteria govern the original child custody award and a petition to modify the original child custody award. It may be that your ex does not have sufficient grounds for a petition to modify child custody to survive a motion to dismiss.

Fifth and finally, do not take on a petition to modify child custody alone, without a vigilant and skilled attorneys assistance. There is an undeniable culture of bias and discrimination and prejudice against fathers when it comes to courts making child custody awards. This doesn’t mean that every judge in every court indulges in sexual discrimination against father, but it’s virtually impossible to tell the difference between an impartial judge and a biased one, and so you need an attorney who will not suffer fools gladly, who will defend the joint equal custody award.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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My parents filed an order of protection against me. Is there any way I can fight this at age 17 knowing that I’ve done no wrong?

My parents filed an order of protection against me. Is there any way I can fight this at age 17 knowing that I’ve done no wrong?

Your experience may be different, but welcome to what may be an experience that causes you to lose faith in the legal system. You are significantly at your parents’ and the system’s mercy.

The likely first strike against you: given your age, you can be treated much like an adult when it comes to penalties yet denied the freedom to present your case as you wish because of your status as a minor child.

The second strike against you: courts generally do not like hearing from children in almost any law suit and go out of there way to curtail their participation. Now in fairness, in may instances this is intended to protect children and in many instances it does have that effect. In other instances, however, it serves to do nothing but muzzle a child, denying him/her the full capacity to defend himself/herself or express his/her concerns, fears, and desires. The testimony and/or arguments of children, merely on the basis of their being children, are often dismissed as not competent or credible witnesses.

The third strike is that you’re a wild, scary 17-year-old child, boiling with hormones and irresponsibility, which makes it very easy 1) not to be taken seriously; and 2) to be on the receiving end of prejudice, especially when your parents accuse you of being a danger to them.

Bottom line: to say, “Trying to go it alone as a child in court is difficult” is a ridiculously glaring understatement. The unquestionably best thing you can do for yourself is to get a skilled lawyer of your choice, if you can, to defend you within the legal system and to protect you from the vagaries of the legal system. Nothing else will 1) do you and your case more good and 2) better improve your odds of being treated fairly.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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Do I have a chance in divorce court without a lawyer? Do I really need one?

A chance? Sure. You have a chance. And you have a chance of winning the lottery, just not a very good chance of it.

You may not want to read the rest of my answer because I am a lawyer, so you can’t be faulted if you were to believe that my answer derives from self-interest. For what my assurances are worth, however, I assure you it does not. I am not only a lawyer but I have been a client of a lawyer as well. So here it is, it’s all you need to know, and you can confirm it’s true without having to take it on faith:

  • If people could regularly succeed in child custody battles in court without the assistance of an attorney, then people would not utilize the services of attorneys.

Otherwise stated: people do not regularly succeed in child custody battles in court without the assistance of an attorney. Frankly, even with the assistance of attorney people can often fail, but they usually fail far more often and more spectacularly.

I know that no one ever wants to hire an attorney. Very few people hire attorneys because they want one. The overwhelming majority of people who hire attorneys do so because they need one[1].

Here are some other facts that you may find helpful:

  • the legal system is a mess
  • if you are to have any real hope of succeeding with in this mess of a system, you need the guidance of someone with intimate knowledge of how the sausage is made;
  • it is not enough to know the rules, the law, and the lingo of the legal system; even if you were to read all the laws and all the rules that govern the legal system (and you can’t do that without quitting your job and spending all your weekends on the project), you would not understand them;
    • even if you did remember and understand all the laws and rules this would not help you function well within the legal system because:
      • the legal system does not follow its own rules fully and consistently;
      • the legal system is not wholly welcoming to or tolerant of those who are not lawyers

Attorneys may thus be necessary for many, many wrong reasons, but necessary nonetheless.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277


[1] and when you need one, please get a good one. The first and very best thing you can do is get a good attorney. ‘Sounds too simple, I know, but it’s the truth and simply the best advice there is. What is a “good attorney”?: one who is honorable, honest, reasonable, skilled, nobody’s fool, industrious, provides value for the money, and courageous. Not all divorce lawyers are these things, but a some who embody all of these traits do exist. Find one of them. It won’t be easy or quick (or cheap), but it’s worth the time, the effort, and yes, the money too.

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If your parents are divorced, what are the chances you will be?

Much, much higher than if your parents had not divorced.

See Psychology Today February 5, 2019:

“Research shows that children of divorce are more likely to experience a divorce themselves. The statistics vary, but one study by researchers Paul Amato and Danelle Deboer indicated that if a woman’s parents divorced, her odds of divorce increased 69 percent, while if both a husband and wife’s parents divorced, the risk of divorce increased by 189 percent.”

See Psychology Today August 2, 2014:

“[N]umerous empirical studies have found that those who experience a parental divorce are significantly more likely to divorce themselves. In fact, there is a substantial body of research on this phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the “intergenerational transmission of divorce.”

See The Atlantic May 30, 2019:

“Researchers have been aware of the connection between a parent’s divorce and a child’s divorce for nearly a century, says Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah. Further, as Wolfinger found after he started studying the subject in the 1990s, people with divorced parents are disproportionately likely to marry other people with divorced parents—and couples in which both partners are children of divorce are more likely to get divorced than couples in which just one person is.”

See at “Effects of Divorce Children’s Future Relationships

See “Effects of parental divorce on marital commitment and confidence.” in the Journal of Family Psychology, 22(5), 789–793.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277


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