Just do it!

Presidential Seal

Decisions are made by those who show-up.
~~President Josiah Bartlet, The West Wing.

This is analogous to the practice of family law in that you’d be amazed at how many case outcomes don’t turn on some grand legal argument or some astonishing factual admission, nope, many, many cases are won or lost just by showing-up and actually participating in a case (or lost by not showing-up). We lawyers spend a lot of time analyzing case law and strategizing how to get the best results for our clients…that’s a what good lawyers do. But I’d estimate that 10%-20% of cases are won simply by one party taking initiative and one party doing nothing.

Here are some major rulings we have won on behalf of clients in the last year where we were all ready to win on the substance of the case but then the other party flopped, did nothing, and our clients won without even having to put up much a fight:

  1. Client Wins Custody Change When Former Husband Gives in at First Court Date. We recently represented a mother of two adolescent girls who were living primarily with their father. The father had remarried and was now living with a new wife and several additional step-children. Our clients two daughters had been depressed and one of them had even gotten involved in some cutting of her wrists…so pretty serious stuff. We thought we had a pretty good case although changing custody of children requires you to meet a pretty high legal standard. Well, we drafted a very thorough and probably 50 page Petition to Change Custody, served the father/former husband, scheduled a court date, and….instead of the 6-9 month battle we were expecting the father just GAVE-UP at the very first court date. Permanent custody changed to our client all at the first court date.
  2. Client Wins Removal of Son to Missouri. Client wanted to re-locate to Missouri with her high school aged son due to a job change by her current husband. And these cases even favor the non-custodial parent. But after some whining and criticism of our client/mother, the father and former husband barely participated in the court proceeding and ended up signing-off on an Agreed Order allowing our client to re-locate with the parties’ son to Missouri.
  3. Client Wins Custody Change When Former Husband Skips Court Dates & Doesn’t Do Alcohol Evaluation. Here our client won custody of her 12-year-old son after the father/former husband basically stopped participating in the child’s life and eventually stopped participating in the court proceeding. Again we drafted a thorough and probably 50 page Petition to Change Custody, served the father/former husband, scheduled a court date. Custody of the son was immediately changed on a temporary basis due to some allegations concerning alcohol abuse on the part of the ex-husband/father. Here the case proceeded for approximately 4-5 court dates over 6 months. But over time the ex-husband/father totally stopped seeing his son, did not complete a court ordered alcohol assessment, and eventually he missed enough court dates that our client was awarded the custody change without getting to a real, full-out custody trial.

Court cases are very often won by the party who shows-up. We live in a society where people love to comment and criticize and complain, but then do nothing substantive to actually change the circumstances that they’re commenting/criticizing/complaining about. Take action! DO YOU WANT TO:

  • Give your kid a better life.
  • Improve your financial position by modifying child support or getting your kid the financial resources necessary to go to college.
  • Secure that parenting relationship that your Ex is trying to rip away from you.

Start your court case now; just do it! Click to Schedule above (top right) and take action now.

01. July 2013 by Peter Olson
Categories: Child Custody | Leave a comment

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