Time and again I receive requests for help and advice on issues such as those outlined in the following. I replied on average about once or twice each day during the past two weeks to such requests.
I write the advice I provided over and over, time and again. I wrote the articles on how to select a lawyer so as to prevent me from having to write up such advice over and over. The worst thing is that no matter what I write, post or state, extremely few people take any of it to heart.
“Bill” and “Rose” (not their real names) will have 18 to about 25 years of misery and financial hardship ahead of themselves. They are being forced to dig a financial hole for themselves that they will most likely never be able to get out of — and even if they do, they and their kids will be set back for life.
In spite of that, it is not likely that they will do what is necessary. Very few people will look past today. The vast majority of those who read my advice will think it is too much work, give up, stick their heads in the sand and then get their butts shot off. The good thing about that is that, with their heads in the sand, they will never see it coming.
Excuse my pessimism, but I am 74-years old now and have seen too much of the same thing happening, over and over.
Do you think I am wrong about it all? Well, the website of Fathers for Life has been in existence for about 20 years. How come that people like Bill and Rose never visited the website until they ran into trouble?
How come that the stuff I am writing about is not being taught in the schools?
Hi there..my friend Bill is newly seperated from his girlfriend…upon seperating she agreed to week on week off custody. 1 1/2 weeks later as he returned to the apartment from the funeral of his best friend and cousin, he was presented with a lawyers letter stating she would allow him access to the child IF he didnt have him around certain people (who have no criminal record, who have years of experience in childcare, have strong educational backgrounds – one is a psw, the other has numerous diplomas and a degree which included study in psychology, etc as well as years of military service.) These said people were also the same people she depended upon, on many occasions to watch this child for her…while she worked, got groceries, etc etc and she never had a problem with them watching him until they noted suspecious behaviour on her part and told Bill. Both can come up with wonderful letters of recomendation, etc.
He refuses to sign this document, as she is STILL trying to controll him. During the relationship she was controlling and abusive…and neglectful to their son as well.
Since the breakup Bill has had billy for the first whole week (during which these above people watched him while bill was at work..and she even came over to interact with billy during that week while these people had him outside playing…if she was that concerned with the care, why did she leave him there?
She has no denied ALL access of Bill to billy for a little over 3 weeks.
Bill has very little in the way of money to spend on a lawyer..so I have been compiling the documents he needs and filling them out fo rhim as best I can. We heard of a mens group who will help you fight for custody…and then I found this website…I am hoping you can help lead me in the right direction to find help for him, and have this father and son re-united.
In the conversation he had with her tonight..she is now claiming that william isn’t even Bill’s..and became very hostile when he suggested a paternity test be done…
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
From: Walter H. SchneiderTo: Rose
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 9:08 PM
Subject: Re: fighting for custody
If you tell me where you are located, I may be able to direct you to an organization near you.
Sorry I Should have insluded that. We are located in Fredericton New Brunswick.
The “you” in the following refers to you and Bill.
There are two organizations in New Brunswick whom you should try to contact:
Ask both of them for advice. If either one of them has meetings of its membership, you should try to attend. You will learn more from individuals who are at various stages of their legal fights than you can from any lawyer.
The website of Fathers for Life and its associated blog contain a number of articles on how to select a lawyer. Read those articles (some of them are repetitions) and learn what you should do in selecting a lawyer.
I know, you stated that Bill has little money. It is up to you to determine whether Bill qualifies for Legal Aid. If so, let him apply (and keep in mind that if she applies before Bill does, Bill will not be given Legal Aid — Legal Aid will not present both sides in a case). If not, consider what the alternatives are. Bill will potentially be forced to hand over about $250,000 to $500,000 in child support over the years, until the boy is mature or until he has finished his education, whichever comes later.
Denial of access or visitation needs to be assessed with respect to the custody and visitation order. Interference with that order is a criminal offence. However, the number of such offences that were prosecuted and punished in Canada can probably be counted on one hand. I only know about two of them that were. In both of those cases the fathers fighting for their rights went into bankruptcy. Interestingly, neither of those fathers made any headway in court until after they went bankrupt, could no longer afford to pay their lawyers and began to represent themselves. Great stuff, right? Legal victory predicated by financial self-immolation.
You will not gain any legal ground by trying to establish guilt. For one thing, guilt is not punishable, and neither will be anything else be she may have done you don’t like.
Concentrate on what you primarily wish to achieve. That is, regular and equitably-shared parenting, right? Therefore, concentrate on what is best for the child. Make an appearance that you are bending over backwards to please the mother, and that all else is in the best interest of the child. However, make sure that the custody and visitation order contains a statement that specifies that the police must assist Bill if the mother should interfere with the court order. Without that statement it is extremely unlikely that Bill will ever get the police to help him enforce his visitation rights, if that should become necessary.
You will need to file a statement of claim. Keep that as short as possible, about a page to a page-and-a-half. Use reference pointers to any supporting documentation. Attach copies of the documentation and use tabs for each document, with each tab to correspond to the reference identifying the document in the statement of claim.
Learn about the rules of the court. Visit the local law library. Find case law, that is: evidence of judgments in similar cases.
Keep tabs on what your lawyer does. He works for you. You must be quite clear on what you want him to do. Make sure he does the right thing at the right time and at the right place. Keep in mind that the lawyer will get paid whether you win or lose your case.
Try to keep your case out of the family-court system. The family-court system is ostensibly in place to help individuals with family issues. The reality is somewhat different.
The family-court system was put into place for no other reason than to expedite the dissolution of marriages, when the liberation of the divorce laws and the establishment of the principle of “no-fault” divorce created an insurmountable backlog of divorce applications. (Read more: Freedom, Equality, and Society’s Treatment of Men and Families )
A secondary result that evolved over the close to 40-years time of the family-court system’s existence was that family courts evolved into a system for putting men and especially fathers into their place, which place, according to feminist doctrine, is for fathers to be without and not within families. That is being accomplished by having the rules of the court and the rules of evidence no longer apply in family court. (Read more: Family court to men – Just shut up and pay; Bias and injustice in our family court system the root cause of many murder- suicides; Note: you can find much more information on family-court issues by searching the website of Fathers for Life for “family court”. )
The best thing you can do to help Bill is to bring Bill’s case into regular court, were his chance to receive justice according to the law will be considerably better. However, the chances that Bill will gain anything are slim, about one in ten. Bill most likely will at best only obtain standard visitation (one weekend every two weeks, plus half of vacation and one out of every two holidays).
In general, the only thing that Bill can be sure about is that he will be sentenced to pay for having become a father, that and that he will be ordered to pay out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years.
Here now is the most important aspect of Bill’s whole case.
It is of course possible that Bill is the natural father of the young boy, but if I were in your position, I would make absolutely sure that the boy is Bill’s biological offspring. The chances are on average one against two that the boy is not Bill’s child.
If Bill’s paternity has been established on the basis of DNA paternity testing, then it is reasonable for Bill to fight for regular access to the boy or perhaps even for fully shared custody. Without proof of paternity, Bill should refuse to pay child support, and he should not bother to attempt to obtain visitation rights. (See also: Pregnant on the Sly; Table of Contents Paternity Fraud) Mind you, once there is a court order that sentences Bill to pay child support, then there is not much he can do (other than to try to have the court order overturned) than to pay, or else he will be breaking the law.