Need a hero in your Child Custody case? It’s not your lawyer.
Updated: Aug 2
Look in the mirror. Better yet, or at least more readily, open up the camera on your phone and hit that cyclone button for selfie mode. Do you feel like a hero? Do you look like one? Most importantly, are you acting like one? If you don’t know or don’t think so, it’s easier than you think. Well, as I like to say, it’s simplerthan you think. It’s not easy. Otherwise, it wouldn’t take a hero like you. Here are a few thoughts on how to be a hero for yourself, in your case, and for your children in difficult times…
Heroes have an origin story…
Batman’s (and Superman’s ) parents were killed. Captain America was the weakest man at boot camp. Joseph, a favorite biblical hero of mine, spent time in prison before ascending to the right hand of the Pharaoh.
The point is, things aren’t great right now. They didn’t start out great for the heroes we read about either. The action is, these folks made the best of their situation at each step of the way. Heroes accept the situation they’re in with much gratitude and little to no complaint.
Only have weekend visitation with your kids? Watch a ballgame together and eat some cheese dip. (Pro Move: learn the bedtime routine of the custodial parent/relative and institute that bedtime routine at your home, too.)
Only have supervised visitation? Read a book with your child – I don’t care what age he or she is. Read a newspaper even. Talk about what you read, what you agree with, what you don’t, and why. Put your phone down. (Amateur move: having minimal visitation and spending a good portion of whatever you’ve got on your phone. I see it and hear testimony about it all the time).
Matthew 25:29 says that “whoever has will be given more.” That is, if you are not thankful for what you do have, and reflect that gratitude in right action, on what planet do you think you’ll be given more?
Your hero story starts where you are right now. You are in control of what you make of your present situation, love it or hate it, good or bad. Gratitude bears fruit in your actions. We’ll see it. The Court will see it. The Other Side will see it. Most importantly, your child will see it and feel it and experience it and grow in it.
Heroes don’t gloat…
If you’re on the “good” side of your Child Custody case, to abuse the control or extra time you have is to be ungrateful just like the situation discussed above. The second part of the verse from Matthew is “[w]hoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” Cherish not only the gift, but the extra responsibility you have…to be a good steward of the extra time, to allocate resources in form of the child support, to set appointments, to communicate logistics to the Other Side.
Heroes don’t seek glory or gratification…they do what has to be done. And, they’re not necessarily happy about it. Just like a personal injury case, a “good” case is based on really, really bad news. Too many parents and relatives are out there trying to “make a case” by recording interactions, phone calls, and…maybe worst of all…Using your Child as a Spy.
Is that what a hero looks like?
Whatever your situation is, wherever your case is at, even the best of us can fall into traps if we try to do this alone…
Heroes have a Guide…
Batman had Alfred. Joseph had…you know…God. If you’re going to be the hero you’re gonna to have to be in this difficult, chaotic time, then you’re going to need to operate on the right information in the right way. You’re are going to have stuff thrown at you by the Other Side, their friends and family, and…
CAUTION!!! You are going to get well-meaning but nonetheless terrible advice and information from your friends and family.
Alfred loved Bruce Wayne enough to protect him by telling him when he was screwing up. You do the same for your child. However, your friends and family who want to love and support you either don’t know the correct advice to give or wouldn’t give it to avoid hurting your feelings.
There is no way to avoid pitfalls in your journey as a Hero, but there is a way to avoid a lot of them.
How long have you been going through this alone and without a lawyer? How’s that been going? What are you tolerating to “keep the peace”? Do you think you can outsmart DHR workers that spend all day every day investigating Child Custody cases?
Heroes don’t have all the answers. They don’t have all the perspective or objectivity.
Heroes do have Guides…
This article contains general information and should not be construed as legal advice for you or your unique situation. If you would like to speak more about how you, as a committed parent or caring relative, can be more effective in your Child Custody case, please visit www.ThinkFoxtrot.com/public_calendars/ to schedule your initial consultation at one of our offices. ~SW, Foxtrot