Jury of One

Up My Story Jury of One After The Kids Books Links


Jury of One

Perhaps the most influential person that you, your children, and their other parent will interact with is a court appointed psychologist. Chapter 12 of ĎWin Your Child Custody Warí is entitled Psychologists and Tests. These pages were invaluable! I was well prepared for this part of our case and I knew what to expect in our visits. Steven and I were filmed and recorded for 30 minutes in a play session. It went very well, just as though we werenít being watched. Knowing in advance that this was a possible part of the process, I wasnít surprised when it did happen. This professional may charge an additional fee to review other information or reports you feel are necessary for his evaluation. Pay it! It could be the most important investment you make. The psychologistís recommendation =decision.

On August 2, 2000, I was awarded temporary custody of Steven! This initially came as a joyous relief, but we still had more to do until a final hearing could be scheduled. Later that month, downtown Houston had a flood which affected the courthouse. Our case was now postponed until February 2002.

When that time arrived, I fully expected another long week or more of courtroom artillery exchange. But this time it was going to be in front of a jury. My attorney and I were very well prepared. The long court delay allowed us to gather even more compelling evidence in support of Stevenís decision.

The hearing didnít happen! At the last minute we settled everything. What finally brought his mother to the negotiating table was viewing Stevenís videotaped testimony in which he repeatedly expressed his love for both parents and his sincere desire to live with his dad.

 

Providing Information

Steven started 5th grade several weeks later at the elementary school across the street from our home. He had the same teacher I did for 6th grade and quickly blended in and began making friends. I decided to keep his mother as completely informed as possible about his life here with me. Each week, I mailed her a large envelope with an update letter, copies of his Thursday folder, report cards, and all notices from school, Boy Scouts, church youth group, YMCA, and any other extracurricular activities. I also sent her a second set of photos of Steven, medical and dental records, and color copies of awards and certificates.

No one told me to provide her this much information. I sent these because it is what I would have wanted if Steven were living with his mom. Why is this so important? First, it kept my former wife familiar with everything going on in his life, and that facilitated and supported their relationship. Also, my hope was that she would be easier to get along with in the future. This may also reduce the chance of a future Modification.

My position was certainly bolstered. The judge, my attorney, and the GAL hadnít seen this done before and were favorably impressed. I strongly suggest doing the same in your case.