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About the Author
Furthermore, I too went through a divorce and was confronted with the same questions my clients asked me. I saw the world of divorce from a different perspective. I realized what it felt like to experience the anger, mistrust, sadness, and many other emotions they had. It was difficult and painful. Since then, I've gained some wisdom and want to pass along advice that can help you deal with your circumstances.
People going through custody disputes want answers about what the process looks like and what they can do to keep their children. They want to know how they can meet their children's needs. They want to know how they can get through the process with as little trauma to their children and themselves as possible.
Some questions have common, across-the-board answers, like how does the trial work? That process is fairly similar across the country, and the answer would apply to everybody. But what about those areas that are more complicated, like dealing with an impaired spouse, a child with special needs, or a parent who has a narcissistic personality disorder? How can a stepparent or grandparent fight for custody of a child? My goal is to answer these questions and more.
I want to help you understand that you must put your children's needs first. Although most parents know this, some need to be reminded of what their actions are doing to their children.
I have also written this book with lawyers in mind to give you a tool to help your clients as well as for counselors, guardians ad litem, and anyone else involved in custody situations.
Custody disputes are part of our society and are on the rise. However, armed with the right information, you will be empowered to stand up for your children, and that should be the ultimate goal.
Table of Contents
SECTION I: IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD
CHAPTER 1 In the Best Interest of the Child 5
CHAPTER 2 Putting Your Child First 7
CHAPTER 3 Decision-Making 15
CHAPTER 4 Fathers Who Want Custody 21
CHAPTER 5 Mothers Who Are Afraid of Losing Custody 25
SECTION II: THE CUSTODY PROCESS
CHAPTER 6 The Custody Process 31
CHAPTER 7 Choosing An Attorney 35
CHAPTER 8 The Attorney-Client Agreement 41
CHAPTER 9 Costs of a Custody Dispute 43
CHAPTER 10 Working with a Lawyer 49
CHAPTER 11 The Discovery Process 55
CHAPTER 12 Temporary/Interim Hearings and Orders 61
CHAPTER 13 High-Conflict Custody Cases 65
CHAPTER 14 Others Involved in the Custody Process 69
CHAPTER 15 The Trial — Preparation: The Key To Winning in the Courtroom 77
SECTION III: CHILD SUPPORT AND VISITATION
CHAPTER 16 Child Support 95
CHAPTER 17 Visitation 101
SECTION IV: PARENTAL ALIENATION
CHAPTER 18 Parental Alienation 107
CHAPTER 19 Dealing with Serious Visitation Violations 117
CHAPTER 20 Abduction and Relocation 123
SECTION V: SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
CHAPTER 21 Custody Battle with a Jerk or Bully 131
CHAPTER 22 Family Violence 137
CHAPTER 23 When Your Spouse Is an Addict, Alcoholic, or Mentally 145
CHAPTER 24 Children With Special Needs and Parents with Disabilities 157
CHAPTER 25 Grandparents Who Want Custody 161
CHAPTER 26 Overinvolved Stepparents 165
SECTION VI: TIPS FOR ATTORNEYS
CHAPTER 27 Tips for Attorneys 171
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: JANET MCCULLAR 182