Splitting up with you girlfriend that has your child?
Is your baby’s momma using your kid as a tool to control and hurt you?
Good news – the Alpha is in. Bad news, you have a very unfair and uphill battle in front of you.
If you are reading this: you likely need to absorb this as a warning, you are likely going through a similar issue, or you find yourself with an unfair custody outcome.
Recently, I was reminded of my own struggles in this department. Around the holidays I always meet men who are being raped by the family court system, so I decided to document what you need to do to get a fair shot at being with your child. Well, as fair as possible.
First, men can and do get custody of children. Second, you do not start as an equal with a woman – they are already winning the moment the paperwork is filed. Third, due to their nature, if you use self-control, she will give you the tools to win.
NOTICE – I am not a lawyer. I always recommend you get a lawyer, and listen to their advice about your particular situation. With that, this is how I got custody of my 1 year old son.
The Start Of My Custody Battle
Here you can read my entire story. The actual proceeding through the divorce begins on a drunk Friday night. I owned my own company, and my wife had organized a company picnic for that Saturday morning. We were struggling a bit financially as the dot com bubble had just started to burst, but I agreed to have the picnic anyway. Yes, I was a weak man at this time.
That Friday night we went shopping, buying all of the picnic goodies and beer for the next day. As a business man who had to pay the insurance premiums, I wanted a 2-3 drink limit. My wife, with almost no concept of responsibility, wanted to get everyone smashed. From this, we start to have a little argument about how much alcohol we would buy. We ended up getting less than she wanted, and more than I thought we should. This one point was thrown in my face for the next 2 hours about what a pussy I was to limit the company drinking. And as a pussy I just let her put me down.
Around 9 PM she starts drinking with our next door neighbor. I fed our son and put him to bed. I let my wife know we need to get to sleep, since we had a 1.5 hour drive to the lake to set up for our company picnic early in the morning.
Over the next 5 hours my wife gets very drunk. When she finally comes in we get into a heated argument over her staying out late and getting drunk the night before the company picnic she organized. During this exchange she punched me dead in the face. As she comes back for swing 2 and I restrain her arms. I restrain her for a few moments and as she calms down and hears our son crying, I let her go. That’s when she called 911.
10 minutes later, 2 deputies are talking to her and me to get the story. I have a bloody lip. She has red marks on her wrist. They ask me outside and tell me they can see she is out of control, but that we need to diffuse the situation. They recommend that I go to a nearby hotel to give her time to calm down, and that I come back in the morning and work things out. I had been brought up to respect the law, and while I felt it was bullshit in my gut, I did what they asked.
Restraining her hands was my first mistake. Not having it filmed was my second mistake. Leaving the house was my third mistake. Luckily, I was able to overcome these, but know you do not want to be the one to leave the house if you can help it. If you leave the house and she has the child, you are basically telling the judge she is the care giver.
Actually, my first mistake was actually getting married without knowing the true nature of Alpha.
I got to the hotel around 3, checked in and tried to sleep. At 6 AM I drove back to my house. My wife’s car was gone.
I called her on her cell phone and she was driving to her parents about 4.5 hours away. She was still drunk and had my son. In this conversation she literally told me she was divorcing me, going to take me for everything I had and that I would never see my son again. Typical shit women say to hurt and control men.
Not much I could do, but I hoped she would sober up an calm down. I got the picnic supplies and headed for the lake.
That day was like walking in a fucking coma. I tried to smile. I tried to have fun. I failed miserably. The picnic was a mess, though my employees were very nice and cool about the whole thing. As I was leaving the picnic, I backed into a tree stump smashing my bumper. I was pissed and left the campground too fast. I was pulled over by a cop. I had forgot my license on the counter, since I had it out for the police the night before. I got a speeding ticket.
When I got home I cried. The first of many I hate to say.
I also opened a bottle of scotch.
On Sunday I first called my wife to get another dose of how much she hates me, how much she will make me pay, and how I will never see my son again. I then called my uncle. We both lived in Texas, though he lived 4 hours away. He is a personal injury attorney, and a very good one. After telling him what was going on I asked if he knew any good lawyers in my town. He said he would let me know.
Later on Sunday night, he called and gave me a number to “the best lawyer” in my town.
On Monday morning, I went to work as normal. I was still walking in a daze and not very focused on anything. I called my wife, and tried to talk to her. I begged and pleaded for her to come home but the more I begged and the weaker I was, the more she attacked. I called my lawyer at 9 am.
I discussed the weekend’s events, and my lawyer was not very positive on my actions. I made a lot of mistakes. We set up a time to meet on Tuesday.
On Tuesday afternoon I went to his office and paid the $10K retainer. He was an older gentlemen who had lived in this town all of his life. In my total life experience, he was not the best lawyer, he just happened to be the longest lived lawyer in town and he was well liked.
He straight up told me I had very little opportunity to get custody of my son. He did believe he could force my wife back to town and get me at least “joint custody” – which is another way of saying “standard visitation”.
Every day I called my wife and tried to find out why she was so pissed, and to talk her into coming back. If you read my story you know my weak nature had already grated her and she had been ready to leave my ass for some time.
From Monday through Thursday, I read damn near every page I could find on the internet about divorce and custody in Texas. I called my lawyer a few times to ask questions, which he didn’t like. On Thursday afternoon I was notified that the constable had just pulled up to her mother’s house and did I want her served? I tried one more call to my wife. On this call she laughed at me as she told me how bad she was going to take me to the cleaners.
From this point on I was dedicated to getting custody of my son.
I could write a book about this entire process, but in an effort to be brief and still give valuable advice we are going to hit points I think are relevant and will help, but it certainly isn’t everything.
After she was served, I called my lawyer asking different questions. He was very upset that I would bug him so much, and he reminded me that every call cost me money. I asked him if he had time to talk the next day.
You see, I had become a pussy with my wife – giving into her every whim and doing everything I could think of to please her. However, I had also built an $8 million dollar company, and while money was tight, I still had enough business Alpha in me to know how to handle this situation.
I went into my lawyers office. Our conversation went something like this:
Me: I place another $10K on his desk.
Him: “What is this?”
Me: “I don’t want you to worry about money. When I call, I want you to take my call and answer my questions.”
Him: “You don’t need to question so much. I will inform you of the steps as we go through them.”
Me: “I don’t think you understand. You are a consultant. Your job is to help me navigate the legal system. I will determine what strategy we will use. If I ask you a question, I expect it answered. If you don’t like that arrangement I will find another lawyer.”
Him: Looks at the check and back at me, “What do you want to know?”
From this point on I studied. He let me have access to his legal library and I read everything I could on family law.
My first step after I filed for a divorce was to immediately file for an Emergency Hearing. This hearing would determine where the child lived while we went through the formal divorce. She had moved to her mom’s in Oklahoma. If she had been there for 90 days without me filing she could have filed up there, making it impossible for me to have a fair fight.
It took 2 months to get an Emergency Hearing and I got a RUDE introduction to family law. It is also where I learned what mistakes I had already made. She claimed I abused her, which is another standard tactic by a woman in a divorce or breakup. Luckily the police report said she had engaged in physical violence first, but I was still not given the benefit of the doubt for restraining her as “non-violent”. She punched me in the face, I restrained her wrist to keep from being hit again. The judge lectured me.
From this hearing she was ordered into our house. I had to pay all of the bills, and give her cash each month. I was only allowed to pack a bag of clothes. Within 3 months she was pregnant and living with another man – while I still paid all of the bills. Bills that they ran up to break me – like $1200 phone bills and $700 cable bills.
I was “awarded” standard visitation from the emergency hearing while she was awarded primary custody. My visitation was from Wednesdays at 6 PM to 8 PM and 1st, 3rd & 5th weekends from 6 PM Friday till 6 PM on Sunday.
How To Really Get Custody of Your Child
Let’s discuss reality. I believe you need a very clear mental image of what you are facing.
Women file for divorce around 70% of the time. That doesn’t include the times they leave with the child (like mine did) that force a man to file just so he can see his child. Or the times where you catch her cheating and file. Because of our system, it is in the woman’s benefit to file for a divorce from you. So even if you are happily married you need to keep this in mind.
Prenuptials rarely help if she wants to fight them. If you ever do get married, then get one, but understand they aren’t usually followed in court and they are never used for custody.
Different states have different basis for starting custody. Texas is a decent state for a man to get custody. California and New York are the worst. Understand, even the best state is not 50/50 fair between men and women. As a man you start at a disadvantage.
Near the end of the process, and through many other Civil lawsuits I have realized a Family Court Judge is as close to a god as our country has. While there are laws on the books, these are looked at more as guidelines. They always have one easy out so they can pretty much ignore the law – “The Best Interest Of The Child”. With this statement they can do anything they want to you or her. They can make your life hell. So always be polite, honorable and controlled when you are dealing with the courts or judges.
Primary Care Giver
You will hear this a lot during your custody battle. Basically, the Primary caregiver is considered the person that takes care of the child’s needs most of the time. If you are going to have any chance of getting custody, then you had better have been VERY involved in your children’s lives before the divorce/custody starts.
I really loved my son when he was born, and I wanted to be the best dad I could. I changed dirty diapers, bathed and dressed him, and got up to feed him. Since I owned the company I worked at, my wife would come in and work part time in the accounting department as she wanted. I would typically handle the first “sleep” feeding for the child which was typically around 10 PM and she would handle the 2 AM feeding. I would get up at 6, feed him, get ready for work, and take him to the office with me. I had a little swing set up for him. She would get to the office around 10 or 11 AM and take over.
Having been involved this much with his life helped me at the end of the custody hearing, after the Home Study, but did not help at all in the Emergency Hearing. During the Home Study I said my wife did about 60% of the child care while I did 40%. She said 70%-30% which was close enough for the home study professional. It was close enough to realize the child would be taken care of where ever he was (and she would not have the stay-at-home freedom she had after the divorce as she would have to go to work).
The first consideration is to make damn sure you 1) want your children and have been as close to a primary caregiver as your job would allow & 2) you can offer a better life to your child than if they live with your ex. We aren’t using the kids as a tool here, we are doing what we believe is in the best interest of the child. If you want custody cause you are mad at your ex and want to hurt her, you are doing the same shit 70% of the women do. And you will likely fail. Getting custody takes a lot of dedication and persistence.
You will need resources. Sorry, there just aren’t any good free resources for men. I spent $25K on my lawyer, and another $100K on hearings, supporting her and the child, private detectives, home studies and psychological exams. A typical custody hearing is going to cost at least $10K and probably more like$20-25K. I hope yours is lower, but if you are going to fight, go in ready. Get a second job. Do whatever it takes – these are your kids we are talking about.
If you have any fear your relationship is falling apart start documenting NOW. Get a digital sound recorder and a small pocket video cam. Get online and check the laws of your state, but Texas allows a person to be recorded without their consent. California has some strict laws about this, so use your best judgment. Many states, like California requires you to notify the other party if you are recording. So at the beginning of each interaction you tell her, “For my protection I am documenting and recording your actions.” Most women have a severe sense of entitlement when it comes to custody, and while this phrase serves the purpose of allowing you to legally record the interaction, it will also piss her off. The more emotional she is, the more mistakes she will make.
File for a divorce/custody first if at all possible. I know, this one sucks. Guys hate doing this as the guys that want custody are the guys that usually want to work it out. If you file first, you get to set the pace of the trial. I wanted to get through mine as fast as possible. It took 10 months. If she files and wants to drag it out it could take 2 years. Judges are in no hurry to speed your case up. The prevailing thinking is that the longer it takes, the more time you two have to reconcile the relationship. This is why they say it takes so long. I still think there is more money to be made by keeping you in the system. Oh, and the longer she has primary custody of the kid(s) the harder it is for them to be awarded to you. I mean, if she has taken care of them for 2 years while you went to court, there is no reason to disrupt their routine by making you primary now.
If you can help it, do not leave the house. Do not agree to share it either. Do not tell her to get out. Just be silent after you file and she is served. Most women will be pissed as they are served and they will react emotionally – going to a friends or family members place.
Next, you will start a journal. Document everything. Every time you talk to your ex you write down the date, time, location and what was said. Even if she just says “hi” write it down. These are admitted as evidence, and with the video and audio recordings they will show patterns of behavior and speech – which will hopefully show you as the non-aggressor and more mature person. It also tells the judge just how determined and responsible you are for the best interest of your child.
Every conversation you have with her, in person or on the phone will be recorded. Use the digital recorder to capture the phone conversations and the pocket video cam to capture the face-to-face interaction. If she calls and leaves a message you will record it on a the digital recorder and catalog it in your journal. Each recorded message and video will have an entry with the date, time, location and what was said and will also be duplicated onto a CD and/or DVD.
Every interaction you have with her is about the child. You will never get mad at her (where she can hear it or see it). You will not call her names or start a fight. You will never talk down about her in front of the children, even if she isn’t around. This is where her normal nature will work against her.
You see, almost every girl I know will be emotionally fired up in this situation. Due to our culture, she is likely to have been taught very little self control. The calmer you are, the madder she is going to get. By not discussing anything but the welfare of the child, you are going to drive her nuts. As she tries to engage you in other topics, simply tell her you only want to discuss your child.
I didn’t get this on video in my divorce, but I have a friend who had done everything I had said and got lucky. By his being nice and just focused on the welfare of the child, she became very mad. She pushed him several times, and since he wouldn’t react or fight back, she hit him. He immediately called the police. Of course she told the police he hit her first… that’s when he pulls out the digital recorder. The police watch the whole thing on their laptop, and off to jail she goes.
While she was in jail, he not only had custody of the child, but he filed another emergency hearing due to her violent state. He was afraid she would hurt him or the child. She was convicted of domestic abuse, and he got a protective order against her. He eventually also got full custody.
Now, you have the basics down, you need to think about your wife’s character. This was a big one for me as I knew exactly how childish my wife would act in some issues. So on Tuesday, before my Wednesday visitation, I would call and let her know I would pick my son up at 6 PM. Even if I just left a message it was recorded and documented in my journal.
Now the first few times I showed up, she wouldn’t let me have my son. This was recorded and documented. If you didn’t know this, 99.9% of the police WILL NOT enforce a custody document when it is a man trying to see their child. It is considered a civil issue and a judge’s orders, so you have to go back to court. The judge can file a contempt on her, but likely will not. In my case I simply documented the first couple, then I reported them to my lawyer. He called her lawyer and I am sure her lawyer called her.
The next time I go to pick up my son, she is pissed. This is the next step is documenting her personality. She is going to threaten and cuss at you for “getting her in trouble” for reporting to your lawyer she was not following the court ordered visitation. STAY CALM and let her vent while you record everything. Put your mind focus on like a POW – name rank and serial number only. Your only concern is your child, not your ego. Feel free to say “I am only thinking of our child” a couple of times as it pushes the emotional buttons in a girls head making her react even more violently.
Her: “You called your lawyer about visitation? You are an ass!”
You: “I am only concerned with seeing my child.”
Her: “I hate your guts! When I win you will never see them.”
Recorded and documented.
I hope you get the ideal.
Also, as she gets more emotional she will also give you vital information for future documentation – like when she is traveling, dating and going out. She will do this to “rub it in” just how much more fun she is having without you.
Temporary Custody Orders
During your first hearing, emergency or otherwise, you would likely get temporary custody orders. Not only is visitation listed in these orders, but other issues related to the welfare of the child are listed in this document. A big one is “No Alcohol is to be consumed within 12 hours of seeing the child or around the child.” You might also request no “significant others” around the child during visitation for each party. Sometimes the courts will grant it and I have never known a woman who would follow it.
You, however, will follow every order in this document. Do not screw up and give her a single point of ammunition. Do not get this judge mad at you. To get custody you have to be spotless following the judge’s orders and putting the child first.
My ex liked to drink and she didn’t respect me, the judge or the fact she even had to go through a custody hearing. She definitely had contempt for the entire system.
I knew this and let it work to my advantage.
On a weekend she had my son she would travel to her moms. Her boyfriend worked part time at a bar in her mom’s town (at first – she moved this guy in with her by the 3rd month). I would simply hire my PI to follow her when she got to town and document. He caught her letting my 10 month old son play on the floor behind the bar, her drinking around the child and even driving home from the bar with my son sitting on her lap.
When I would catch wind that her brothers and boyfriend were coming in town, I would have my local PI do a “trash inventory” when she put the trash at the corner. You see, when it is at the corner it becomes “community property” and your PI can inventory what is in it. One inventory with my ex had something like 72 cigarette butts, 48 empty beer bottles and only 2 dirty diapers. While I couldn’t prove she didn’t change him, or that she smoked or drank around him with this, it still looks VERY damming.
Never, ever tell her what you found or the evidence you have. You will give it all to your lawyer when he tells you he is ready for it.
Now, most states will do a home study. I got the absolute most detailed one I could get. If you read on home studies you will find the cheap ones are a single interview with you, single interview with her, and maybe a few reference checks. The interview will be conducted while you have the child so they can see how your interact with the child, and will likely be where you are living so they can see the living arrangements for the child.
The more detailed study includes a brief psychological exam, detailed questionnaires, extensive reference checks and 3 separate interviews with each of you so the examiner can get a good feel for you. Since I filed, I picked this study.
I did everything that was requested, on time and with a smile. This is not the time to pour out all of your evidence, but if they ask you questions about her conduct since the case started, answer them honestly.
Examiner: “Why do you believe you should have primary custody of your son?”
You: “Well, since she was caught driving home from a bar with my son on her lap rather than strapped in his car seat, I worry she will not make the best decisions regarding his welfare.”
My ex didn’t take this very seriously, and barely completed all of the request. She missed appointments, barely filled out the paperwork, and turned in less than the minimum references.
If you can, you want to instill such a positive image on this home study professional that they recommend to the judge that you be awarded primary custody. The recommendation from this person will carry a lot of weight.
Depending on how harassing her lawyer is (or she wants to be) you will likely have depositions. This is where her attorney starts reviewing all of the case data in front of you and ask you questions. Your attorney will be present.
During this time you will answer truthfully, but you will give as little information as possible. These are usually taped and recorded, and you just know in a 2 hour video, if they can find one little way to make you look bad, they will.
With my attorney, I would answer questions: Yes, No or Yes, with explanation.
The “Yes, with explanation” is to let your attorney know this is important and you likely have evidence that shows you in a better light, or is damaging to her case.
My lawyer was a good old boy. Her attorney was a shark. Young, very smart guy, who was trying to make a name for himself. That, and I think he found her attractive.
He was an ass to me, but by the time we had gotten 8 months into this case I had a mountain of evidence on her, and she had nothing on me. He tried everything he could to make me look bad, and was unable to do so. He also tried very hard to get an emotional response from me so he could try to show the judge I had an anger problem. I stayed very calm and positive.
Next you will have mediation. This is an expensive day or two. In my case, we were ordered to mediation by the judge as I had tried like hell to not go. I knew it was a waste of time.
On this day, you and your attorney sit in a room, and her and her attorney sit in a room, then you present your case to a mediator along with what you want out of the divorce. She does the same.
Now, we are 9 months into this custody battle. I have all kinds of damaging information on her. I can prove she has broken court orders at least a dozen times and that she has literally placed my son in danger. She has not let me have the child at my court appointed times and she has been very verbally threatening.
I am not debating asset split, or anything like that. You take your crap, I take mine, we sell the big assets and split the cash – or cost.
What I will not negotiate on is having primary custody.
The mediator talks to her for an hour (they asked if we would let them go first, usually the plaintiff – the person that filed – will go first). Then she comes in and informs me under no circumstances would my ex let me have primary custody. Great, no need to keep talking. The mediator tells me that we have to keep negotiating and that the judge ordered it.
Keep in mind, this mediator will file a report for the judge that will highlight the day, and let the judge know if a decision was reached. You don’t want to piss this person off either, but you have to stay on point. This is not the time to give in, no matter what your ex seems to offer.
My ex offered me extended visitation, no child support, and more assets. The thing is, the judge decides child support, so that is a bogus offer. My worse case was already extend visitation.
However, I truly wanted custody of my son.
So stay on point of discussing the evidence you have against her and what you believe is in the best interest of your child.
You answers and statements are not, “I want…” but rather, “I believe it is in the best interest of my child if…”
You will do this for about 8 hours. Bring a book or a computer, it is a boring day. Also, most mediators have games, books, magazines, food, drinks etc. in the room you are at. They will tell you it is to make you as comfortable as possible – this is a lie. By giving you all of this stuff, they hope to activate the Law of Reciprocity – that is to say they give you cool food, drinks and games, and when they ask you for concessions on your divorce you are more likely to “owe them one” so you will agree to more. Even if you do eat or drink the food and enjoy the books, you paid for it, so you owe them nothing.
As for me, I wouldn’t even drink their coffee.
After this wonderful day, you will likely get a firm date for your hearing. Depending on the courts, it will likely be a month or two out.
In my case, my ex was eager to get the hearing over as she was pregnant. In most cases, your ex’s lawyer will file several continuances. He will try to extend the final hearing date out as far as possible. That is partly so he makes more money, but mainly because the longer she has primary custody, the more likely the judge is to let her keep primary custody.
Now, I have heard several different final hearings from friends and clients, but they all have one thing in common. The final hearing is mostly for you and your ex to feel like you had your day in court. The judge has already reviewed all of your paperwork (evidence). They have called any professional witness like the home study professional to clarify any information. This final hearing is so they can see your demeanor, her demeanor and to see if anything else has happened or changed recently. Another words, the judge has pretty much already made up their mind.
So you will be called to the stand, and her lawyer is going to try to make you look like a crack smoking, wife beater that cheats on his taxes. You will answer with yes, no or yes with explanation which will allow your attorney to hit those points again in front of the judge. They will question you over any evidence they have on you. They may bring up things from your past that have no bearing on the case but don’t make you look good.
Now, your attorney will take a much softer approach with your ex wife – after all she is a female and a delicate flower. He may questions her about a few thing she did in contempt of the judge’s orders, or talk about a few of the interesting private eye reports. Above all else, you want your attorney to appear calm and controlled, just like you have been from the start.
You see, men and women tend to come to a woman’s defense while they won’t for a man. So while here attorney can tear you a new ass, you must not allow your attorney to do that to her. We don’t need the judge feeling bad for the hot girl taking a beating on stand. So you will never get to “beat her up in court” you simply get to let the evidence be presented.
After the hearing, the judge will make a ruling. He will award one of you primary custody, and set the terms of the asset split and visitation times. No matter what, do not react happy when you win. This is a horrible affair and you only did it for the best interest of the child.
After the judges decree, your slate starts over. All that great evidence you got on her can no longer be used against her in civil court. That means if you got custody and she still wants custody, she can file for a new hearing. My state will not change custody papers for one year (outside of some major emergency) so you will have some time, but you will have to gather new evidence.
After the hearing, you will continue to record every conversation with your ex. No matter who won, she will be emotionally charged. She is likely to call you names, or gloat that she got custody of the kids. She is likely to act very childish. Document, document, document.
Also, during the ENTIRE civil case, you are not dating. I know most states have “no fault” laws, but you must keep in mind most people’s biases – if the woman cheated they believe the man likely did something to make her and if the man cheated they believe he is likely a sex addict. She can fuck the entire football team, and as long as she doesn’t do it in front of the kid, she will suffer no ill effect in court. You can kiss one girl 10 months into your divorce and be portrayed and a cheater and untrustworthy.
I was awarded primary custody, with her having extended visitation. She had to pay me like $125 per month in child support (the first divorce). I was awarded the house, and she had 30 days to move out. She was also awarded her car, but she had to refinance it within 90 days or I could repossess it.
Watch You Back
I have seen a lot of “Forensics Files” type shows that demonstrate someone dying in a court case. 30 years ago, it was likely to be the man as the killer. If you watch them know, it is usually the woman who is either the killer, or orchestrates the death of her ex.
A very good friend of mine, well educated, Executive Vice President of a $3 billion dollar company was following my advice, and almost through his custody battle for his 3 beautiful kids lost his life to the three in this picture. Their mom worked for a charity group and had fallen in love with a 15 year younger gang member that got her hooked on crack cocaine. Just weeks before the final custody/divorce hearing, her young lover and 1 other gang members approached my friend as he got into his car at work and gunned him down. He is deceased, she (and the others) are in jail, the kids are parentless.
I would never wish this on anyone, however these experiences are what set me up to become the Alpha I am with women and business. While you are going through your divorce, start learning everything you can about human interaction, Alpha training and WHY women feel the things they do. It will definitely save you thousands – if not millions – in the long run.