In Part 1 of the High Conflict Custody Case Study: Drug Addicts, pertinent details were shared in an effort to have you, the reader, consider how you would rule on the child custody matter. We understand the information provided is very limited. It is for informational and educational purposes only.
The conclusion of this child custody case:
In this case, the judge wanted to establish the facts on the drug use allegations. He was also concerned about the parenting abilities of both parents (I think, because the kids were so young and there is a bigger bias against Fathers with younger children).
So, he ordered temporary child custody to the Mother and every-other-weekend to the Father. Additionally, Dad’s child custody would includes all Thursday overnights; Dad’s weekend begins whenever school/daycare dismisses on Friday, and ends Monday morning with school/daycare location child custody exchanges.
He also ordered and immediate drug test for both (both were clean) and random drug tests for both during the temporary child custody period. Further, he ordered co-parenting counseling for 12 sessions: six individual, and six joint.
In my opinion, this was your typical lazy judge, cookie-cutter response at this point. However, it is easy to see why he didn’t want to make a ruling based only on the facts that he had at the time.
Over the next six months, the Mother eventually showed her true colors. The kids missed a lot of school/daycare while in her care. The Father documented. Mom quit one job and was fired from another. The Father documented. Mom and the boyfriend broke up. Mom skipped out on two of the drug tests. Mom repeatedly used the co-parenting session as a forum to perpetuate her snide comments about the Dad’s sexual prowess or lack thereof, and to recycle the porn addict complaints.
Her third-biggest error came when she brought the kids with her to one of the joint co-parenting sessions. Her second-biggest error was that she carried them there without car seats. Her biggest error was lying about it, and then, after being caught in her lie, accusing the Father of stealing her car seats.
The co-parenting counselor concluded that Mom was too high-conflict for joint custody. She reported her to CPS (child protective services) for neglect (due to the car seats issue). She recommended sole custody to the Father, and Mom’s visits contingent on a clean drug test.
Dad’s highly aggressive and opportunistic attorney immediately petitioned for an emergency child custody hearing, along with a contempt-of-court charge for Mom missing the two drug tests (Dad had taken and passed all of his). The judge agreed. Mom was also ordered to a psychological evaluation, at her own expense.
The final ruling gave sole custody to Dad, every-other-weekend to Mom. Again, lazy judge, in that with the drug charges, and Mom skipping tests, it seemed fairly likely she was using. The Mother was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, but Dad ended up paying the psychologist’s bill.
The judge did give the Dad a stern warning that he was to keep any pornography put away where there would never be a chance of the kids accessing it.