Episode 20

Who Gets Custody?

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Most state laws require that courts treat mothers and fathers equally when it comes to matters of child custody. When I presided as a judge in Manhattan family court, that was the law, and that's how I treated each custody case. Families, especially children, suffer when this law is not followed. Unfortunately, I've seen this happen all too often. What has been your experience with this difficult subject? I look forward to your stories.

Your stories

  1. Court Unfair

    by Cheryl
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  1. "It has been horrible..."

    by B. My daughter filed for divorce over a year ago. She and her ex are both teachers in a small town in Arkansas. She had been the main caregiver for her two daughters for 7 years (ages 4 and 7). They had been marrired for 10 years and she was tired of the drinking and his manipulative behavior. He did not go to any parent/teacher conferences, sign any report cards, or help with any school projects. The divorce lasted a year involving an attorney for the girls who just happen to be friends with the husband's family. The husband's family is very influential in the town and they are a very large group. We have a small family and live in another town. Anyway, the court was a joke. The husband lied on stand, his aunt worked for the judge and because of his family's influence, the judge made an immediate decision and awarded full custody to the husband. It has been horrible. The girls cry alll the time and want to be with their mother. The husband still drinks and the oldest one stays upset.
  2. Not every court is like Judge Judy

    by Joan In 2001, I had 2 children who were 12 and 8 yrs old at the time. My ex had wanted them so badly and with the help of his mother, got a lawyer. That lawyer sent me a notice to appear in court at 8:30 in the morning the NEXT DAY for a child custody hearing. Well, they met unknown to me at 7:30 and because I didn't show up til 8:15, the judge already heard the matter and gave the children to him. I know what you are probably thinking...that there was nothing else going on. I think the lawyer was dirty Judge Judy, and because I had no money and he did, paid a little extra to have this done, and I think the judge was unaware of the fowl action.
  3. Court Unfair

    by Cheryl My husband was married to the devil!!!! She decided after being married that she wanted to be with her old boyfriend. She walked out of the house and left my husband with their child who was about 1 years old. He set up babysitters and took care of him until the wife found out he hired a lawyer. She went to the police station and said she feared for her life and needed my husband removed from the house. So the police went to house told my husband he had to leave. He left and she moved in with boyfriend and she decided to keep the child because she knew she would get child support. Well fast forward 20 years later. My husband has paid $880 a month for 20 years and she hasn't worked a day!!!! She got medical and food stamps from the state. Nails and hair always looked great but she didn't even buy the child a winter coat!!!! She refused. My husband bought those things as well. I think courts are not fair!!!! They always side with the mother, and the support went to her!!!
  4. A child needs 2 parents!

    by Lori My husband recently found out that he may have had a child with an old girlfriend that he was with before we met. She moved away right after they broke up and he never seen her again. It wasn't until a friend of hers ran into my husband that she said "I can't believe you never come to see your kid" did he even have a clue he may have had a child with her. He didn't even have a phone number for her anymore and all he had was the child's first name so, he contacted the court house in her area for birth records to see if his name appeared on the birth certificate. They said he had no rights because, his name didn't appear on the certificate. There should be a law that a mother must disclose the father at birth because. It's unfair that this child is now a teenager and never had a chance to even know his father and our children never had a chance to meet their sibling. Every child deserve's to have two parents regardless if those parents love each other anymore!
  5. Equal rights for both parents

    by Susan I believe if both parents are fit people, they should both have equal custody. "Mother/Father" shouldn't come into it. If a parent pays maintenance, they should see their children without issue. Although I may be hard on my gender, women should not be able to use kids to win an argument. I've seen it happen. If both parents want to be in their child's lives and live nearby, they should share custody and when the child is old enough to make a decision for themselves, they should be allowed to do so.
  6. Equal is not always right

    by Jennifer I personally have not had to battle for my children in court, but I have recently had two dear friends experience it. In Virginia the courts seem to favor the father. It's disturbing to know that you can prove physical abuse to the mother and the children are still forced to go to the father half the time. Even if they are terrified to go with him and begging for help, unless you can prove physical abuse (not spanking, pinching, spitting on, or emotionally abusing) he still gets them. It's the most helpless feeling to know you cannot protect your children and that the person they are most afraid of is their father and they are forced to be alone with them. I know I would like the assurance that I have an equal right to my children should I ever be in that situation, but it's heartbreaking to think I couldn't fulfill my innate right to protect them. As much as I believe children need both parents sometimes one parent does more damage and harm than good. And the children suffer.
  7. Stable parent

    by Greenbean I have a friend who divorced. She was left to raise three teenage boys. She was the more stable parent and responsible one. The father was out reaping his oats. The boys acted out from not having dad around, but years later he is stepping up to job. The boys are now man and doing well. Dad did not want them at the time he left. Not all dad's can step up and do a good job.
  8. I know you are always here

    by Ann After our divorce it was obvious that my daughter's father was going to be more absent than present. I never said anything bad about him, because I knew above all else, that child loved her daddy. While reading a book one evening before bedtime she began to cry. The book reminded her of her dad and she asked why he didn't want to spend time with her. Well that broke my heart. Then she came up with the idea that she wanted to go and live with him. And that broke my heart again. And I asked this little girl why she wanted to go live with her daddy, and she said that way she would get to see him. And I asked her what about me, and she told me "mommy you will always be there". I don't believe the absent parent can come close to understanding the void that is created in a little one's life when they aren't around.
  9. The sometime parent

    by Bruce & Janet Equal custody is great for the children if you have parents that truly share this responsibility. But I think more often than not, one parent is not around an equal amount of time. Maybe work, or location contribute to this but the court needs to recognize the lazy or unreliable parent and intervene on the child’s behalf. A parent that pays support but only see’s the child a few times a year does not need equal custody.
  10. The whole truth

    by Michelle First and foremost I totally respect Judge Judy. I watch her sometimes four times a day. This gives me enjoyment yes..but also I learn from her. I give my opinion based on my life. I have 3 children. I have a 20 year old son who I recently watched get on a bus and head to Marine corps bootcamp. One of the hardest things I have ever done. I have a 16 year old daughter and a 14 year old son. I have been married to the same man since 1991. He has been the major bread winner. I have watched children, been a server and worked on weekends. My children talk to me, they are honest with me. I believe that I have molded them and still as my favorite Judge says I'm the helicopter that hovers them. He has been emotionally and physically absent. In 18 years of school the teachers or principles do not know him.I think if he would have been given equal custody ( if that happened) my children would be broken. What judges hear is not always the complete story.My boys are strong because of me.
  11. Who gets custody

    by Jane My daughter and her ex-husband had a son. Divorce happened and my daughter was granted sole custody of their son. Father was supposed to pay child support and did for several years. Suddenly when the boy was about 11 he decided to no longer pay. Visitation was never denied to him but it was supposed to be a 50/50 split on cost for traveling back and forth. He was to provide insurance and never did. He really fell short of all the legal arrangements but the Friend of the Court doesn't go after the parents on either side without a complaint being filed. Living in one state and needing to use the courts in another required getting time off from work and making travel plans. Sometimes it wasn't possible to get it all done. My daughter raised him for most of his childhood without much help from the father. But to her credit, she did an excellent job and the boy is now a man and a very nice one, in spite of the lack of one parent.
  12. common sense

    by Bonnie

    I like how Judy sets 'em straight, Too many women have kids with guys they hardly know. I've no court exerience in this matter. As long as a parent doesn't have drug addiction or mental illness, kids should be shared amicably.

  13. Who gets custody

    by Samantha I think it depends on the parents. In my experience, when I was married, I did everything for our daughter, my husband didn't do one thing for her. He ignored her, he pushed her over when I wasn't looking, he was very nasty to her...hence the reason we are not together anymore. I hated him for what he was doing but he couldn't change, so I kicked him out! My daughter was emotionally messed up, all she wanted was his attention, but he just ignored her she was 5 years old when he left, she is 9 years old now..she is now a lovely, bright, happy and very confident young child! I'm glad I got rid of him when I did, or today she would have been damaged! He always said he would take her away from me in court! If it went that far, but it didn't. He chose to STILL ignore her! She has no bond with him at all! She would never come into the living room if he was sitting there. My daughter and I are very close, she is my world, and I am hers! The courts should ask the kids,no matter how old they are.
  14. Child Custody

    by Nico I don't envy the judge who has the burdon to determine who should get custody of a child. From my personal experience, my dad beat my mum up, so he could have my sister and the family court gave him the right in the end. His argument was, that he wanted to have at least one child he created. Now my sister has two children, both growing up without their father. In this case sadly their dad is NOT even looking after the kids and has estranged himself from them. Whenever I speak about this with my niece and nephew, even though they dont admit it, I can feel they need their father too. Whenever friends are breaking up and they created a child, I always tell them, please get along for the childrens sake, cuz they have a right for their parents to be in harmony and to be loved equally.
  15. Mommy and Daddy rolled into one!

    by Cheated out of child support I was divorced many years ago when my daughter was very small. My ex husband immediately quit his job in spite and declared bankruptcy and even though he left the marriage with an MBA and was immensely employable, the child support he was required to pay was cut to almost nothing. There was very little remedy the courts could provide, and I was told over and over that things would change once he got a job and had more income but for now they assessed the child support off of his almost non-existent income. I had to pay legal fees each time he tried to avoid paying child support. I agree that both parents need to be held equally responsible for the raising of the children and this needs to include financial responsibility. I felt very helpless and eventually just settled for what he was willing to pay. Years later, I had to sue him to pay for his portion of college expenses - would love it if courts required parents who don't meet obligations to automatically pay all legal fees...
  16. 2nd wives cause more trouble than they help

    by Judy P. I'll keep it sweet and short. When women get married they want to be the main focus of attention; they want their husbands to see them as smart and reliable. The problem with being a 2nd wife is if the man has children by his first wife, they still require his attention and the mother of the children will need his attention when dealing with various issues concerning the children. 2nd wives usually are jealous of the attention the 1st married partner is getting and don't want to share. Here is a point of view to look at it from: if you're the first child (first wife) you are the only one getting attention, then a 2nd child (2nd wife) comes into the picture and there is no choice; the parent/husband has to share his attention. It is unfair to the children to let the 2nd wife be in charge, they didn't choose her, they are just stuck with dad's decision until they grow up.
  17. All are not equal under the law

    by Sad Grandmother Love your show, agree with you 95% of the time. But all families are not the same and it bothers me that the law does not look at each case individually. Have heard you say "You picked him" While true, sometimes people's personalities change, or the woman has her eyes opened, esp. when drugs and alcohol are involved. Sometimes she grows up and realizes her husband's ways are immature, immoral and illegal. Add domestic violence, an attempt to kill the wife in front of their children, and several thousands in damages to the home in one night....well.....He did time in jail, and would not take the ridiculous online anger management and parenting courses for three years, often late with child support, posts pix of himself with pot and bongs on Facebook, and NOW wants to see the kids? He did drugs and slept all day and neglected the kids who ran amok while mom worked. In THIS case... no. He is toxic to these kids, who suffered horribly at his hands.CPS was useless. All cases are not the same.
  18. When Mom doesn't have it together.

    by Becky B I went through a custody battle when I was in a bad place in my life. At the time I couldn't believe I didn't win custody of my daughter and her father did. Looking back at my life then and seeing how far it has come since then, I realize that the judge was right. My daughter did belong with her Dad at that time. He had it together more than I did at the time. At that time, I hated that judge and the whole court system but it takes a real parent to reflect and admit that the best place isn't with you. If more courts were fair and equal then less kids would suffer abuse, neglect and in some cases, poverty. In my case, I went on to go to college and graduated with honors. Looking back, I know had I been awarded custody simply because I was the mother, this would have never happened and we would be living unstable and barely surviving. My daughter is 14 years old now, and she is thriving and happy. She's like any other teenager, likes to back talk and is over dramatic. We're closer because of it all.
  19. The Safe and Fair Way To Share our Kids

    by Debby I had a drunk of a husband who I left after years of abuse. Here in Australia, if the partner who has to pay child support is on a pension or unemployment they only have to pay $21 a month for all the kids. My ex was one of these and we had 4 children . I have always thought kids should see the parents no matter what and why the divorce happened. After all, they never asked for it to happen. Well, my kid's father never asked to see his kids, so I told him he should and gave him time with them. He abused that by taking them to a pub and getting drunk. I still thought he should see them, so I told him I would drive them all to a park. He would buy them lunch, bbq or a picnic, and I would sit away from them and read a book. In all fairness, I didn't have to let him see them but I thought I should be the stronger one. In the last days of his life, he didn't see them . But they had no regrets and can always say Mom did the right things. They were older when he died, and had no regrets as they loved him.
  20. We're one family who got fortunate (so far)

    by Anne I have custody of the children (now 14 and 13), because their dad works swing shifts and I work days while they are in school. No matter what the court said, he sees the kids on weekends and entire weeks when he is off, any time he wishes. He was, and is, a good dad no matter what happened in our marriage and I would never stand between them. Both of us took a page out of Jude Judy's show and support them. When parents put their anger at each other before the welfare of the kids, the kids lose. We were fortunate to not have great anger at one another and that both of us want the best for these people we are charged with raising.
  21. Deadbeat Dad

    by Toni My stepdaughter had a baby out of wedlock. She lives out of state from the rest of her family. Although the father acknowledges his fatherhood, and sees the baby, he is pretty much a deadbeat. The mother has a good job, and took him to court to see if she could transfer to the state where her family lives, for support. The judge ruled against her and is making her stay in Arizonza. I understand that part, but the judge also ruled 50/50 custody with her having to pay him support. He crashes on a friend's couch and told the judge, that he spends his time volunteering, that is why he isn't working full time. This was ruled in December, and as yet, he has not found a place to live, nor does he take the child accept for a few hours on Sunday. I do not understand this ruling, 1. they never married, how does he have the same rights? 2. The court accepts his part time employment and "volunteer" work paid under the table. 3. How does this unmarried mother end up paying him?
  22. Serving soldier

    by Michelle My son was in Iraq and his ex took the kids got full custody and he was told he had no rights. We have not seen, although we have tried, our two grandsons in over two years. My son is also not allowed to see them, she won't allow it, or talk to them on the phone. He is attempting to find a lawyer. Yes he pays a lot of child support and is totally current.
  23. Parental Alienation!

    by J I endured a 13 year relationship with a woman who never committed to our relationship, participated with monthly finances or supported MY relationship with our daughter. After asking my 'now ex' to participate and help equally, she took our daughter and moved out. She immediately filed false accusations of sexual abuse and started a campaign of sever alienation. My experience with the legal system, proves; in lieu of state code, the court only does what's in the best interest of the court. Opposing counsel manipulates the courts interpretation of state codes, empowering 'possibilities', which creates warning. Instead of 'the best interest of the child' the court takes small steps forward...protecting the court. This gives the alienating parent the ability to further alienate, using the court against the 'target parent'. In the end, the child is the one suffering! GOOGLE PARENTAL ALIENATION. Support awareness!
  24. 50/50 Custody

    by Heather My ex-husband and I went through a divorce therapist, then to court. The reason was so that we can get the opinion of someone who knew us as a couple in marriage therapy. She indicated that we would be perfect parents for 50/50. We filed, went to court, and 13 years later, we get along great still. My 15 year old son lives with his father Mon-Fri afternoon. He then comes to my house Fri evening-Sun evening. The reason this arrangement works great for us is that my son is in advance classes in High School and my ex is professor in those types of classes. I would have no clue how to help him with homework. I also get him every time he has school vacations or days off. My ex spends every holiday with my family(he has no family left) this way we are all together. Our son has never seen us argue. If we have words with each other, we do it in private. Neither his father, or I pay any money to each other. If there is a school expense, or clothing expense, we share it 50/50.
  25. Losing my grandson

    by Connie My son has been locked in a legal family court battle for two years. Him and the mom are not married and she didn't let him sign the Birth Certificate. My son had regular visits with the child until he was nine months old. The mom meet a new guy and has married him and filed for an adoption. My son filed a paternity suit, but because the adoption was filed four (4) days prior my son's case has been denied. The lower courts ruled in favor of my son establishing his paternity rights but the mom appealed and got decision reversed. WE ARE DEVASTATED to say the least. We have until late March before the appeals court decision become final and my son's son will be taken forever and adopted. Our family court lawyer said our only hope was supreme court which will cost an additional $2500 that we don't have. We have paid over $7000 and still paying the balance. I need advice and or exposure to this situation in hopes that the mom would change her mind before robbing us of knowing our grandson.
  26. Sacrifice

    by J. Just a quick history...I'm 38 and an Emergency Department Registered Nurse. I put myself through school and was married prior to becoming a mother. I thought I made good decisions. I met my then husband at a bar, he was alone... RED FLAG. We were married and have a son together. He continued to drink throughout our marriage. Never abusive, just selfish. I left him, and I stopped having children. I took him to family court so that we would have a set custody schedule. I was granted primary custody. He never fought me. I was hurt because I did not understand why he did not want to spend more time with our son. Now, four years later I get it. He's a drunk. I stopped asking him to take our son. He takes our son when he feels like it, usually around his drinking schedule. I don't know if this is the right thing to do. My point is, you can't make someone be a parent. They have to want it.
  27. Enervated father

    by R.L. Judge Judy, I have had an ongoing dispute within the court system of Tuscarawas County, Ohio.I have not been provided to have a healthy relationship with my daughter; furthermore, it seems that I continuously have to prove my value as a proper Ohio citizen. A standard parenting order that was accepted and filed in 2008 was considered void. I was once again accused of alcoholism (which I went to the VA for an evaluation and received no recommendations for treatment-this was the second accusation that I had to spend money upon to disprove). And, the magistrate that is hearing this case has made light of my situation within his recommendations to the court. The agenda of the court continuously changes from hearing what we are to settle and shifts to a minor dispute of "unfairness of drop-off location". How is any man expected to continue a healthy relationship with his child when he continuously is misguided, misrepresented or not taken seriously? I am distraught over our legal system.
  28. Courts and Judges need to dig deeper.

    by Blanche I was given full legal custody of my younger sister at the age of 16; she was 13. The state came and did all their inspections and I got a foster parent's approval to live on our own. But nobody questioned who was supporting us, It was my abusive father, but after it was found that he molested my younger sister they deported him to Canada. Then we lived under a tarp for a while. People in this country are forced to live by undefined rules. Everyone on our case got paid for something, But when it came right down to it we got nothing. In my present life, I make sure all the children I know are never put in a position like that.
  29. What did we learn?

    by Lisa Way back in 1972, my folks divorced after 17 years and three kids. It was not accepted by my dad who was verbally and physically vicious. My mother pawned all her jewelry for a lawyer and got us and the house, plus $75 a month in child support. My dad never paid a dime. After a year, while without support, a judge awarded my mom, my dad's share of the house if ever we sold it, and told him he was not allowed to see us until he paid support. With restraining order in place, he broke in one day while we were at church and waited for us with shotgun in hand. He aimed it at us upon our return and wept about his unfair treatment. During this long exchange, my mother found the opportunity and snuck out and contacted police. Before her return, he realized her absence and took the shells out of the shotgun. When police arrived, my dad was sobbing uncontrollably and my mom wanted him arrested. The cops took my dad home and told my mom the gun wasn't even loaded and advised her to just let him see us because this was her fault.
  30. Unfair Judge

    by Peter I married my wife to help her gain citizenship because she was sick and need medical treatment. I also helped her mortgage problem. But one day when I stopped helping her mortgage, she took me to court. Her charge: I shouted at her in front of our kid. The truth was, she shouted and punched me and frightened the kid. Without hearing a single word from me or any evidence from my partner, the court awarded the kid to my wife. When later I managed to convince my wife to return home, the court refused my wife's request for termination of the intervention order. When my wife applied to be heard in another court, the judge again refused the transfer to another court. It is very clear the court wanted to break up our family and nevermind the sufferings done to the kids especially. This is PURE EVIL.
  31. It needs to be fair and what's best for kids

    by Donna It just needs to be fair. My husband's ex just decides she doesn't want to be married anymore and doesn't give him a chance to know how to fix it. (He even lived in the basement for 6 months in an effort to give her space) My husband's ex wife got custody. He pays her a huge amount of support, has to pay 1/2 of activity fees, medical, 1/2 of her education for two years. (She was suppose to go to community college, verbally agreed, then without notice she went to private college for tune of 24,000.00 rather than 8 to 10,000.) Then he has to pay half of kids' college. There are three teenage girls. Last year, 1400.00 in activity fees there isnt a limit...he pays 1300.00 in support, monthly payments of 200.00 on her education. He also has to pay 16% of his annual bonus to her. After deductions, he makes barely enough to live on. She remarried too, comes all dolled up and we struggle to make it month to month. She doesn't even have to work! Geesh!
  32. Faith was put into the courts to be let down..

    by Keith My daughter was born three years ago. We were never married and seperated three months after birth. I went 1-2 months of playing games with my daughter's mother. She was dictating when, where, and how much I got to see my daughter. I filed for rights to see my daughter. I have a house and a room for my daughter. I felt her mother and I were just as important as the other. All I wanted was to be treated equally. The mother felt this was all my fault, so I did not deserve to be treated equally. She would not come to an agreement so we had to continue the court preocess. My first day in court the judge says, "you will save a lot of time and money by coming to an agreement because this is all I'm going to order". This was in reference to his temporary order 1 overnight a week & every saturday 9am to 6pm and before he knew any of the facts in my case. Needless to say, I was given just under equal time and ordered to pay support. Change is needed. The NCP (best interest of the child) is a money making ploy.
  33. Change in Custory without motion

    by Debralu When my son was 15, I had full physical custody, received child support. His father lived in Florida. During the summer, he visited his father/new family with the intentions of deciding whether or not my son would choose to live there. I was in the midst of a court case regarding divorce/equity distribution when out of nowhere the judge changed custody, giving full physical to my ex without it being brought in a motion or my input. My son started school there in AUGUST, changed his mind by Sept 1, wanted to come home to me in NJ, father refused. My son acted out, got his new mom upset, came to blows with his father. I get a call from my ex's attorney to pick up my son at the airport the next day. I didn't have custody. I couldn't register him for school. I could have been arrested. All because a judge JUMPED to what his father and attorney LIED about without ever conferring with me, the mother. What a night mare this judge caused based on misinformation and lack of information
  34. Better have a good lawyer!

    by Margaret I live in San Diego, CA and I had an experience with this very thing. When my son's father and I split up in 2006 I had custody of our son. I was working two jobs and going to school. He is a small business owner and generally works from home. I eventually lost my day job and had to quit school because I couldn't aford it anymore. I lost my apartment. He tok me back to court. He had an attorney. I did not. He got primary custody. He would not show up for visits. I would call the sheriff, they would go to his house he wouldn't answer the door and I was told to try again the next week. Eventually as my son got older, he started telling me things regarding abuse. I went back to court. He with his attorney. I still could not afford one. Three years later after a lot of drama. My son came to me with physical signs of the abuse and he is now living with me. I have full physical and legal custody. My point is that unless you have proper representation here in San Diego, you probably will lose your kids.
  35. Custody case

    by Lisa My husband and I divorced in 2001, I represented myself in court. When I told my children that mommy and daddy were going to live in different homes they were upset, but tried to understand to the best of their understanding. The children were 6 and 8. My children and I lived within a block of my family, so they wanted to stay at daddy's, that was fine with me, they had friends, school and family there. I took only my clothes and 1 of the 2 cars we had ( the one I took was the one that had the loan out, which I paid). I even left all the movies that were mine because my children watched them. To this day, my ex and I have shared our children who are now 17 and 20. The kids come and go back and forth as they please, no bad mouthing or fighting between him and I. Both parents are needed in their child's life. My children have told me thank you mom for asking us what we wanted. I love those babies, but, so does their father. Stop being selfish. Kids have feelings and are not pawns!!!!
  36. Unless Unfit Joint Custody IS in the best interest

    by Chrstine Why is it that it is always the mother that gripes about how awful it is for children to have two homes? Children are adaptable and if a child is used to being with mom four days and dad three days they will make friends, brush their teeth, do their homework and get a bedtime story in both places. True, the parents need to communicate and get along for this to work, but if the parents truly care about the best interest of the child(ren) talking on the phone to make the other aware when the science project is due shouldn't be a hardship.
  37. Daddy & Daughter

    by Love My friend got custody of his daughter over 10 years ago. It was uncommon then and, sadly, had he been the mother, it would have been a simple custody case- he had to take out loans for a lawyer that took him years to pay off... The judge ordered only supervised visitation and he requested she have a way to be able to have unsupervised visits for his daughter's sake. Sadly, in the past decade mom rarely calls and never visits so the daughter has little way of trying to reach her despite her father's efforts for them to stay in contact. But "mom" just moved on- remarried and had two more kids. Shame, she was blessed with a good kid.
  38. Deadbeat Mothers are not punished in NY

    by Step Mother of 3 My husband gained custody of his 3 children 20 years ago when they were 6, 4 and 3 because of neglect charges by the state. She was never ordered to pay one dime of support, and we were ordered to deliver the children to her every other weekend (200 mi one way) for visitation at our expense. She dragged us to court about every 6 months for about 2 years. We would have to hire a lawyer, take time off from work, drive 200 miles and sometimes she would show up and sometimes court would get postponed because she couldn't make it a block from her house. Finally, we got the visitation changed so that she would have to provide transportation. She once went 4 year without even calling the kids. When she would call, she would make it our fault that she couldn't see them because we wouldn't deliver them to her which needless to say caused much conflict during the teenage years. Their mother even tried to get spousal support when we had custody of the kids.
  39. 'SPERM' DONOR....

    by Andrew My wife died 5 years ago. I've RAISED my 'step' kids for 8+years at the time of her death. The 'biological' father came to play 'daddy' after 10 years of NO contact, not even a b-day card!! because they were worth $800/mo EACH in SSI money AND no more child support of $600/month (a $2200/month bonus for him!). I tried fighting for them and spent lots on a lawyer only to lose because he was the 'sperm donor'. I claimed NO CONTACT; Judge said he paid child support, that counts. I told him it was COURT ORDERED because he wouldn't pay. He said, 'Well, he didnt have to work'... I do have visitation and I did get my daughter when she turned 18 and came home; my son turns 18 in 18 months... cant wait for him to come home. It kills me to see MY WIFE'S MONEY go in his pocket. That belongs to the kids. He now lives in a NEW house, and has 2 NEW cars, and my kids were not allowed their driver's licences when they turned 16..
  40. My story from Ohio

    by Doug This is like ancient history, but it actually happened to me. I lived in Cleveland Ohio, and was getting divorced. I went Downtown to hire a lawyer, as my wife at the time had her well-to-do parents paying for one for her. I went to the initial consultation, and was told by the lawyer told me that "in Ohio there are 10 points to child custody, and the mother already has 6. You have to prove her unfit or something for any chance of willing..." then he told me that he'd take my case and to get started it'd cost $5000, and by the time it's over, it could be alot more...needless to say, at that time I couldn't afford that, so I went to the divorce court alone. She had her lawyer there, and was asking for everything, including household posessions, alimony , child support... I agreed to pay child support, she got everything, but at least I didn't have to pay alimony. This happened in 1982.
  41. Child support for dad

    by SANDY My stepson has custody of his eight year old son and the boy's mom doesn't pay child support. Now she is in a drug treatment program. I think a mom should have to pay or go to jail just like a dad would. A child needs food, clothes and shelter no matter which parent has him.
  42. My grandson

    by Pat It's certainly hard to treat fairly when the mother has been found guilty of child neglect by leaving a 15-month-old in a car alone and with whomever was willing to watch him while she 'painted' the town. She also would not abide by DSS rulings of what she needed to do to receive monetary help. Our son who lived with us, had a job, no criminal record, as did my husband and I, who I might add had been married for over 25 years at the time and lived in the same house for all those years. Yet the court wanted to treat her fairly. I just didn't get it....By the way, my son later married, my husband passed away and I adopted this boy who had many many issues to overcome due to his abandonment.
  43. Equality for all

    by Ashley Dear Judge Judy, my parents divorced when I was three. Back then (in 1991) the thought always was the child goes to the mother. Luckily they had a judge who believed the best capable parent should have the child. I went with my father and had a wonderful life. My mother did her part by paying support. What is best for the child is the number one thing. Thank you.
  44. Agonizing decision

    by Karen When my son was 6 years old, I made the agonizing decision to turn custody over to his father. I knew that growing up he would need a father's influence that a mother just cannot provide. It worked out well. My son has grown into such an amazing man! He holds down a full time job, has a home, a wife, a 5-year-old stepson and a brand new baby girl. I couldn't be more proud of my son had I raised him myself!
  45. Grandchild

    by Debra My son had a daughter with his girlfriend. They broke up last November. We (including my son) haven't seen her since then. She won't tell my son where she lives now, he is sending her 100 dollars every 2 weeks in her account. I would really like to see her. She will be three soon. My son tells me that he can't afford and attorney. We miss her so much.
  46. Who gets custody!

    by Diana BOTH!!! Hands down!! A child needs both parents in his/her life as long as they are both mentally stable, if either is not, get help first and then you can help parent your child.
  47. Do what's best for the children...

    by Pam Judge Judy, First I love you and wish you would come to our state and county and take charge! I have been a single parent for my children's entire lives. Their dad a true dead beat, blamed me but really chose not to have anything to do with them. He didn't want the responsibility of the kids or the child support, so we were in court all the time. He hurt my children's feelings so many times. I do not believe in joint custody across the board. Not all parents should have their children more than a limited time. Some parents do drugs, just want the kids for spite, etc. The children should come first and what is best for them. Unfortunately, that is often hard to determine, but worth the effort of investigation. I do believe some children are better off with one or the other. And sharing equal time between two homes is not always good or beneficial for the child (children) Thank you, Pam

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