NOTICE: I am NOT a lawyer and NOT certified to give any legal advice on this subject matter. If you want any guidance or are curious about one of my suggestions please seek the proper legal council.
I call it a war, because when one parent makes the decision to play dirty it is nothing less than that. However, just because it is a war doesn’t mean you have to sink so low as to fight with the same cruel tactics. No, there are ways of fighting this that won’t put your child in the middle of it, and will win the war in the end.
Only Communicate Through Ways That Can Be Documented
Don’t talk on the phone with your partner unless you absolutely have to. Text messages, emails, voice-mails, and even faxes are some of the best ways. Communicating through verbal conversation can make both of you tense if you’re not already. Be up front about where your partner can find the best way to communicate.
ALWAYS Document Things
It doesn’t matter if your text messages were never answered, if you have continuous documentation that you made the attempts it will look good on you. Remember to TIME STAMP EVERYTHING accurately! If you’re in a state where it is legal to video tape someone without their knowledge, do so. If you must make the person aware, document every pick up and drop off. This is more for the time to line up with any text messages you may get. This will show how late a person is, prove that you were on time, or show that you were stood up. These will solidify your time-line more. If you send things in the mail that NEEDS to be sent (like Holiday Cards with money), take video of the contents, use certified mail with return receipt, and video tape the package being dropped in a mailbox. This way the other parent can’t tell your child that they didn’t receive anything from you or that there was ‘only a card with no money in it’. I suggest not showing this information until they’re older as to not put them in the middle of the situation. But MOST OF ALL, keep these documents ORGANIZED. Last thing you need is to have the documentation, then lose it because it’s too messy!
Always Be Respectful
It’s going to hurt, but it looks better to the court if you are completely respectful through text messages and emails. Especially when your ex is deliberately being cruel.
IF YOU’RE BEING UNFAIRLY SEPARATED BY COURT ORDER
Keep Buying Gifts
Even if your child is NOT with you, keep buying Birthday Cards, Christmas Cards and other gifts just like you naturally would. When your child comes around, you’ll have something to show.
Make A Video Journal
The best thing you can do is preserve the present in the future. This includes showing the things you buy on the videos. Your child may not understand things now, they may even hate you now, but take it from someone who used to be that child… we always come looking for answers. If you believe your partner is horrible to your child there’s a great probability that they will come seeking you in the future. The best thing you can do is pour out your current emotions into a journal and when your child gets to a certain age, present it to them. Instead of talking badly about the other parent in these videos, talk about how much you miss them, how much you wish you could have been with them, and how much you care. It feels better to a child when they know you’ve dedicated time to them and keeping a video log (TIMESTAMPED) will definitely help!
Always Make Yourself Easy to Find
Sometimes when a child is alienated from the other parent for long periods of time, it is extremely hard to find them. They wouldn’t know where to look. It’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. However, once they get to around 17 and a half. You should start doing the following things:
- Create a Facebook page- Younger people love social media and it is probably one of the first places they will go in order to dig you up.
- Make sure they can realize that you and them are related, but ONLY speak in the third person! (Some judges see speaking on social media in the first person to the covered person as a violation OF the order of protection)
FIRST PERSON: “If you’re reading this and your name is Sean Tyler Heeger born on October 25, 2012, and your mother’s name is ******. Then I am your father”
THIRD PERSON: “My Son, Sean Tyler Heeger, is going to turn 18 on October 25, 2030, his mother’s name was ******, and he was born in 2012.”
I would also suggest placing your number in the phone book within whatever area your child lives in or in a general area.
Tips for Blogs
- Always write disclaimers on your blogs stating that a person is voluntarily coming
- If a person claims harassment, USV-Cassidy case-law states that any person visiting a site is doing so voluntarily thus cannot claim harassment and in doing so is harassing themselves.
- Always state FACTS, allow others to see the same negative opinion that you have made based on those facts. Opinions can get you in deeper trouble and could be used by your ex to validate their claims (even if they’re not true).
- Always write in third person, this will look like you’re not ‘targeting’ your ex specifically
- Make accusations in the form of questions: “Did she do this JUST to spite me?”
- Always keep in mind that your child may see this, this is why basing your blog on facts instead of emotions and having a private video journal for emotion is one of the best ways to go.
This is the best advice that I can come up with based on my personal experiences with this situation. I wish the best in hopes that laws will change so that we have less broken hearts in this world. In the end… we need to think about our children.
However, please seek proper legal council with any of these suggestions.