Yesterday, we had the opportunity to put on a trial in a custody case that had been on-going for 2 years. The parties divorced in 2010 and our client, dad, was awarded visitation with his children every other weekend. Over the next 5 years, mom began to alienate the children, not only from dad but from extended family as well.
In 2015, the minor child at issue was cutting herself, had suicidal ideations and had been institutionalized for her behaviors. Mom had completely cut dad out of the child's life and dad retained us to fight for his visitation rights. After a few hearings, dad agreed to participate in reunification therapy with his daughter. The therapy was very successful. Dad and his daughter were finally reunified.
In 2016, mom kicked the child out of her house. The child started living with dad full-time. Our office filed a motion in 2017 to temporarily modify custody so mom and the child could work on their relationship before the child returned to mom's care. Mom refused to participate in the necessary reunification therapy and refused to acknowledge that the child had been alienated from dad.
In August 2017, the child was still living with dad full-time and was having minimal contact with mom. Our office was retained to file a motion to make the modification permanent. A trial regarding custody was held yesterday and the Court heard evidence about the child's progress including that while living with dad she was very happy, healthy and emotionally sound. The Court awarded dad a modification of custody and gave him primary custody of the child.