Parents who lose custody of their children find themselves in desperate situations and may even go to great lengths to get their kids back. In California, a mother who lost custody of her children in a bitter court battle with her former husband found herself in such a situation. When the father was away, she went to his home and took her kids. They have since disappeared, but the police have not given up in their efforts to locate them. Children of the Underground, a loose network specializing in helping parents retrieve their kids in perceived wrongful custody arrangements, helped to get the mother and her children off the grid.
Though these cases of parents kidnapping their own children are pretty common, there are better (and more legal) ways to win back custody of your kids. And if you are seriously considering going back to court, you’ll need to take an honest look at what went wrong the first time you lost your battle. Texas judges act with the best interest of the children at the forefront of their minds. For some reason, they believed the other parent could better care for your children. Why did they come to that conclusion? Were you a threat to the well-being of your children? Was there abuse involved? These questions are tough to answer, and whether or not they apply to your specific case, you must start at the beginning of why the courts awarded the other parent custody.
When you’ve determined the reason you were not given custody, your next step is to find a family law attorney who has experience winning these kinds of cases. With your attorney you will figure out if there are any contingencies. For example, has the court placed any stipulations on your ability to receive custody of your children? Do you need to seek counseling, drug/alcohol treatment, or parenting classes? If the court has made any of these a requirement for you, then take the appropriate steps to complete them. Rather than arguing over the validity of these requirements, it will help your case if you clear up the court requirements, regardless of what you feel is right or wrong. Compliance is your best option.
Be ready to tackle whatever the court expects of you
If you truly desire to get your kids back, then be ready to do whatever the court asks you to do. Show up to every hearing, and try your best not to reschedule any appointments with your court-ordered mediator or child’s guardian ad litem. In the process of waiting for the child custody agreement, make sure you are still exercising your visitation rights with your children and engaging in parenting time. Do everything in your power not to make the situation worse and be courteous when you are picking up and dropping off your kids.
Modifying a child custody agreement is something the court does not take lightly. Most likely, the child’s other parent will openly oppose the change and a contentious court battle might ensue. You must be ready and willing to make the changes required of you if you want to get back custody of your children.