Fathers’ Rights and the Judge
Sometimes you can do everything right for fathers’ rights. You can have the best client, a father who cares for his child, who can provide the resources for home, education and the best upbringing for the child.
You have funding for legal fees. You can obtain the right witnesses. You can hire the private investigator. Your psychologist can testify the father is the best parent to have custody. You can win the recommendation of the custody evaluator.
You can develop the theme of your case. You can prepare well for trial. You can create a trial notebook with opening and closing statements, questions for each witness and a list of exhibits cross-indexed to the witnesses.
You can conduct the trial flawlessly, eliciting correct answers on direct examination, devastating opposing witnesses on cross examination, and winning on every objection.
But there is one wild card you cannot control and that is the judge. The judge is the final decision maker on custody. It is supposed to be based on best interests of the child. But that means only what the judge thinks.
And the judge is human. Judges are not trained in social work or family relations or
psychotherapy. We do not give them lie detectors. Judges see the evidence through their own particular filters based on their own life experiences. Do we ever know how a judge felt about his own mother or father? They are not even required to be right – only to make a decision. Of all the parties and participants in the case, they have the least contact with the child.
So sometimes you can do everything right.
And still lose.