Custody Preparation for Moms

A support site provided by those that have been through the process.



Ludicrous Reasons Why Good & Fit Mothers Have Lost Custody

Sadly, we must report that if you have a guardian ad litem (GAL) or child custody evaluator assigned or appointed to your case that is unscrupulous, ill-trained, incompetent or biased either toward a father or a form of custody, there is virtually no way for a mother to truly "prepare" for a child custody evaluator. If you have been unfortunate enough to have this type of evaluator, be very prepared to find other documentation, evidence, witnesses, and experts with superior credentials to refute the report and offer alternate views to the court. You can not let these sorts of evaluations stand. Here are some of the more ludicrous documented reasons given by evaluators or judges in numerous cases where good and fit mothers lost custody:

Breastfeeding--the mothers either wanted to and it was determined an alienating behavior, or they did not choose to breastfeed and it was termed child neglect or indifference

Children got head lice during a period of mother's care.

Too many people (all relatives) living in one home (i.e. mom had to return home to family to gain economic and emotional support)

Father remarried and married family deemed superior to single motherhood

Father's job and education deemed superior--sometimes even though mom sacrificed her goals and dreams so father could obtain same.

Not desiring 50/50 custody or other joint custodial arrangements

Not desiring to give up the marital home

Leaving the marital home while fleeing from abuse, especially if she left the children behind.

Going to church

Going to church too often

Not going to church

Having a different religion than the father

Having a different religion than the children

Home schooling your children

Being poor or less well-off than the father and his extended family

Having unprotected sex although no longer living with or married to your former mate

Believing your children when they tell of abuse

Being depressed or sad

Having been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) caused by the battery/abuse in your relationship with your child's father and having that used to term the mother "unstable"

Crying in front of any court personnel

Being anxious or "hyper-vigilant", even when abuse to self and children are an issue

Dating on occasion and leaving your child with a trusted sitter

Dating someone of another race

Not dating

Having a boyfriend

Not having a boyfriend

Living with a boyfriend

Refusing to marry your boyfriend

Having a social life--women have been penalized for taking occasional evening breaks away from the children for meetings, to meet friends, etc.

Not having a social life--women were penalized for being "wrapped up" in the kids and not having other interests.

Having a career

Not having a career

Working too much

Not working enough

Using daycare or before/after-school care so you can work to support your kids

Being non-white: a Native American, Black, Asian, etc.

Having your child learn your native language--mothers have been deemed more of a "flight risk" for teaching their child their heritage and language, or deemed to be alienating the child from the father by teaching the child a language the father does not know.

Being white-fathers ethnicity given greater accord because mother supposedly could not provide a racial/ethnic identity for the child.

Being involved in your children's education/volunteering-deemed "over-involved" or enmeshed with her children

Having a close, loving relationship with your child - court personnel seem to love pathologizing mother/child bonds as "enmeshed", "unhealthy"

Wishing to move

Being disorganized

Having a messy home

Being too neat & orderly

Being a lesbian

Being a good role model for your child--a female child in one case was noted by the judge as being "alienated" by the mother because the child looked up to her mother and wanted to follow in her same career path when she grew up.

Not liking your ex

Having been hospitalized for a physical ailment or injury

Thinking negative thoughts about your ex (doesn't matter whether you verbalize them or not)

Being an "unconscious alienator", termed as having the likelihood of alienating sometime in the future

Going back to school and using daycare

Not using daycare--mother deemed too "enmeshed" and "over-involved" with her preschool aged children because she worked at home and used her maternal relatives for occasional childcare and did not want to put her toddler into daycare/preschool.

Being disabled at the hands of your child's father

Being blind or deaf, although adequately being the primary parent of your child for numerous years

Photographing injuries found on your child and identified by the child as having been caused by their father

The evaluator didn't like the mother because she reminded her of someone--in one case, a woman was told she wasn't liked because she reminded the evaluator of her mother

Being protective of your children

Taking your children to the doctor - termed "anxious" parenting, or pathologized further into Munchausen's Syndrome By Proxy

Using your computer

Computer dating

Staying up too late at night to get work done

Sending the kids to summer camp - termed "farming them out"

Following doctors orders in administering prescribed medications

Taking your children to counseling

Children's grades are not high enough

Children missed too much school due to illness

You're not a father


"It is very tempting to take the side of the perpetrator.  All the
perpetrator asks is that the bystander do nothing. He appeals to the
universal desire to see, hear and speak no evil.  The victim, on the
contrary, asks the bystander to share the burden of pain.  The victim
demands action, engagement and remembering."
--Judy Herman




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