Getting Ready to Deal with Parental Alienation in Your Family Law Case
FOUNDER’S NOTE: As I write the lessons in this series, I will be drafting my motion to modify custody in my family law case in Colorado, and in the next series I will be writing my lawsuit against my ex-wife for damages caused by her relentless parental alienation over the past 10+ years, both of which will be posted in their entirety as soon as completed. In the meantime, here are two motions (with proposed orders) from 2009, so you can see how simple they can be; and here is a recent complaint for damages from the lesson series on HOW TO SUE, so you can see how a lawsuit is structured.
This lesson series will teach you one of the ways to deal with parental alienation in your family law case, namely by changing [or modifying or reversing] custody – or “parental responsibilities” as it is known in Colorado. We accomplish this by “moving” the court to enter an order in our favor, with a document known as a “motion,” which is, very simply, a written or oral request for a court order or ruling.
In the first couple lessons of our lesson series on HOW TO SUE, we showed you how to stay organized by setting up “Main,” “Controlling Law,” and “Pleadings” files on your computer.
So, start with that. Here are mine:
I named my Main file, “Dealing with PA,” and put three files in it: “1-Reporting PA”; “2-Modify Custody”; and “3-Sue for Damages.”
I have reported my ex-wife’s parental alienation and other child abuses and crimes to local law enforcement and other officials many times, so I will forego that process here, but will cover it and provide sample letters in a future lesson series. The next lesson series will teach you how to sue for damages caused by parental alienation.
In my “2-Modify Custody” file, I created a Controlling Law file, a Motions file, and a Contact List.
Open your Controlling Law file. Google: “changing custody in [your state].” At the top of the search list, you should see a link to the judicial branch of government in your state. Click on it, read all instructions for changing or modifying custody in your state, and download the forms relevant to what you want to accomplish. The forms will often cite the laws and rules that apply.
See my forms for Colorado here.
From Colorado’s forms, I can see right away that a motion to modify the allocation of parental responsibilities – which includes decision-making, parenting time and other considerations – should be brought pursuant to § 14-10-131, C.R.S. (Colorado Revised Statutes); so, I googled the statute and copied it to my Controlling Law file.
NOTE: No matter the source of the laws and rules and case law you download from the web, it is always a good idea to verify its currency, by checking the official website of your state’s laws, or by comparing it with other recent sources, i.e., your search will likely list a law firm or two that cite statutes on their websites.
When filling out paragraph #8 in the first form and the affidavit that follows, I will be using the language of that statute to argue why I am requesting a change in parental responsibilities and why the controlling law and the best interests of my children require the judge to grant my request.
And finally, I guess to save the judges and clerks time, Colorado requires that we include a proposed order with the motion and affidavit; so the Colorado forms packet includes a proposed order in which I will fill in the caption.
In Lesson #2, you will learn how to draft a motion.
NOTE: If you would like to see a lesson on a particular topic, or if you would like to write one or more of these lessons, please submit your request or lesson below: