This was very difficult because our client went to court without a lawyer and got a final restraining order against him. Adding insult to injury was that he filed a number of frivolous motions which not only upset the judge but it made him look crazy. This in turn led to an award of counsel fees to the other side. Speaking of the other side, they had one of the top local law firms on their side. Thus, the cards were stacked against us. Although it took about 6 months, we chipped away at the case little by little, steadily making progress. My client went from having almost no visitation to supervised visitation to unsupervised visitation on a regular schedule. This despite the incredible resistance that the other side constantly put up including weekly allegations against our client.
This case was a different type of fight. Instead of fighting over custody, we were fighting over jurisdiction. The client knew that the state that established jurisdiction would forever impact his parental rights and obligations. The mother fought to keep the case in New Jersey and we fought to keep it in Pennsylvania. Even though the mother represented herself at the first court appearance, it still wasn’t a cake walk. We had to fight hard to get what we wanted and we did. Within two weeks, the mother hired a powerful law firm to file a motion to reconsider. We had to battle even harder and we did. The Court once again sided with us and the jurisdiction was kept in Pennsylvania.
This was a tough case because my client had been the non-custodial parent for years. After the mother was put in jail for pending charges, a custody war developed between my client and the maternal grand parents. I have to be limited in my comments about this one but after months of fighting a very tough opponent, my client was awarded custody of the child and the grand parents left the case with no rights to the child.