You may not know this about me, but I too was in a custody battle.
When my son was 13, just before his Bar Mitzvah, I learned that my ex had a girlfriend.
I was shocked… but not surprised.
There were several times that I suspected infidelity.
The marriage had been hanging on by a thread for many years but I was trying to stay married until our son was 18.
Our son had some significant development challenges and a diagnosis of ASD.
I was the CEO of his remediation and we were on an amazing trajectory. Language acquisition, gross motor and balance improvement. There was no way I was going to let a divorce fuck things up.
And there was no way I was going to leave the parenting to his dad.
So I buckled up for the fight of my life.
I was all-in to ensure that I would continue to be the primary residential parent.
Unfortunately, my ex was not on the same page.
My ex was not one to back down and he was going for 50/50 custody.
The court ordered a Custody Assessment.
I arranged to meet Dr. Collins at 9:30 am on a Monday morning after dropping Ben off at school. I arrived at the office early so I went into the coffee shop to relax.
My phone rang and it was Dr. Colliers. Stacey – are you still coming? Our meeting is at 9.
I can tell you for certain that our meeting was at 9:30 am. I had to get Ben to school at 8:45 am and I left myself extra time to avoid being late.
I could see this was a test.
Sometimes the psychologist will try to throw you off your game to see how you respond. But I was ready for this, so I replied: Oh…I had us at 9:30 am but I am right downstairs in the coffee shop. I will be up in 2 minutes.
Over the course of 4 visits, Dr. Collins must have asked me at least 100 questions.
And performed a series of psych tests.
This was pretty nerve-wracking.
Lots of landmines to step in!
What to say, what not to say…
Mistakes would come at a very high price.
Ben’s life was at stake. His physical and psychological safety.
This was a test I had to ace.
This is a test we all need to ace. And maybe you are ready to do just that.
If you are, we don’t need to speak. Go knock ’em dead!
But…if you think describing your ex as a villain is a way forward – please think again. You are about to step on a landmine.
A little prep work and some tutoring may be in order.
So that you too can ace this test.
That’s what I am here for.