I am a re-married father of two daughters, both of whom I have custody of. Recently, my ex-wife entered a lawsuit against me requesting custody be granted to her based on a "significant change in the girls circumstances". Two years ago, she sued me for the same, and lost (withdrew her case on the advice of the judge, her attorney, and the Guardian Ad Litem). There was no "significant change in the girls circumstances" then, and there isn't one now. The first lawsuit cost my family and I over $7,000... only to be withdrawn since there was no basis for it. The whole thing was pointless, and the lawyers were the only ones who benefited. This second one has already cost me about $2,000, and we haven't even had a day in court. My children are happy, healthy, well cared for, and are doing very well in school and extra-curricular activities... there are truly no issues that would suggest that any change in their living arrangements would be anything but detrimental to their lives. My ex-wife on the other hand, was recently charged with Class 3 Felony Identity Theft against one of my daughters (yes, the same one she's suing for custody over)... however, I have no way of letting the court know this prior to this lawsuit going any further. If I had the opportunity to speak to someone (the Judge, GAL, or a mediator) prior to this lawsuit going forward, I could let them know of her crime, and also ask that she prove that there has been a "significant change in the children's circumstances" that her court document suggests. This would allow for the opportunity to stop the process from going any further unnecessarily, or to allow it to continue if there are merits deemed worthy of court action. These two lawsuits have been financially crippling to us, and have taken a great deal of time and energy that would otherwise be spent beneficially for our children. As everyone knows, times are not exactly easy right now, and to waste thousands of dollars on this type of case with no basis is making things even harder. To allow these types of events to continue, without grounds, is devastating to families. I'm sure there have been many similar events around the country, and that many families would benefit from this opportunity. This "qualification process" would allow families to discuss the issue briefly with the a court-appointed representative to determine if a full hearing/trial/etc. is necessary, and it would also free up the court system to focus on more important matters.
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