Never Stoop Down to Her Level
Video Transcribed: What is the long game? My name is Brian L. Jackson. I am an Oklahoma dad’s rights attorney here with Dads.Law, where fathers are not disposable and I want to talk about long game strategy in custody litigation in Tulsa.
Now, what I mean by the long game is when you go into court, your end goal is to get out of court and get out of court with an outcome that you can live with, even if it’s not exactly what you want. In the case of custody litigation, the goal is going to be to get out of court with some kind of an arrangement where you get to have a good relationship with your kids that isn’t going to be all kinds of jacked up.
So, when you are thinking about it in terms of being in the moment and you’re dealing with that custody case, one thing to keep in mind is what’s happening in that exact moment isn’t necessarily going to be what is going to happen in the long run. But your conduct in the short term can definitely impact what happens in the long run. And the reason I want to point this out is twofold.
One, I want you guys to have hope. Understand that just because she’s playing games now, doesn’t mean that she’s going to be able to cut you out forever. If you continue to pursue your case, you continue to keep asking for that time, keep fighting for that time.
Keep saying, no, I really want to be in my kid’s life, and show the court that, in the long run, all things being equal, you’re going to get that time. It may not be that you get the resolution you want instantaneously, but in the long game, you can get that positive result. Whether it’s through negotiation and wearing her down or whether it’s through courtroom proceedings, you can get that positive result. But it’s important to understand the long game.
Now, the other reason that I bring up long game is if she’s going to play a lot of bullshit games early on in the case and you see that, unfortunately, we see it more often than a lot of us would be comfortable with. But if she’s going to play those games, it may feel like at that moment, she’s getting away with everything and you’re being held to a higher standard.
And I understand that feeling and that like, well, why the hell does she get to be a bitch and I have to be a good guy? But understand when she’s a bitch, if she’s a bitch long enough and nasty enough, eventually she’s going to come to a point where she’s going to have to explain her behavior to the court. And if you really aren’t doing anything wrong and she’s being an ass, then that will be weighed against her when you get to the end game of what’s going to go into this decree.
It can put you in a stronger negotiating position if you’re talking mediation. And if you have to go to court, it gives you basically bullets to shoot at, or obviously, I mean that metaphorically, but it gives you ammunition if you need it.
Although, ideally you hope that maybe you stick it out long enough and you’re persistent, and you catalog enough of her nonsense. And then when it’s appropriate, you file appropriate motions like motions to enforce or citations for contempt. You can position yourself in such a way that you look like the good guy and she doesn’t, and that makes it more likely a court will give you what you want or that you’ll be able to negotiate what you want.
Now obviously, it’s not guaranteed. Nothing’s guaranteed until you get it in writing and the judge has put their John Hancock on that order, but it does certainly improve your position. And you want to do long game thinking. So you don’t want to be doing little petty crap to her, even if she’s doing little petty crap to you because it can bite you in the ass in the long run.
Think long game, what do I need to do? What can I do with my attorney to position myself so that when the end game comes, when that final order drops, I’m getting the best terms I can get or at least getting terms you can live with?
Because at the end of the day, that’s what you’re going to live with. Things like temporary orders are important, but that’s not what you’re going to live under for the rest of the kid’s childhood. It’s that final decree is what’s going to control. So at the end of the day, it’s what goes in that final decree that matters most and that’s where you really want to pay attention to that long game.
Make sure you’re not doing stupid ass shit that makes you look like an ass. If you get asked to do something by the court, do it and do it fast. If she’s being a bitch, don’t rise to the occasion. I know it’s tempting, but don’t because it’s not going to help you in the long game and it’s that long game that’s really important.
Now if you have questions about what I’m talking about here or you have any other issue where you need help now and you need a good lawyer, then one place you can find a good lawyer is you can go to Dads.Law, where fathers are not disposable.