There is a strategy that parental alienation lawyers may or may not tell you. “Grab First Strategy” is arguably the most evil and yet amazingly effective strategy to put a parent in a preferred position in terms of child custody.
Theoretically speaking, when the father and mother are divorced, their children should be under the custody of both parties until jurisdiction. The children will not enter the new guardianship until jury decision is made. However, the actual world is often not like this.
Fathers used have a “friendly illusion” that as long as he remains friendly to his ex-wife, she will be friendly. This illusion often creates a preparation time for the mother to act preemptively for the advantages of her own. The mother often takes her children away from their dad directly by go live in another place, or issue an temporary restraining order (TRO) to the father. So the father can’t go back to their home and can’t get close to the children.
This often create a very hard time to the father, and the emotion is very painful. Very few fathers will do stupid things when they think they have lost their children. A considerable proportion of fathers will begin drastic fight with his ex-wife. Fathers don’t understand why they didn’t get good treatment despite their good intentions. Fathers also don’t understand why their ex-wives are so unfriendly. Oftentimes, fathers would find futile in everything they do. They can only let the time pass like this a month after a month.
From the father’s point of view, it’s “I can’t see the child”. From the child’s point of view, it’s “Daddy is gone”. However, from the court’s perspective, it’s “Daddy has disappeared from the child’s everyday life”. Therefore, when judging custody, it is very likely to favor the mother because it would make the minimal change to the children’s every day life – completely ignoring the fact that status quo facilitated by a unfriendly mother’s selfish (and even illegal) action for the mother in the first place.
Ways to avoid being victimized by the “Grab First Strategy”
You might wonder, this is illegal kidnapping of children. How can the judicial system let such a thing happen? The key is that neither the law enforcement officers nor the court know what really happened in this family. Therefore, they can only judge from you or your ex-wife’s reports or some other legal acts that reportedly occurred.
There are ways to avoid being a victim of the “Grab First Strategy”:
1. Be careful of the TROs: We are not only good fathers. We are nice human beings who won’t even kill an insect. Some of us have never entered a fight with peers during our entire childhood. However, we might find ourselves being describe a “violent spouse” or “violent father” purposefully, and we might be issued an temporary restraining order. The TRO is used to temporarily block the violent party from committing violence again. Its nature is to protect as much as possible, even with very little evidence. The protection also means isolation – blocking fathers from going back to his own house, accessing his own things, and seeing his children. As a father, it is very difficult to make sure you won’t get a fake TRO. But, there are some basic things to pay attention to. Please see our special article “How to avoid fake TROs”.
2. Try to establish multiple communication channels with your children, preferably secret channels. The reason why many “Grab First Strategy” works is that the children have spoken up against their fathers (us). It’s painful to see your child being brainwashed by the mother and say: I am afraid of my father. I am always under a lot of pressure when I see him. I have bad memories about my father. I don’t want to talk to my father. In this case, the judge has no other choice but to grant the children’s wish – under the same mentality that the judicial system should try to protect the weak as much as it can. The judge might know that the child is under influence and being brainwashed but there is no other way to hear what the child really want to say. Therefore, your secret channels come in handy at this time. For example, you and your children chat via another Messenger App. Or, one of the kid’s school friend passes your messages and get the reply back to you. As long as you get an evidence of the children saying they miss their Dad, you will be able to turn it around.
3. Take the “no see” time very seriously. Don’t just leave it there because you feel like it’s ok not to see your child often, or because you don’t want to give your child pressure of meeting up with you. As time goes by, the child will soon give up and never come back to find his father. From the court’s perspective, it looks like the child is ok for no longer living with the father. So don’t just leave it there. Any day you don’t see your kids, as long as you’re legally allowed to see them, you have to protest loudly.
Different ages have different reactions to “Grab First Strategy”
If you are in the early stages of divorce, of if you have just started talking, or even you just have a thought in your mind, the only thing that makes the most sense is to prepare for a stable and balanced relationship between you and your. The best way to fight with the “Grab First Strategy” is to start your own “Grab First Strategy” in a legal and reasonable way. Of course, how to do it also depends on the age of your child.
At different ages, the meaning of “Grab First Strategy” might be a bit different.
1. When the child is just born to before the age of 3, the court will hardly give you the sold custody because the child just needs the care of the mother at this time. Since the child is very small, it’s also very easy to grab and go. Many fathers go home to find it empty. Wife and child are long gone. When your children are at this age, your only chance to fight against the “Grab First Strategy” is to make “you” an integral part of this home and therefore you must live in this house. For example, the mother needs to work full-time and there are no other in-laws who can help with the daycare. Another good idea is, at this age, there is a good chance that the mother wants to leave this home and starts a whole new life while she is still young. Thus, do your best to persuade her towards the “outward” direction. That’s going to be the most natural and mutually-agreed win to the father (you) in terms of child custody.
2. When the child is between the ages of 3 to 12. This age is the easiest to “Grab First Strategy”. Even if the child has realized that his father is gone, the child still has to let life go on. The child can only accept it silently. The mother will block the door, and you will not have access to your own children. Even law enforcement cannot help you access your children before going through lengthy litigation procedures (and a lot of lawyer money). At the end, you may still not be able to visit your children because their response have been distorted by your ex-wife. The only thing you can do is to try to get the child to live in your house at the beginning, for example, because it’s closer to school, or because there is a larger bedroom, etc. So to make the child likes to live here. If it’s a foreign marriage, maybe take the children back to your own country.
3. After the child is 13 years old to adulthood: at this time, the child is hardnly influenced by “Grab First Strategy”. As long as there is no TRO between you and the child, basically the child is free to visit you. As long as you continue to live near the children. However, due to the loyalty problem of the child at this time, although the child is free to see you, the child might want to show loyalty to the mother by not wanting to see you. However, at this time, you can use some other incentives such as visiting interesting outing places or play favorite ball games, etc.