I retrieved a 5-year-old girl who had been abducted to Pakistan, even though Pakistan is not a signator to the Hague Convention, by utilizing the resources of our local courts, the FBI, Interpol, the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and numerous contacts in Pakistan. The Pakistani court, which conducts itself according to Muslim law, did not hesitate in recognizing my client’s Virginia custody order. The return of the girl was covered in all DC-area media.
A young daughter was abducted from Florida by her mother’s family when mom died before dad (my client) was able to get there, and the child was whisked to Iceland. Although her whereabouts were concealed, we presented a Virginia custody order to local authorities and my client picked up the child from school. To prevent the kidnappers from obtaining a counter-order, my client drove his daughter straight to the airport. The kidnappers followed, a high-speed chase ensued, and my client’s car was forced off the road. Fortunately, no one was hurt and an extremely alert Icelandic police officer assessed the situation quickly and accurately, and escorted father and child to the airport. The case was front-page news in Iceland for days. I am not well-liked in that country.
A 4-year-old boy was abducted by his crack-addicted mother with a violent felony record and was missing for 6 months. We received a tip that she was staying in a motel in Waldorf, Maryland, but we knew that the mother and her associates could move at any minute. I got an emergency warrant to detain the child from a Virginia judge on Christmas Eve, delivered it that night to Maryland State Troopers, and half-a-dozen cruisers surrounded the mother’s location. The boy was home for Christmas.
I warned a local court that a very alcoholic mother with a criminal record was planning to kidnap her daughter from dad, who had custody. The court did not think the evidence was credible and permitted the mother to have visitation. Within days the child and the mother were gone. We called on police departments in four states, plus the U.S. Marshals and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and finally retrieved the child in Chicago. Mom spent a couple of years behind bars, but not before threatening the life of the judge, the child guardian, and me. The court graciously apologized for not getting the call right the first time.
Dad won custody of his four minor children in what the judge called the worst case of emotional and psychological abuse he had ever seen. Still, he allowed visitation. The mother promptly took advantage of it and refused to return the kids to dad, who lives out of state, trying to claim that the father was abusive to them. The court did not agree. Undaunted, mom went to dad’s state 24 hours later to peddle her abuse story and obtained an emergency protective order without dad’s knowledge. The police arrived at dad’s house to pick up the children, but to the officer in charge, something just didn’t look right when mom drove up. So he got on the phone with me and the city attorney, who, miraculously, told the police to disregard the order. The next day, the out-of-state judge reversed his own order. Eventually, after 5 appearances in 3 courts in 2 states involving 4 law enforcement agencies and multiple social service organizations, the mother was ordered to have no further contact whatsoever with her children. And she was ordered to pay the father more than $70,000 in attorney fees spanning a two-year period.
A father whose wife gave birth to a child by her lover finally won custody of his young children when we showed that the mother was flagrantly trying to impose her boyfriend on the kids as their new father figure. My client had spent thousands of dollars at a larger firm before bring the case to me. That firm had recommended he settle for joint custody.
A divorcee with custody of her children had a long-term boyfriend who often spent overnights at her home. The ex-husband filed to have custody transferred to him, claiming that the mother’s love life was morally harmful to the children. She had hired a very prominent firm which recommended she ditch her boyfriend and settle. I disagreed. We were able to prove that the father had regularly fornicated with multiple partners when the children were with him. He dropped his custody petition.
A young mother convicted of shop-lifting with her toddler in tow lost custody of the little girl to the father. The mother tried repeatedly to bring abuse charges against him.
A gay father won physical custody of his son against the heterosexual mother, since he was deemed the more fit parent. The court did, however, order that dad could not cohabit with any other men as long as the son was living with him.
Mother won the right to make all medical decisions regarding her ADHD son after the father repeatedly objected to administering Adderol and Ritalin to the child. The judge ruled that even the doctors who testified as to their reservations about these drugs and the risks that accompany them admitted that the medications are helpful in most cases.
Dad and his new wife were home schooling a 10-year-old with behavioral disciplinary problems. The home schooling was obviously having a beneficial effect, but the boy’s mother claimed that he was being denied adequate “socialization.” Dad’s experts testified that there is no empirical evidence in any scientific literature that home schooling has a negative impact on “socialization.” Dad kept custody.
A father with custody of two boys wanted to relocate out of state, and mother asked the court to keep the kids in Virginia. Dad said he had family with money out of state and a family-owned business and argued this would be best for the boys. But mom showed that she was integrally involved in the boys’ lives even as the non-custodial parent, and that relocating them would harm them emotionally, for they would essentially lose the maternal relationship. The judge agreed with her.
The mother of two young girls was murdered, leaving the father to assume custody. Dad and the mother’s extended family despised each other, and the maternal grandparents asked for visitation and a share of custody. At first, the court ruled for the grandparents, but the decision was appealed. Eventually, it was held that the sole surviving parent did indeed have unfettered discretion to determine with whom his daughters would associate. However, at this stage of the case, after almost two years of proceedings, the father pled guilty in criminal court to murdering the mother. The girls were now parentless and the case became a custody contest between two sets of grandparents. My clients, the paternal grandparents, won.
A young mother of two boys fled her extremely violent and abusive boyfriend in Chicago. The boyfriend/father tracked the mother to Virginia and quickly filed in Chicago to get an order to return the children to him. We showed the court here and in Illinois that the Chicago order should be thrown out, since the father’s brutal and repeated battering of the mother forced her out of that jurisdiction in the first place. Virginia took over the case and granted mother custody and a protection order. Then we got the father arrested for stalking, for which he spent 6 months in jail, and, since he was an immigrant, deported.
A couple separated when husband learned of wife’s criminal misconduct. Wife, here on a spousal visa, calmly informed husband she was going to file a complaint against him for abuse, because that was the only way she could stay in the U.S. and get a permanent visa. The case was thrown out when we showed this evidence the prosecutor.
A mother was absolutely convinced that her ex-husband was sexually abusing her 5-year-old daughter. The child’s stories were meticulously detailed, and Child Protective Services suspended all contact between the girl and her father. But a renowned psychologist examined the child at length and concluded no such thing ever happened.
A divorcing spouse who received $350,000 from an older male friend she described as a “godfather” to purchase a house had this amount imputed to her as income, which reduced the “guideline” amount the husband was to pay her for child support to zero.
A husband who made $300,000 a year as an attorney tried to convince a judge that his business suddenly dried up and his income plummeted, and thus he could not pay alimony. We pointed out that this income collapse happened exactly the moment his wife found him cheating. The judge ordered him to pay her $10,000 per month.
Even though a wife helped husband start his IT business in their living room and continued to help out with promotions and behind-the-scenes tasks after it was up and running, she was denied a share of a $50,000 bonus given to the husband by the purchasers of the business after it was sold. The judge said the bonus was not agreed to until after the parties separated and was not part of the purchase price.
An alcoholic husband and self-fancied handy man was so drunk whenever he tried to improve the marital home that he actually caused it to lose value. The wife was awarded 75 percent of the marital estate.
The wife of a retired military officer who represented herself in court was denied a share of the marital portion of the husband’s pension because she did not ask for it when she filed her answer to the husband’s initial complaint for divorce.