Fighting For Custody

Dear Sara,

I was divorced two years ago and the judge awarded custody of my seven-year-old son to his mother. The last couple of times I picked him up for our weekly visits, he has been dirty. He looked like he hadn’t had a bath or changed clothes in several days. The glimpse I had of the living room wasn’t so clean either. While my ex works, the woman down the street watches him and she has three children of her own. I know it’s summer and the kids play outside but I would think my ex could clean him up to come and visit me. Last time I picked him up we went to Walmart and I bought him a pair of shorts, T-shirt and underwear and gave him a bath before we went out to eat. I wanted custody from the beginning but the judge disagreed. Do you think I should apply for custody?

Dear Mark,

Maybe you should talk to your ex-wife and try to figure out what is going on. Kids get dirty pretty quick and she may have tried to clean him up earlier in the day. If you think there is neglect going on you might want to take a few pictures to have some proof. If your son is well fed and has adequate supervision being dirty might not be a big enough issue to gain custody. If you find other signs of abuse or neglect you might have a better reason to ask for custody.


  1. Jai Rangappa says:

    I agree with Sara. Cleanliness is Godliness
    and is desirable and a judge cannot act unless there is child neglect.

    • It is useless to even try…the system is totally sexist.
      Read the Bradley bill some time and you’ll better understand what you are up against.

      My ex had provided more than enough evidence she was a psychopath, but it didn’t matter, it is an endless fight that a man can never win.

  2. Granny in Ga says:

    You need to do these things:
    Take the child out and get him some new clothes that are just for Dad’s house. Maybe pants and some shirts for his favorite team. Socks and underwear. Let him pick. Keep these @ your house and clean him up and dress him before you go out. You might want to start teaching some basic hygiene too. As he gets older this will be important. If he shows up in dirty clothes, wash them and send him home clean. Also check to see if he is being well fed, getting milk, meat and vegetables, and not just a diet of chip and soft drinks. Dirt tends to go along with poor food habits. Do his teeth look okay? Does he have a toothbrush? Is his hair clean?

  3. Jambes Marks says:

    Document EVERYTHING. Save receipts for clothing, note dates/times/places. Take pictures of the child, especially any apparent injuries. If possible get pics of inside and outside of child’s present home. Judges want pictures and facts. They can’t do much based on someone’s feelings. If need be, call Child Protective Services.

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