Dad gains custody of daughter in “unwinnable” case
By Kate Davis
CHICAGO — A father split up with his child’s mother. In the custody hearing, she accused him of being a negligent father — but the father, represented by the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd., presented evidence to the contrary: That the father was actually stable, sane, and willing and able to care for his young daughter, whereas the mother had mental health problems. The judge agreed with Dad, ordering primary custody to him.
“Many observers would have called this case unwinnable — but we took it on, investigated and discovered the facts, argued the law, and won,” says attorney Jeffery M. Leving, founder and president of the firm. Leving will discuss this stunning court victory on his weekly radio show, the Dads Rights Legal Hour, 9–10 a.m. CDT Saturday, May 1, on Power 92.3 FM in Chicago.
Immediately following the breakup, the mother and father shared equal custody of their daughter, alternating parenting time each week. The arrangement, according to court documents, was shattered by the mother’s unilateral decision to deny Dad equal parenting time, refusing to return the girl to Dad when it was his turn. To remedy the separation of father and daughter, the Leving legal team went to court and secured an emergency order maintaining the equal division of parenting time, which continued until the trial.
At the trial — which lasted three days and encompassed the testimony of 13 witnesses, including two psychologists and a treating physician — the mother called into question Dad’s fitness as a father. “We did not stand for these allegations,” Leving says. “We defended the reputation of this dad. We gathered evidence and showed the court that the mother was wrong.” The judge ruled that the mother’s assertions were “over-exaggerated, not credible and unfounded.”
The court concluded that if the mother was given physical custody of the child, she would not facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship between Dad and the child, whereas Dad demonstrated his intent and desire to keep the mother actively involved with the child. The judge awarded primary physical custody to Dad
After Dad’s victory, the mother appealed. The Leving legal team continued to fight for Dad in the Appellate Court. They had to persuade the Appellate Court to affirm the decision of the trial court, which they did. The Appellate Court’s decision was strongly worded in favor of Leving’s client, the father.
This is a victory, modified for broadcast, “which shows that with our firm’s hard work and determination, and unwillingness to let the attacks against our client go unchallenged, we were able to uphold Dad’s reputation in the eyes of the court, and win primary physical custody for him,” Leving says. “This was a big win for Dad and his little girl. This was a tough case. We fought hard. It was rewarding to read the judge’s ruling vindicating Dad and awarding him custody.”
Leving says the victory was also fulfilling because it overcame what he sees as gender bias in the legal system. In his first book, Fathers’ Rights, Leving says the pro-mother bias is not insurmountable, as demonstrated here. “I want to assure fathers that you don’t need miracles to prevail,” he says. “The carefully planned, artfully executed legal strategy we provided got the job done in this case, as we fight for in all our cases. We fight for custody for many fathers, for the best interests of their children, and we’re winning.”
Jeffery M. Leving is founder and president of the Law Offices of Jeffery M. Leving Ltd., and is a strong advocate. He is the author of Fathers’ Rights, Divorce Wars and How to be a Good Divorced Dad. To learn more about Jeffery M. Leving and his latest court victories, follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and view his videos on You Tube.