Your surprise witness is his FIRST ex-wife. Using earlier custody proceedings to your advantage
If your opponent in a child custody case has been involved in a prior custody proceeding with another parent or ex-spouse, you may be sitting on a golden opportunity to win your case. Although there is often ill will between ex-spouses or former “significant others,” you may find that you have an ally out there, with lots of valuable information that can bolster your case.
Consider this hypothetical: You’ve just filed for divorce and custody. At issue in the custody fight is your belief that your husband has a pattern of irresponsibility, frequently leaving the children unsupervised and never setting any household ground rules. A chat with your husband’s first ex-wife could provide valuable information. For example, it may turn out that he was once prosecuted for child neglect years ago when he left his older children alone over night (when they were quite young) as he remained at nightclubs all night. Or perhaps you will learn that he is recycling the same legal papers from an earlier case — trying to pass off old pleadings as if they related to your current circumstances.
Communicating with his (or her) first “ex” can be difficult at first, but it may prove tremendously helpful. Not only may you gain insight into patterns of behavior, but your new ally may be more willing to talk — and peharps testify on your behalf — now that you’re both in the same boat.
Has anybody had such experiences?