View Full Version : Need help finding information about ADHD and child custody...

06-28-07, 09:54 PM
I will keep browsing the resources here, but my DD's father is threatening to go for joint custody. He only wants this to avoid child support since he hasn't been involved in her life much at all for the past 6 years and now that I filed for child support, he suddenly wants joint custody.

My biggest hang up is that with her ADHD, I don't feel that being tossed back and forth will be beneficial. We have a hard enough timing with just me being in charge of her schooling and such. He has also shown numerous times in the past that he is not capable of taking her for extended periods of time.

Anyway, I want to do some serious research into this. I am contacting a lawyer tomorrow, but want to go into all of this informed and prepared.


06-28-07, 10:18 PM
Wow, there's a lot on your plate.

I read your other posts, and Mel has not had a formal evaluation yet? You need some backup here. I would highly suggest an educational psychological evaluation, one that takes a few hours to complete, and you will get the full picture. I just had DS who is 14 complete one as well, it was very well worth it. I also have shared custody (one week here/one week there) with his dad, have since he was 5-6 years old. It's not the best, but it's doable. Depending on really how involved dad is or gets with her, you may have to bump up your organizational skills to make it work, be prepared for lots of phone calls for reminders, and trips back and forth for forgotten items, but you can do it, if he gets any custody after all is said and done. DS comes to my home every afternoon after school and we go over everything together, even on dad's weeks, and dad comes to pick him up here. (He hates it but that's what he has to do since he doesn't do anything schoolwise over there.) So, try not to worry about that part of it, down the road. If it comes to that you will find a way to keep her in sync with her schoolwork.

I really think the court system works in favor of the child, though, and that any judge is going to see through dad's motivation for custody versus support, and if things have been pretty smooth up to this point, that is in your favor. If you have any documentation about the past and his lack of followthrough on anything, gather that up, as well as all her medical and school records, all of it. Your lawyer will need all that too. But you do need to get that formal diagnosis of ADHD underway if that is your concern with her being with dad.

06-28-07, 10:59 PM
Please check out these references when you get a chance :

1) The ADHD Book of Lists : by Sandra Rief,MA

2) Dr.Russell Barkley on ADHD ( Excerpts from his lecture in San Francisco,Ca. on June 17,200) @

The first one is not a "book" per se', as much as it a giant literature review.

Sandra Rief took all the important research over the last 17 years or so, organized and listed them by category, then included the references.

You'd have to spend a very long time even trying to put one of these sections together.

She also explains it all in an easy to read manner.

Why is this important, especially for forensic use ?, You can provide information based on research substantiated subjects; as opposed to personal opinion based on rumor, misinformation and innuendo (i.e., BS).

The second one has become the most useful reference I have in trying to educate parents on the nature of ADHD, which most clinicians & educators I come into contact with are clueless about.

This will become "huge" when it comes time to look at appropriate academic accomodations.

Good luck.


mctavish23 (Robert)

06-28-07, 11:36 PM
re: Home Study Request

If you get a social worker's "home study" done (and he does too) for the Courts, the authorities will certainly figure out who is the more "child centred" parent.

re: 'Child Centred' Home and 'Child Centred' Parenting Style

Just going for joint custody to avoid paying child support isn't a plan that will work out for him *LOL*.

Once they start looking around at how inappropriate/appropriate each parent's lifestyle is, to the Child's Development and Stability. (Assuming, as you suggest, his lifestyle isn't very child-development/wellbeing friendly vs. yours.)


Risk and Stressors for Child:

If you have a child who has a disability, and your Ex has shown that he hasn't the "capacity" (emotionally; frustration wise) to care for the child -- the Courts/Assessors should be wary of this, too.

One of the biggest causes of child abuse/child neglect is caregivers "overestimating" a child's developmental capacity .

(Think: yelling at a 3-year old for not being able to tie shoes, when child's Muscular System & Nervous System just doesn't have the Fine Motor capacity, to tie shoelaces yet... etc).

An unskilled/deficit-ridden/emotional-intelligence-ignorant Parent can become overwhelmingly Frustrated and have Unrealistic Expectations of a child's abilities and limitations.

I'd worry about your child's emotional development if she has to be raised or cared for by a developmentally-ignorant and disability-ignorant Parent.

It's not cool to have a High Need Kid around a parent (particularly a male) with low frustration tolerance. example: shaken baby syndrome, for starters.


06-29-07, 10:43 AM
Frazzle, I don't think I have updated since we got Melissa formally diagnosed. She has been on Adderall most of this past school year. I will look into the educational psychological evaluation though. As far as how "involved" dad will get, we have documented how his involvement affected Melissa when he did have her one school night a week for a while, when he was first with his current wife and trying to impress her. Her grades plummeted, and her teacher commented on how different Melissa was following her evenings with her dad, and it wasn't a good different. If this whole fiasco goes as former attempts to get him involved in her life have gone, it will fizzle out before the summer is even over.

Thank you Robert, I will look into both of the references ASAP!

Thank you as well for all of the points you made, QueensU. The home study is probably a good idea. It doesn't take anyone long to see Eric for what he is. Even going through the divorce and selling the house to his mother (she rented it out for some time, and now him and his wife live in it for free) the banker who met him ONCE commented to me "He really is a piece of work, isn't he. I have never dealt with anyone with suck a poor sense of reality. I bet you are glad to be rid of him!" I laughed.

His recent email, asking for her for the entire month of August, plus demanding that he take her through the school registration process and that HE decide what weekends he has her (while not knowing much at all about her lifestyle, her activities, her friends, OR her ADHD). Again, no sense of reality. But in his email he cited 2 journal articles saying that they claimed that children with ADHD are at higher risk of behaviors issues such as drugs, pregnancy, and suicide when their time with their biological father is limited. I found both articles and read them numerous times, taking notes, and neither states ANYTHING about ADHD at all, one is entirely devoted to boys age 7-11 who have serious antisocial behaviour problems and are in low income familes (Melissa fits NONE of those) and even that article supports limiting time with fathers who have antisocial behaviors (such as lack of responsibility and emotional impulsivity, both of which he demonstrates regularly). The other article goes into great detail about how the quality of the father-child relationship is important, but that the amount of time they actually spend together is not related to this relationship. So, he didn't even READ the articles! He just found 2 with titles he liked and cited them, making up his own story about what they said.

I am confident that should it come to a court battle, there will be no question of custody and I will remain her primary caregiver with primary custody. I have pages of documentation of past incidents involving Eric. I would like to avoid the whole thing entirely for Melissa's sake though. I am interviewing lawyers over the next few days, and will have a lawyer draw up a visitation "contract" of sorts to deliver to Eric. He simply refuses to consider any of my valid reasons for not allowing joint custody, but I can only hope that receiving them from a legal entity will get him to back off.

Anyway, thanks for the advice so far. It is GREATLY appreciated!