Despite what one might think, a child custody case is not an open forum for one party to take the floor and use that time to explain to the judge what a terrible person the other side is. Instead of highlighting his or her own strengths as a parent, the party instead uses the entire case to paint the other party in a bad light. Oftentimes, the court will see the complaining parent as actively causing problems instead of listening to his or her grievances and penalize the complaining parent.
Take the case of 29 year old Angela Voelkert, recently featured on CNN’s website. During her heated child custody case, Ms. Volekert created a fake Facebook profile for a scanitly clad 17 year old girl named “Jessica” whom she used to “friend” the father of her child. The father and the “teenager” exchanged multiple messages including ones where the father expressed that he would like the teenager to “find someone at [her] school…that would put a cap in [the mother’s] ass for $10,000.00.” With a few other messages like that up her sleeve, Ms. Voelkart came into the courtroom with what she believed to be an airtight assault on the father’s credibility. Her entire case rested on these messages and she had little doubt that the custody of her children would be awarded to her.
But the father had a different plan in mind. Knowing that the chances of a 17 year old girl he did now know “friending” him were slim, prior to accepting “Jessica’s” friend request he signed a notarized affidavit that stated that he believed that “Jessica” was really the mother of his children or someone that she knows and that he was engaging in conversations in order to prove that she was trying to manipulate this case and intrude into his personal life and cause unnecessary problems. He also stated that “in no way so I have plans to leave with my children or do any harm to Angela Dawn Volekert or anyone else.” After testimony from the husband and notary, the mother’s petition was dismissed.