Do you know why it is so easy for mothers to get custody. Because fathers either don’t try for it, or when they do, they don’t take the time to prepare.
Should you be on an equal basis with the mother in custody considerations? Probably, but the fact is that is not how the world works. We have to work harder, and prepare longer, for such a challenge. As for visitation, if there was an order in place, and she was violating it, why didn’t you file to have her held in contempt of court?
Have her held in contempt of court and that is considered a change of circumstance, which is grounds for a change of custody. At the very moment the judge rules contempt.
But, to prove contempt of court, you have to gather undenial evidence, and your word is simply not enough. There are procedures for doing this and without the use of your attorney. A local father just did it today here in Kansas City. All without an attorney. Many states have set up systems for visitation enforcement, but they seem to lack in telling fathers about them. I now have police officers in two local communities giving fathers post cards with the needed info to do this. You don’t have to prepare for a custody challenge, only prove denial of visitation and request that the mother be held in contempt of court. Have the needed motion for a change of custody ready to hand the judge the moment he rules. He/she will not be expecting this type of preparation. He signs it right there at the bench and tells the mother to hand over the child to the father.
Will every case of this type go this easy. Probably not, but if you are before the judge without an attorney, and a mother and/or her attorney is not prepared for this maneuver, you can have a very quick win.