Yesterday in the 231st District Court in Fort Worth, grandparents who were thwarted by a jury last year in their attempt to take their granddaughter from her fit father spent all day on the stand giving testimony before Judge Catterton. During the trial they previously argued that if the father was allowed to have custody of his daughter, he might leave the state. This time they argued that their granddaughter was being deprived by not spending more time with them. One observer commented that he had rarely seen such controlling people.
Once again home schooling was at the center of the grandparents’ arguments. While they complained that the girl had too much homework to do while she was with them on second and fourth weekends during their court-ordered visitation, they also protested that they did not know enough about her school. They told the court that the father was “negligent” because he did not tell them the location of a recent debate tournament she participated in, even though they acknowledged under cross-examination that they never asked him for the location.
The grandparents insist that their granddaughter exhibits anger and emotional stress when she comes to visit them, but then supposedly calms down by the time she leaves. They conclude that they should have more time with her, but some might conclude that the visits with the grandparents are the cause of the anger and emotional stress.
The grandparents are asking the judge to give them more court-ordered standard time with the child in addition to the two weekends a month they currently receive. They also want the father and his daughter to be restricted by the court to live only in Tarrant County or contiguous counties and are requesting a court-ordered counselor for the child. In addition, they are asking the judge to order the father to pay for their travel expenses to visit their granddaughter should he move further away than he currently lives. Finally, they are asking the judge to require the father to pay the $400,000 in legal fees they have spent while suing him to take his daughter. This request is ironic given testimony in the trial that the attorney for the grandparents told them originally that their case was weak from a legal standpoint, but if they were willing to spend more money than the father had, they could get the child. They also want the judge to force the father to post a substantial bond to prevent him from leaving the state of Texas.
Today, the father will be on the stand and the judge will also interview the young lady who is at the center of this battle as he considers the father’s request to require the grandparents to pay his legal fees incurred while fighting for possession of his daughter. Please continue to pray for this father and his daughter.