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A Look into the Life of Being In Loco Parentis

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Child Custody and Rummy 500

I have found that dealing with custody issues in court is a lot like playing a good game of Rummy.

First, you get all the good cards that you can. Don’t underestimate the value of each card. Good cards aren’t just the aces and face cards, those are obvious; good cards, played correctly, can be low-point cards too. It’s the same in a custody case. Sometimes it’s the little things that add up to bigger things if you have enough of them.

Plant seemingly useless cards in the discard pile and pay no mind to them. When I say “seemingly useless”, they are not really useless, they actually go with something in your hand. When I say “seemingly”, what I mean is that you just can’t let on as to what they are, and you have to be willing to give them up if they do get picked up by your opponent. The higher the “useless” cards are in the pile, the better. In other words, when you can take the whole pile instead of the last card, you’ll have more cards to play with later. More cards is a great way to win. Sometimes, when you have more cards than your opponent, they often have no choice but to play right into your hand. And that’s the way you want it in Rummy and in court.

When you give away cards that your opponent can play, remember that that same card also goes with something in your hand. That means that you can use the information too, even if only to “hit” on it. Remember, you still score points with hits, and if you can counter something that your opponent says in court (because it goes with something in your hand or something you can add to), or it gives you the opportunity to explain an important but contested decision that you made, then you’ve just moved ahead instead of going back. It’s important to know your material well, give very little (only what you’re willing to part with or hit on), and set traps that your opponent has no choice but to step into.

I’ve given my opponent cards that I know they need when I’m looking to go out. It’s underhanded, but I’m competitive when it comes to cards. I make sure they pick up all the cards, and then I lay my hits down and go out. Wham! They’re stuck deducting points from their hand while I’m busy adding my own (without deductions of any kind).

In a case where your opponent has more than you in a particular area, then a great move is to make a powerful statement that leaves them holding the whole stack of cards in their hand rather than getting a chance to play the majority of the cards. In other words, on the outside, they may have made a great play, but it wasn’t worth it in the end because they ended up deducting more points than they scored. I call this a trap. When you set a trap that your opponent cannot resist, you win. Plain and simple.

Now, you can’t ever let your opponent know what you’re doing. Change your strategy to make sure you win more games. It’s important to win the first few games, because then you’ve effectively shown them that you will usually win. There’s a lot to be said for psyching out your opponent. If you act like you’re always going to win, and they see that your confidence is backed up with real wins, then they will unconsciously accept this as true and follow suit (and loose), not on purpose, but because you’ve already convinced them that you’re better at the game than they are. By changing your game strategy every few hands, they never know what you’re going to do next, so they won’t have a strategy to beat you. They’ll just be chasing the real winner.

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Standing in place of the parent, or acting parent, or "in loco parentis" is a big job that comes with a unique set challenges. I created this blog to share my story and my experiences with those who find themselves in a similiar situation. I look forward to hearing your comments!

The expenses do add up, so if you’d like to pitch in, please feel free to donate a few bucks. I really appreciate your generosity!

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