About The Custody Project (TCP)
The Custody Project is a small 501(c)(3), charitable, tax-exempt,
nonprofit organization, which was founded in 1994. It operates
almost exclusively through volunteerism.
Its charitable donations come from businesses, foundations, and
private individuals. It actively welcomes individual and grass-roots
Our advocates support our mission through active service,
expertise donated to accomplish TCP’s mission, grant awards,
charitable business donations, direct volunteerism and private
monetary contributions. Every contribution is important to our
Businesses and foundations which have supported TCP include
JCPenney’s, Old Navy, Macy’s, Raley’s, Target Stores, Bank of
America Foundation, El Cerrito Electric, Pic-N-Save, Home Depot, Safeway, Godiva Chocolatier,
Kinko’s, Copymat, Mail Plus, alphagraphics, Chevys, Stephen L. Gold
D.D.S. Inc. Orthodontics for Children and Adults, and Give Something
Through grants and loans, The Custody Project has assisted
families with rent, heating, utilities, food expenses, legal
expenses, and health and educational expenses. It has served
families in several states and its range continues to expand. Our Services
page provides information to the mothers we serve. Our FAQ and Annual
Letter explain when, where, why, and how TCP provides
TCP assists as many qualified mothers and their children as we
can. Unfortunately, this number is small compared to the need. With
your generosity, we can help bridge the gap!
News Flashes! describe many ways that you can help, including by
giving directly to TCP or, online through Network for Good and Just
Give, by percentages through your online and regular shopping,
by using credit card and checks on secured internet sites, through
stock, land, and moving vehicle donations, State and Federal
Campaigns, the United Way, tax write-offs, eBay, Guidestar,
our Dinner Benefits, and TCP's
December Raffle. Good Luck!
Form and online donation buttons are easy to use. Your contributions are tax-deductible. Please share our information with moms that The Custody Project can assist and also with interested donors.
Our 2001-2002 Brochure
is available online.Warning: it is a large file
(1.4MB). The brochure file will open in Adobe Acrobat, and it looks
best when printed on 11"x14" paper.
The Custody Project (TCP) is a 501(c)(3), charitable,
tax-exempt, nonprofit organization. Its mission is to promote the
general welfare, both directly and indirectly, of women and their
children as a unit as related to care, custody, and visitation
issues. Tax-deductible, charitable contributions will be applied to
support the programs, services, and activities of The Custody
- Heart to Heart, assisting qualified mothers
with care, custody, and visitation expenses, including reference,
consultation, and caseload costs, via grants and the revolving
door programs. Heart to Heart received 74% of every dollar in FY
01-02 and 67% of each dollar in FY 02-03.
- Fund & Friend-Raising, Public Awareness
Actions, including raising awareness of the issues and
hardships affecting mothers and their children involved in custody
and visitation proceedings.
- Property & Program Grants, including land
acquisition, capital, building, renovation, program development,
and technical assistance.
- General Purposes and Overhead, including for
general operating support to continue and to expand the operation
of The Custody Project.
- Where Most Needed.
- When a five-year old daughter disclosed being physically and sexually abused by her father, mandated reporters and family members came to her defense. At the custody hearing, it was revealed that the father has a long history of abuse of women and children. Even his seventeen-year old daughter from a previous marriage came forward and testified that her father had physically and sexually abused her, too, when she was between 4 and 6 years old. Yet, despite the evidence presented, the judge jeopardized this little girl's health, safety, welfare and best interests, awarding sole physical custody to her father and - irresponsibly claiming the mother was engaging in parental alienation - supervised visitation to the mother. Currently appealing the trial court and seeking a modification of custody and visitation in pro per, this mother has fallen behind financially. When she requested help covering her car registration, supervised visitation costs so that she can see her daughter, and trial witness fees, The Custody Project assisted.
- When a working mother won custody of her three teenagers, there remained the division of property to resolve. At a time of declining home values and foreclosures, the mother made full mortgage payments on the home in which she and her children lived for over a year. However, during the property hearings, a different judge stepped in and, giving no settlement to the mother, inexplicably awarded the home and its entire value to the father. Forced to move her family almost immediately, she was faced with instant costs for rent and the security deposit. Relying upon insufficient child support and her single income, she fell short. When she requested help covering a required attorney expense and a portion of her upcoming rent, The Custody Project assisted.
- A working mother exhausted her resources struggling to raise her four children while carrying the difficult burdens and expenses of dealing valiantly with repeated, time-consuming child support and family law proceedings in pro per for years. When she needed help with her mortgage, legal expenses, and life's common necessities including food and utilities, The Custody Project gave a helping hand.
- TCP assisted a mom who, receiving no child support, needed help with her rent when an unexpected employment layoff jeopardized her child's stability and their financial security.
- When a mom, defending custody of her children, needed financial assistance to pay her attorney, TCP responded.
- When a struggling, working mom, receiving no child support but with full custody of her four children subsequent to lengthy court proceedings, needed help with her rent, TCP assisted.
- When another mom was required by the court to meet specific financial obligations to ensure and preserve custody, The Custody Project gave.
- When another mom, to meet employment and court obligations, requested financial assistance for inperative car repairs so that she could safeguard her job, ensure her family's welfare, and attend court hearings regarding custody, visitation and child support, TCP responded.
- When a mom with a restricted income and full custody of her sons was unable to meet medical obligations due to lack of transportation, TCP's grant enabled her to buy an old but serviceable car so that she could meet the medical needs of her family.
- Another mom, requesting custody to her and supervised visitation for her child, obtained this through her court. However, depleted funds prevented her from paying necessary bills.
- When a single mother of two needed help purchasing a car seat for her son, obtaining required seat belt repairs for her car, and warm winter clothing for her children, The Custody Project responded.
- When a four-year old's father died suddenly, his mom faced an unexpectd shortfall. Child support, half dental and medical paid monthly by his dad were gone. His mother needed help covering their basic food expenses and TCP assisted.
- When a penniless mom suddenly moved out of a domestic violence enviroment with her three sons, TCP provided needed funds for school clothing, supplies and food.
- When another mom with insufficient child support found that her employment check could not cover her utility and childcare expenses, and she and her girls faced cutoffs, TCP assisted.
- When a mom needed help handicapping her home so that, while continuing to care for her children, she could recover from major surgery, TCP provided funds. At the same time, this mom sucessfully defended custody legally.
- When another mom, striving to keep her two young boys warm in the dead of winter, could not pay her heating bill, TCP gave. Her lack of funds for utilities was due to the high cost of successfully defending custody legally.
- Funds were provided to another who, beaten, raped, and hospitalized, could not work and faced full utility cut-offs and eviction. Custody was preserved while she healed and her bills were paid with TCP's help.
However, the difficulties some moms face make complex stories where excerpts barely, or will not, do justice, as the following cases illustrate.
- A New Mexico mom with custody found her son, without warning, suddenly ripped from her by a California court. The Custody Project assisted with some of the ensuing legal expenses necessary to regain her son.
- A California mom's young son was torn from her overnight without waring after they legally moved 40-50 miles so that she could accept work providing independent income, a good home and education for her son, and ongoing visitation to the dad. TCP assisted with some of the legal expenses required for her to regain custody.
- TCP also assisted another mom who, unreasonably denied visition or custody of her child, stated, "I have been unable to see my son for two years now. I owe tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees still...."
- Below follow a few thoughts from a mom who, to provide well for her children, needed to move. To do so required the lifting of her children's legal restraining orders which were causing them to live in unnecessary and extreme poverty. "To provide well for my children we should move, yet they are restrained by legal orders and we live in poverty as a result."
is dedicated to mothers everywhere. It was written by a mom who
successfully resisted eleven legal attempts by her ex, who
attempted to take custody from her and failed every
Myths vs. Facts
- You made your bed. You lie in it. Circumstances never change.
- I won't help you because no one helped me when I was, and my
family was, in desperate need.
- You should go through tough times alone. I did.
- I never talked about my problems. You should keep yours to
- You don't have a real problem.
- All mothers have millions of dollars and never have financial
crises. Anyway, the legal help you need is free and readily
- No one ever honored me for bearing my children. Why should I
honor or assist you?
- Ask your church, or your family, or your friends, or your
country for help - but don't ask me!
- I can only give $1-$25. My contribution can't possibly amount
to much for your problem. You need a millionaire's help. Ask only
millionaires for help - they'll help you.
- Somebody else will help you. Ask somebody else.
- Find a place in your heart to help, 'cuz you've been there.
- Many fine moms make between $4-$10 per hour and face financial
hardship when economic crisis hits.
- Court is very costly and a financial crisis can erupt when
custody or visitation must be defended in court. In almost all
cases, legal help is not free.
- Attorneys can cost hundreds of dollars per hour. Their fees
vary. Moms have been known to barter all their assets to hire
attorneys and to meet other court-related expenses to defend
custody and visitation of their children.
- Some mothers cannot afford attorneys, and have lost custody
(or visitation rights) as a result.
- A financial domino effect occurs when a mother, defending
custody or visitation of her children, can no longer provide the
common necessities of life for her family because her finances
have been economically stretched and simultaneously diminished to
an unsustainable degree.
We, at The Custody Project,
affirm that there are plenty of ways of caring, giving support,
encouragement and love, and helping to keep moms and their kids
alive, well and in better circumstances. There are a thousand ways
of sharing how much we care for our mothers and their children. Join
us in helping to express our lovingness and our livingness. As once
was said, there are a million ways of saying no and only one way of
"To compromise in this matter is to decide. To postpone and
evade a decision is to decide, to hide the matter is to decide.
There are a thousand ways of saying no, one way of saying yes and
no way of saying anything else." (Gregory Vlastos)
Thank you for your support!
Frequently Asked Questions
- Geographical Areas Served
Custody Project has served families in Alabama, Arizona,
California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,
Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North
Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Washington. Our range
continues to expand.
mission is to promote the general welfare, both directly and indirectly, of women and their children as a unit as related to care, custody and visitation issues. For more information, please see our Mission
- Why TCP Gives
Project assists with care, custody, and visitation expenses, usually during extreme financial crises, and helps stabilize custody and visitation.
gives in fulfillment of its Mission Statement. Our Case Excerpts, Testimonials, Myths
vs. Facts, Services for
Letter and Poem
sections help to explain when and for what situations we assist.
As stated in the Myths
vs. Facts section, TCP often gives because:
domino effect occurs when a mother, defending custody or
visitation of her children, can no longer provide the common
necessities of life for her family because her finances have been
economically stretched and simultaneously diminished to an
- Minimum Giving Accepted
No amount is
too small. All amounts are welcome. Every dollar
For more information see You Can
Help and our Contributions page.
Generous Contributions during the 2003-2004 fiscal year increased our giving to moms substantially. Since 1994, your annual donations have ranged from $1 to $3,500. And each contribution is welcomed, appreciated, and essential to our work. In light of the worldwide need to assist victims of tragedy, we welcome your generosity to our mothers and their children.
Our Charitable News Flashes! describe many ways that you can help, including by giving directly to TCP or, online through Network for Good and Just
Give, by percentages through your online and regular shopping, by using credit cards and checks on secured internet sites, through stock, land, and moving vehicle donations, State and Federal Campaigns, the United Way, tax write-offs , Guidestar, auctions, eBay and Paypal, our Dinner Benefits, and TCP's
December Raffle. Good Luck!
- Do We Thank You?
YES! See our Contributors.
If you wish to be named as an individual donor, please let us