To tell you the truth, my strategy was no stroke of genius. First of all my wife left us and she has proven to be very unstable. I had to use that to my advantage for the sake of my kids. I had agreed to undergo every kind of therapy possible ( marital, family and individual) establishing that I was indeed interested in saving my marriage and keeping my family together. I killed her with kindness from the very beginning and in the meantime I assured her that I was in no way trying to hurt her. Which I honestly was not.
By the time she had gotten a job in her new town I had volunteered to give her anything that she wanted with the exception of my kids. I got my kids into therapy and I secured the support of the therapist so that in the event of a nasty battle I would have him in my corner. He was also the same therapist that my wife and I had seen together so he was aware of her shortcomings. Eventually she realized that I was the best person to raise our kids and that I would ensure that she could see them any time that she wanted. She signed a waiver of citation and waived appearance in court. I did all of the paperwork myself and came out of the whole thing down only $180.00.
Of course I agreed to a paltry child support sum and I am paying the bulk of our bills but I have my kids and they are very happy. I know that my case is definitely the exception and tomorrow she may be back in court claiming that she was tricked in some way shape or form but for now I am satisfied and I feel that my kids are definitely in a far better position than they would have otherwise been.
My strategy if anything was to treat her like she wanted to be treated and to give her anything that she wanted with the exception of my kids. If it had come to it I would have settled for joint custody at worst.