What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? IL
I am approaching final hearings on custody of my 2 year old son and the Guardian Ad Litum has recommended full custody to my soon-to-be ex spouse. As you might guess I'm finding the report to be very one sided and incomplete (looked at my prior divorce but not her 2 divorces, unbalanced interviews, not following up on things the fact she has a son that recently went to a group home for sexual offenders, getting basic facts wrong etc, but long story short the GAL concluded in her summary paragraph that:
"both are good parents, but since the court has to choose, the mother works from home and the father has the child in daycare 5 days a week so the 'primary caregiver' should have custody." The GAL is wanting to cut me back from half time physical custody to Wed-Sunday every other week until he goes to kindergarten when I will have only every other weekend.
I thought this was a rather antiquated notion of child custody that says the mother is the best choice all things being equal. If I quit my job and get on foodstamps like her would I get custody? The mother hasn't even had a car in a year and has never been able to hold a decent job and claims to make about $8,000 a year at home doing private accounting work. How is my son better off with her watching TV while she is doing excel spreadsheets than in daycare where he can be stimulated? Why should my relationship with my son suffer because I have to work to support him AND her (I pay child support despite having temporary joint physical custody currently)? The GAL says that joint custody is not feasible because the parties can't work together, but I have sent Email after Email trying to coordinate schedules, address medical issues etc. and the only thing i get from her is attempts to reconcile and then when I refuse she files protection orders with completely fabricated "incidents".
My lawyer says it is not uncommon for the judge to go against the GAL but it looks bad to me. I want to put the GAL on the stand but my lawyer says no we will address it in my direct examination during the final hearings. I guess my question is what is the best way to counter a GAL report that goes against you?