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Thread: Bad GAL Report

  1. #1
    bradb388 is offline Junior Member
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    Bad GAL Report

    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?
  2. #2
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    "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'm not seeing anything you can use as a valid argument - the GAL must usually make a decision either way, and just because you disagree doesn't mean the GAL was wrong.

    One parent is always going to disagree. And nobody here can really second guess your attorney.
  3. #3
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradb388 View Post
    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?
    Apparently the two of you live too far apart for 50/50 to be feasible once the child starts school?

    What antiquated notion? Do you think that the GAL would have recommended for mom if you were the one that worked from home and the she was the one who had the child in daycare?

    While its not unheard of for a judge to go against a GAL's recommendation, I wouldn't necessarily say that it was not "uncommon". It does happen, but it usually happens when there is much more clear cut evidence that the GAL made a bad recommendation.

    The GAL stated very clearly that he/she was recommending in favor of the parent who had been the primary caregiver. That is a very "expected" recommendation.

    Please don't even hint in court that the judge should have somehow found the mother at fault because her other child is a sexual preditor. Mom's poverty is also not something that a GAL OR Judge can use against her either.

    I am sorry that this is going against you. Is there any way that you could change things to be living close enough to mom that 50/50 could still be easily maintained once he starts school, and that mom could provide daycare during your time?
  4. #4
    Hisbabygirl77 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Apparently the two of you live too far apart for 50/50 to be feasible once the child starts school?

    What antiquated notion? Do you think that the GAL would have recommended for mom if you were the one that worked from home and the she was the one who had the child in daycare?

    While its not unheard of for a judge to go against a GAL's recommendation, I wouldn't necessarily say that it was not "uncommon". It does happen, but it usually happens when there is much more clear cut evidence that the GAL made a bad recommendation.

    The GAL stated very clearly that he/she was recommending in favor of the parent who had been the primary caregiver. That is a very "expected" recommendation.

    Please don't even hint in court that the judge should have somehow found the mother at fault because her other child is a sexual preditor. Mom's poverty is also not something that a GAL OR Judge can use against her either.

    I am sorry that this is going against you. Is there any way that you could change things to be living close enough to mom that 50/50 could still be easily maintained once he starts school, and that mom could provide daycare during your time?

    I disagree, the child is at home currently for sexual predators but how long is he expected to be there? What happens if he returns to mom's house? Children who are sexual predators can be VERY dangerous to have around other children.
  5. #5
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hisbabygirl77 View Post
    I disagree, the child is at home currently for sexual predators but how long is he expected to be there? What happens if he returns to mom's house? Children who are sexual predators can be VERY dangerous to have around other children.
    IF and when that happens, Dad is absolutely free to bring it to the court's attention.

    But to hold that against Mom now? I'm not so sure about that.
  6. #6
    Hisbabygirl77 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmatique View Post
    IF and when that happens, Dad is absolutely free to bring it to the court's attention.

    But to hold that against Mom now? I'm not so sure about that.
    Ok I can understand that one. I guess, I was just going by the fact that I know the program that was used down here was a 3-6 month program. Not that long. So OP, do you know how long the child is going to be in the group home for?
  7. #7
    bradb388 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmatique View Post
    IF and when that happens, Dad is absolutely free to bring it to the court's attention.

    But to hold that against Mom now? I'm not so sure about that.
    My son is in danger and the GAL is not protecting him. And of course it is a reflection on her parenting. Her son is now 19 years old and released from a group home in Alabama for sexual offenders last year. He is in the area where his mother lives in Western Kentucky. She says she will not let him return home because her 17 year old daughter was the victim over the course of about 10 years. But it seems logical to me that he will find her and make some kind of attempt to return to the home as any son would. That puts my son in imminent danger. Do you not think he would have resentment toward my 2 year old son who essentially replaced him in the home? Regardless, how can anyone say it is irrelevant that the one boy she raised molested her daughter over most of her life. It is likely the boy was abused too as most offenders have been victims, so she protected neither son nor daughter. Does this not raise a red flag with you people? The GAL went out of her way to not look at this issue despite the fact I have records from the mental health facility that sent him to the group home. She is supposed to be my son's advocate and she is not protecting his safety. She wasn't even able to locate her sexually offending son as the cell phone # given by the mother was (guess what) not in service. NO attempt to follow up.

    As for poverty, yes it should be an issue. If one parent has held a good job for 17 years and the other has shown a complete inability to provide for herself or her family, why shouldn't the more responsible and productive adult be given deference. It's not the only consideration but should be a factor. Plus, I can prove she committed Medicaid and foodstamp fraud while she was married to me. She successfully signed up for foodstamps and Medicaid under her maiden name while married to me who makes $50,000 per year. I guess this is all irrelevant too because who wouldn't want a felon for a mother right. She'll be a great mom in jail I suppose because I'm going to turn her in.
  8. #8
    LdiJ is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradb388 View Post
    My son is in danger and the GAL is not protecting him. And of course it is a reflection on her parenting. Her son is now 19 years old and released from a group home in Alabama for sexual offenders last year. He is in the area where his mother lives in Western Kentucky. She says she will not let him return home because her 17 year old daughter was the victim over the course of about 10 years. But it seems logical to me that he will find her and make some kind of attempt to return to the home as any son would. That puts my son in imminent danger. Do you not think he would have resentment toward my 2 year old son who essentially replaced him in the home? Regardless, how can anyone say it is irrelevant that the one boy she raised molested her daughter over most of her life. It is likely the boy was abused too as most offenders have been victims, so she protected neither son nor daughter. Does this not raise a red flag with you people? The GAL went out of her way to not look at this issue despite the fact I have records from the mental health facility that sent him to the group home. She is supposed to be my son's advocate and she is not protecting his safety. She wasn't even able to locate her sexually offending son as the cell phone # given by the mother was (guess what) not in service. NO attempt to follow up.

    As for poverty, yes it should be an issue. If one parent has held a good job for 17 years and the other has shown a complete inability to provide for herself or her family, why shouldn't the more responsible and productive adult be given deference. It's not the only consideration but should be a factor. Plus, I can prove she committed Medicaid and foodstamp fraud while she was married to me. She successfully signed up for foodstamps and Medicaid under her maiden name while married to me who makes $50,000 per year. I guess this is all irrelevant too because who wouldn't want a felon for a mother right. She'll be a great mom in jail I suppose because I'm going to turn her in.
    Wow...you aren't getting any more help from me. You don't understand legal reality and you have absolutely no interest in understanding.

    You also don't love your child more than you hate your ex.
  9. #9
    Ohiogal is offline Senior Member
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    PROVE that anything that mom did caused her child to be a sexual offender. Then prove that the offender is around your child -- if the offender is locked up that is one thing. If the offender is released AND RETURNS TO MOM'S HOUSE -- then you can petition for emergency custody to protect your child. But how long ago was the child put in the sexual offender facility? Before or after you and mom did the horizontal mambo?
    Parents should remember 3 things: Love your kids more than you hate your ex; when you have children the relationship with the other parent is until death; your children determine what type of nursing home you end up in.
    Nothing stated by me should be taken as giving you legal advice or forming an attorney/client relationship.

    Attorney-GAL in Ohio.

    I've removed the knife from my back, polished it, and will one day return it -- long after you think I have forgotten.
  10. #10
    Raisingmaddy is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradb388 View Post
    My son is in danger and the GAL is not protecting him. And of course it is a reflection on her parenting. Her son is now 19 years old and released from a group home in Alabama for sexual offenders last year. He is in the area where his mother lives in Western Kentucky. She says she will not let him return home because her 17 year old daughter was the victim over the course of about 10 years. But it seems logical to me that he will find her and make some kind of attempt to return to the home as any son would. That puts my son in imminent danger. Do you not think he would have resentment toward my 2 year old son who essentially replaced him in the home? Regardless, how can anyone say it is irrelevant that the one boy she raised molested her daughter over most of her life. It is likely the boy was abused too as most offenders have been victims, so she protected neither son nor daughter. Does this not raise a red flag with you people? The GAL went out of her way to not look at this issue despite the fact I have records from the mental health facility that sent him to the group home. She is supposed to be my son's advocate and she is not protecting his safety. She wasn't even able to locate her sexually offending son as the cell phone # given by the mother was (guess what) not in service. NO attempt to follow up.

    As for poverty, yes it should be an issue. If one parent has held a good job for 17 years and the other has shown a complete inability to provide for herself or her family, why shouldn't the more responsible and productive adult be given deference. It's not the only consideration but should be a factor. Plus, I can prove she committed Medicaid and foodstamp fraud while she was married to me. She successfully signed up for foodstamps and Medicaid under her maiden name while married to me who makes $50,000 per year. I guess this is all irrelevant too because who wouldn't want a felon for a mother right. She'll be a great mom in jail I suppose because I'm going to turn her in.
    Wow, just wow...I would think that if she did it while you were MARRIED and you knew about it, then you are just as guilty for committing fraud as she is...it sounds like the food stamps were used for your meals as well, while you were making $50,000 a year and YOU did nothing about it at the time...just sayin
  11. #11
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradb388 View Post
    My son is in danger and the GAL is not protecting him. And of course it is a reflection on her parenting. Her son is now 19 years old and released from a group home in Alabama for sexual offenders last year. He is in the area where his mother lives in Western Kentucky. She says she will not let him return home because her 17 year old daughter was the victim over the course of about 10 years.
    So he is not living with Mom? And Mom won't let him come home? Forget it - you have NOTHING.

    But it seems logical to me that he will find her and make some kind of attempt to return to the home as any son would. That puts my son in imminent danger.

    No, it does not. Your logic is dangerously flawed.

    Do you not think he would have resentment toward my 2 year old son who essentially replaced him in the home? Regardless, how can anyone say it is irrelevant that the one boy she raised molested her daughter over most of her life. It is likely the boy was abused too as most offenders have been victims, so she protected neither son nor daughter. Does this not raise a red flag with you people?

    With "us people"? You mean "You very generous volunteers who spend your time trying to help people and often keep trying even when faced with a pigheaded poster", right? Good, I thought that's what you meant.


    The GAL went out of her way to not look at this issue despite the fact I have records from the mental health facility that sent him to the group home. She is supposed to be my son's advocate and she is not protecting his safety. She wasn't even able to locate her sexually offending son as the cell phone # given by the mother was (guess what) not in service. NO attempt to follow up.

    Your son is not in danger. Repeat 10 times.


    As for poverty, yes it should be an issue. If one parent has held a good job for 17 years and the other has shown a complete inability to provide for herself or her family, why shouldn't the more responsible and productive adult be given deference. It's not the only consideration but should be a factor.
    Because money does not buy custody - and nor should it.

    Plus, I can prove she committed Medicaid and foodstamp fraud while she was married to me. She successfully signed up for foodstamps and Medicaid under her maiden name while married to me who makes $50,000 per year. I guess this is all irrelevant too because who wouldn't want a felon for a mother right. She'll be a great mom in jail I suppose because I'm going to turn her in.
    And when your ex tells prosecutors "Hey, we were married at the time - it was his idea to have me sign up using my maiden name", exactly how will you refute that?

    You cannot do so.
  12. #12
    bradb388 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LdiJ View Post
    Wow...you aren't getting any more help from me. You don't understand legal reality and you have absolutely no interest in understanding.

    You also don't love your child more than you hate your ex.
    I love my son very much sir. I do not hate my ex but am admittedly still angry at her and a court system that I believe is still tilted in favor of the woman. I am simply trying to protect my son and give him the best life possible. I petitioned my wife for divorce in August of '08 and have been through roughly 10 hearings of the most ridiculous testimony and made up lies imaginable and still don't even have a divorce. The first judge granted me temporary joint custody and denied her bs order of protection, calling her and her witnesses "unreliable, inconsistent, and rehearsed", stating that she had tried to "manipulate the courts" and pointing out that her own therapist testified that she purposely filed a protection order/kept me away from my son for a month following my petition for divorce, making up abuse due to the fact i refused to reconcile. She and her 3rd lawyer filed a motion to have the judge removed on the most ridiculous conspiracy charges...the chief judge ruled that it was unfounded, then the original judge recused himself and I had to start all over again. I did not feel that the GAL, which came in a few months later, even read the original judges decision which basically said my ex was a fraud. The GAL failed to interview my wife's own therapist who the original judge called "most insightful" because he revealed that she was "using her son as bait to get her husband to reconcile" and that he saw her trying to hug and kiss me with my arms up in the air and backing away at the same time she was saying how deathly afraid of me she was. It's as if the GAL report is in a vaccum and discounts numerous hearings, changing the whole trajectory of the proceedings with very little knowledge or curiosity about what was actually happening.

    I plead guilty to not understanding the law, which is why I hired a lawyer and am on websites like this trying to get answers from anywhere. I damn sure don't need your "help" or your insults. Have a nice day.
  13. #13
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradb388 View Post
    I love my son very much sir. I do not hate my ex but am admittedly still angry at her and a court system that I believe is still tilted in favor of the woman. I am simply trying to protect my son and give him the best life possible.
    Which is understandable. But you must remember that your son is not in imminent danger. That does matter.

    I damn sure don't need your "help" or your insults. Have a nice day.
    I hope your children will eventually get the best of everything. Including parents.
  14. #14
    bradb388 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmatique View Post
    Which is understandable. But you must remember that your son is not in imminent danger. That does matter.



    I hope your children will eventually get the best of everything. Including parents.
    I did not intend to say that it is likely that my son is going to be molested by her 19 year old son, so "imminent" might be too strong a word. But it shouldn't have to be imminent. It's still a significant risk not worth taking with my son's life. The sexually molesting son has not even been accounted for! No one knows where he is. It's not just that this now young adult is a sexual deviant, he had severe behavior problems aside from any of that including violent threats, the sexual abuse was just on top of it. Mother told the GAL she talks to SA son 1 time per month on the phone but won't let him in the home. Also told the GAL i made up the stuff about the sexual abuse and the GAL took her word for it. Mother admitted to the GAL that he was recently at a "group home in Alabama" but implied it was because of ADHD. Why did the GAL not ask "hmmm why won't you let him back in the home? What kind of group home would you send your child all the way to Alabama for in the middle of his senior year in high school? Why do you keep lying so much?" I mean this is my son's lawyer right? I paid this GAL $1500 to be his legal advocate right? (btw my wife/ex paid nothing even though "ordered" by the court. Where is the curiosity to find the truth in the matter so that we are making sure this kid is nowhere near my son? Are we supposed to take the mother's word for it?

    Come on guys she did a surface level, unprofessional, unbalanced report and we're all supposed to kiss the GAL's ass because why? These people are playing God and when you play God you've got to do a little better job than that. Perhaps he is living in the home for all I know. If I try to find out what's going on in her home she'll file another order of protection saying I'm threatening her in some way and I'll have to spend thousands more in court to defend against the same nonsense.

    If some of you people cant understand why I as a father am demanding that at the very least safeguards be in place to keep him away from my son then you don't understand fatherhood at all. And if you think her son is what he is because of biology only you would be wrong. It's nature AND nurture when it comes to a person's make-up and I happen to know that he was way short on the nurture part. Hence my fear that I will lose custody of my son and be an every other weekend dad. I know what he will go through because see I know her. You don't. There's a lot I can't prove and there is a lot I can, we'll see what happens in January. Her lawyer was just granted a 60 day continuance due to his motion to the judge, stating (I'm not making this up) "I am suffering from panic attacks....have been so depressed I've done nothing but watch football to avoid telling my family the extent of my problems so I haven't been able to attend to the files in the office" wtf?????????????????????? The funny thing was my lawyer said we had to give him the time because it would be grounds for appeal if we didn't. Nice.
  15. #15
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bradb388 View Post
    I did not intend to say that it is likely that my son is going to be molested by her 19 year old son, so "imminent" might be too strong a word. But it shouldn't have to be imminent. It's still a significant risk not worth taking with my son's life. The sexually molesting son has not even been accounted for!
    He doesn't live there...

    No one knows where he is. It's not just that this now young adult is a sexual deviant, he had severe behavior problems aside from any of that including violent threats, the sexual abuse was just on top of it. Mother told the GAL she talks to SA son 1 time per month on the phone but won't let him in the home. Also told the GAL i made up the stuff about the sexual abuse and the GAL took her word for it. Mother admitted to the GAL that he was recently at a "group home in Alabama" but implied it was because of ADHD. Why did the GAL not ask "hmmm why won't you let him back in the home? What kind of group home would you send your child all the way to Alabama for in the middle of his senior year in high school? Why do you keep lying so much?"

    Are you serious?!

    I mean this is my son's lawyer right? I paid this GAL $1500 to be his legal advocate right? (btw my wife/ex paid nothing even though "ordered" by the court. Where is the curiosity to find the truth in the matter so that we are making sure this kid is nowhere near my son? Are we supposed to take the mother's word for it?
    PROVE that your son is at risk. PROVE it.

    Come on guys she did a surface level, unprofessional, unbalanced report and we're all supposed to kiss the GAL's ass because why? These people are playing God and when you play God you've got to do a little better job than that. Perhaps he is living in the home for all I know. If I try to find out what's going on in her home she'll file another order of protection saying I'm threatening her in some way and I'll have to spend thousands more in court to defend against the same nonsense.

    If some of you people cant understand why I as a father am demanding that at the very least safeguards be in place to keep him away from my son then you don't understand fatherhood at all. And if you think her son is what he is because of biology only you would be wrong.
    Well, I don't have a penis so you're right - I do not understand fatherhood. However, I do understand over-zealous and over-bearing exes.


    It's nature AND nurture when it comes to a person's make-up and I happen to know that he was way short on the nurture part. Hence my fear that I will lose custody of my son and be an every other weekend dad. I know what he will go through because see I know her.
    You do NOT know that.

    You don't. There's a lot I can't prove and there is a lot I can, we'll see what happens in January.
    That part is true.

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