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Main Forums => Father's Issues => Topic started by: RoosterC on Mar 14, 2011, 11:06:05 AM

Title: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 14, 2011, 11:06:05 AM
Can anyone help me to understand whats going on?
We are in evaluation stage. Originally faced a boatload of horrible and pattently false emotional abuse allegations. All were so horribly off-base that Ive been able to gather the paperwork to disprove every single one (when people make things up do they assume there's no such thing as medical, school or phone records) not to mention witnesses and therapist letter and kids not onboard with it.
But the thing I do not get is how no one is talking about abuse anymore but the kids and I are getting a lot of questions regarding other issues like what they eat every day? ( fish, chicken, whole grains and lots of veggies) what kind of heat is in my house? the murals on their walls? the chores they do? etc. I feel like this evaluator is looking for a reason, and just keeps looking... really, its gone very far afield (the colors of my walls? the names of the childrens books we read, where we sit for dinner).
Meanwhile Ive got oddles of tangible proof of issues from alchohol abuse, smoking to the "creepy" (the kids word, not mine) behavior of the live in BF that is alone with them at tmes to the imfamous taping device (I wont bore everyone with a rehash) and hiding vital information.
Yet no questions about that/or her.
Maybe Im wrong but I feel like the last line on her form is filled out (where it says all in all they still dont belong with me for primary) and the endless probe is just trying to justify a predetermined outcome.
Can anyone on the other side explain this?
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: fight4him on Mar 14, 2011, 03:02:26 PM
Sadly, I can't explain much of anything that happens in family court. You just sit and wonder what the heck they are thinking don't you?
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: ocean on Mar 14, 2011, 03:05:54 PM
My guess is that the evaluator is just feeling everyone out and trying to make it comfortable with the kids. Is there another meeting with the kids? or the kids by themselves? She may ask about them without you there...

You can maybe call and ask "I saw the allegations against me, I know you met with us and the kids but I would like a meeting with you without kids to go over what is written about me. I do not want to bash the mother of my children but want to set the record straight from my side".
You can type a one page business type letter about the allegations and send the proof?

Some evaluators do not like a pile of papers....and can usually tell who the offending party is. What is the vibe you are getting from her? Maybe she does not believe the other stuff already...or some of those questions were coming from ex...(they do not get fed right there...)
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 14, 2011, 04:11:52 PM
There was a meeting with both of us to get our "concerns" out. Gotta admit, the ex ran the table waving the bloody flag with allusions to all sorts of new abuse, no actual events just insinuations, and I never got around to my bundle of documented concerns. I was told we would have time to address my concerns at a later meeting which has been put off several times and is now being "combined" with a feedback session where, Im told, we will broach "some co-parenting issues". Which seems like the fruition of the concern I voiced at the time; that we would have moved on to some enforced resolution before my very real concerns were aired, making my allegations appear obstructionist to getting on with the settlement.
Now that the ex has burned out her allegations she is very eager to get to some resolution and block anything I have from seeing the light of day.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: ocean on Mar 14, 2011, 04:35:52 PM
Up to you ...You could just mail a packet to her to she has the information..
To evaluator,
Last meeting we ran out of time to voice my concerns. I have outlined a few I have had that my ex mentioned (in the papers, in the meeting?).

1. Allegation 1- See enclosed document to show .....(try to give facts only..)
2.  same way

I would like to see both of us co-parent our children so they grow up in healthy environments. The above issues have gotten in the way in the past. (not sure but maybe put what you would like to see...with extras for bargaining...).

This person has a lot of weight in court BUT you do not have to agree to what she says. You can still go to trial where her report will be there but that is ONE part and if you have proof on other issues you can bring it up in court.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 15, 2011, 07:19:16 AM
Thank You, That is just what I will do.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: gemini3 on Mar 22, 2011, 11:37:01 AM
I know I'm a little late on this, but I wouldn't mail a packet to the evaluator.  They are notoriously overburdened, and it's unlikely that she will sit down and read it.  I would hold her to a second meeting, since your concerns have not been addressed.  I would talk to your attorney about how to fight a recommendation until she meets with you.  They are obligated to give both parties equal voice.  Once you're in court and she gives her recommendation to the judge it will be too late to bring it up, and you won't be able to prove that she didn't read your packet.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 22, 2011, 01:39:27 PM
After a polite clarification that seemed to annoy the evaluator, I let it go and trusted for the best. Seven or eight session passed. The sessions with the kids are over, I was told the final two would be for her feedback and reconcilliation. When I again 'politely' reminded her that I was promised time and was concerned it would be too late, I was told she was "well aware of my concerns....."
Well, I did email the packet which contained concerns I had not ever had time to articulate with references to evidence.
The reply was that I needed to send a copy to my ex (and thus her lawyer).
Oddly, she didnt need to send a list of her verbal accusations to my lawyer so we could better prepare.
I complied and was told they would be read and I would be afforded time to address my concerns in the Second to Last Session.
(with no sessions with the kids to verify or even get a feel for these issues)
as far as my lawyer: when I first brought it up it was "too early, give her a chance", now its probably too late (a catch 22 I will pay 2 or 300 dollars to be informed of.
If I sit quiet and let it go, misconceptions flower and real issues are ignored, If I speak up, even, and I mean POLITELY, it gets terse and Im combative and defensive.
I went into this knowing I had a mountain of evidence that Id done nothing wrong and a similar mountain that things were far from proper at the other residence, and I mean biggies. I could not lose as long as I was heard, I thought.
well guess again.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: gemini3 on Mar 22, 2011, 04:01:01 PM
I don't know if you've addressed this in a previous e-mail, but what are the concerns?
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 23, 2011, 08:14:28 AM
Brief Version:
1) Live in Married (to someone else) BF smokes and has drinking problem (evidenced by Rehab visits, episode at hospital vomiting blood involving police.) Still drinks. Still smokes Photos of many many bottles in trash- they now hide bottles so I cannot take pictures.
2) Mother exposes children to alchohol. Son demonstrates that he has 'bartended' at parties. Serves or carries drinks for 'sips'. Have written drink recipes in son's handwriting.
3) Stories of sleeping on floors at 'parties' while with mother.
4) Mother does not inform of treatments with non-dr therapist, children told to keep appts secret. Contrary to custody.
5) excessive absence in mother's custody time
6) Over 7 detentions hidden and signed for by mother, children instructed not to inform as I "wouldnt understand" Similar MO with hiding tests and other school info.
7)Accusations by BF's daughter claim of sexual misconduct by my son covered up by mother. Case was presented to CYS but age diff and other issues had dismissed but still, I was not informed and had to confront to get answer after I already found out. Have evidence from both BF wife and my ex email admiting she never told me.
8) Usual list of hiding or obfuscating medical info, refusing medical care (concussion), taking son with Pnumonia on ski trip where he broke wrist, she didnt want to miss ski trip, even though I offered to take care of son.
9) Usual list of scheduling activities that I would have to fullfill on my custody time, signing on and telling children before informing or discussing with me, arranging for away camp on my week, etc etc.
10) Encouraged and scripted false allegations of emotional abuse dismissed by CYS as false.
11) Denial of scheduled custody time, needed police to secure return of children.
12) Phone records to show pattern of denial of phone contact with children as specified.
13) Placed hidden recording device on childr before returning to custody to tape me in my home. When son said he did not feel it was right, mother told him to give device to his sister if he did not "have the guts"
14) after confiscating device found, among other things, tapes of mother preparing and taping children's good night calls (against law here) in some cases kids preped to say provacative things to get my reaction. When, on two occasions I asked about noise or odd bkgd sound, tape was turned off or call terminated immediately. BTW- proud that never took the bait or said anything wrong, never would)
15) demeaning and mocking behavior by live in BF to son. Mother enforces BF punishments for "disrespect" like eating one of bowl of BF chips: Punishment: weekend in room.

So why isnt this open and shut?
and no, I have no record. Yes, I have been a veritable boyscout for the last 20 years. Evidence of school and sport envolvement, consistant homework parent, have hired babysitter ONCE in 10 years. I will be honest, they have me dead to rights on ONE thing: I was ill and fell asleep while my son was at school dance, late to pick him up.ONE TIME.
C'mon folks, what am I doing wong?
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: gemini3 on Mar 23, 2011, 09:07:01 AM
It's not that you're doing anything wrong.  It's that what she's doing might not be wrong enough.  It defies logic, but, in the eyes of the court, changing physical custody from one biological parent to another is the virtual equivalent of terminating the parental rights of the custodial parent.  They don't usually approach it from the mindset of which household would be a better environment for the children.  Once custody has been established, any changes to that are going to be viewed through the lense of "is this situation bad enough to remove the children".
For example, in my husband's situation, he went back to court to try and get custody of his kids.  When he was seperated he was deployed, and was regularly sent on TDY, so custody was not an option for him.  His ex had fabricated false allegations, regularly denied visitation and telephone contact, took SD2 to a counselor to support her false allegations without telling DH (or allowing him to participate once he found out), moved the kids twice without telling him, was allowing her BF to punish their two daughters (6 & 9 years at the time) by forcing hot sauce into their mouths and then putting them in a cold shower, SD2 had failed kindergarten, and BM (who goes back and forth between being Wiccan and Pagan) was having the children participate in "spell castings" and other rituals where BM and the children were sometimes naked. 
Once his job changed so that he wasn't leaving for 3-6 months at a time, he went back for custody.  He was denied, but did get some more specific parameters on his visitation and CO.  But he didn't get custody.  We went back again last year, and this time he managed to get 50/50 (BM settled out of court).  The point of telling you all of that is that I think it's helpful to consider where the court and the evaluator are coming from so that you can plan your strategy.  I know that it seems like it should be simple, but it's not.  So you need to be prepared.
That being said, the court is concerned with things that affect the children.  So, no matter how bad your ex's behavior might be, if the kids aren't displaying problems because of her bad behavior, the court won't care.  So you want to focus on how all of this is affecting the children.  Focus on the behavioral problems, suspensions, bad grades, etc.  Especially if this is a new occurance.  If the kids grades have always been bad, then the court won't care.
If your petition for custody is denied based on the evaluators recommendation, you want to be prepared to ask the judge to make specific changes to the CO.  Since she has a history of violating the CO, you'll want to ask the court to add sanctions if she violates.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: txmom702 on Mar 23, 2011, 09:17:26 AM
I remember you. I can see why things might not be going as well as you would like. Honestly - taking it to the point of doing things like taking pictures of mom's trash, etc. makes you sound a bit like a stalker... 
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 23, 2011, 09:39:49 AM
Instructed to get pics of empties in trash by lawyer.
Not on property, from street, in response to denial there is drinking, also denied rehab until I stood there with proof.

a stalker I am not.
I am not taping private conversations
Im not sending recorders in the kid's pants.
(and while I didnt mention it, my son's house key goes missing and then I come home from work to find my custody files missing from inside my home)
guess people do hear what they want to.
Thanks for the input though, always good to get every read on anything.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: Kent on Mar 26, 2011, 09:08:21 AM
If you know that "someone" is entering your home while you are not there and takes your personal property, get a home CCTV system and use hidden cameras. An adequate system with 4 cameras and 10 days recording time will cost you around $ 500.

Of course you wouldn't make efforts to find a way to somehow let the x know that you have replaced the file, and in addition have added some very damaging evidence to the file......  (

Recorded evidence of someone entering your home without your permission and stealing your personal property will get them arrested.

Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: gemini3 on Mar 27, 2011, 09:55:20 AM
I agree.  Sometimes it's hard to know what the right thing to do is when it's the other parent of your children, because whatever happens to them affects your children.  But I also think that it's every person has a reasonable expectation of not having their rights violated, and having a child with a person does not give them carte blanche to violate them.  By allowing criminal trespass and other such violations of your rights is only enabling them.  It's important, especially with people like this, to have clear firm boundaries. 
I struggled with this after my husband's ex hacked into my e-mail account.  She had been reading my personal e-mails for about 6 months before I found out, and the only reason I did finally find out was because she went in and deleted some incriminating e-mails she had sent to me.  I spoke to a friend who is a clinical psychologist, and he encouraged me to report it and get a restraining order.  He said that she needs to know she can't play those kinds of games with me.  So I did, and I believe it was the right thing to do.
We also invested in a home security system.  The kids don't have the password to it, and never will.  When the kids are with her it stays on at all times.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 28, 2011, 06:09:32 AM
I opted after it happened for a cheaper, low tech solution. I changed the locks and kept the keys. I feel awful not giving my son and daughter keys, because the fact of the matter is, as many of you parents know, the kids might need access when Im not home for school books and homework and the like that are left in my house by accident. The problem has been that Ive gotten those calls putting me in a spot of having to run out of work for a half hour to get a bookbag or have that refusal "documented for use". Sadly, I work at a very 'old school' company and popping out to get my kid's homework simply isnt an option if I want to keep my job. So the kids come back propagandized that I "dont care how they do in school" and "put work over them" in my priorities.
as many of you have likely discovered, there are no "good enough" answers for fathers.
On a side note, HOW do ex spouses find the energy to stay so angry for so long? How does one stay focused on the NEED to punish someone for ten years? Really, what is someone telling themselves when they are planting a recording device on a child?
How does one square that its "for them" when you coach them before recording 'good night' calls?
Seriously, I do not get it.
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: gemini3 on Mar 28, 2011, 08:47:59 AM
I think not giving the kids a key is a perfectly acceptable boundry.  Don't feel bad about it.  One of the hardest things for children, when they have a parent like your ex and my husband's ex, is learning to have boundaries because their mother's don't allow it.  By modeling healthy boundaries you're actually doing the kids a huge favor.
It's hard for kids to go back and forth between houses.  It's easy for them to forget things, and when you have a vindictive ex, any small thing like that is an opportunity to create problems.  I know it sounds harsh, but kids need to learn responsibility too.  If they forget their bookbag at home, then they suffer the consequences at school that day.  It wouldn't be any different if they had one home instead of two.  You can do some things to help them, like show them to make a list of things they need to bring to their mom's, and get them in the habit of checking the list before they go.  But it's not your responsibility to bail them out every time they make a mistake.  Mistakes are the best teachers. 
If the kids come back and say how horrible you are because you didn't bail them out, explain to them that your job as a parent isn't to do things for them, but to teach them to do things for themselves.  If they're mad, let them be.  They'll get over it.  They realize really quickly that they can use these situations to manipulate - even when they're really young.  If they think you'll cave at the slightest sign of upset or resentment, you'll be riding that roller coaster for years to come.
Also, don't let your ex manipulate you with threats to document things, or take you to court, or whatever.  A lot of what she's making a stink about won't make a bit of difference in court or to an evaluator, except to make her look like she has an agenda against you.  A couple of years ago we started using something called Low/No Contact when dealing with my husband's ex.  It has worked wonders.  I recommend it to anyone who has a difficult ex.  You can find the suggestions here: (
I also recommend two books to anyone who is dealing with Parental Alienation.  Divorce Casualties and Divorce Poison.  They can both be found on Amazon, and will help you learn how to deal with alienation, and tactics for helping your children through it as well.
On your side note... In my experience, high conflict ex's almost ways have some sort of pathalogical personality disorder - usually either Borderline, Narcissistic or Antisocial - or a combination of these.  If you look into the personal history of these people, there is almost always some form of abuse in their childhood that has never been properly addressed.  So it's not really an issue of finding the energy, it's just how they are built.  It's innate behavioral patterns that they don't even recognize in themselves.  Some amount of conflict is normal in any divorce, but eventually healthy people move on and learn to deal with the new situation.  PD's are unable to do so.  Anyone who is not on "their side" is an enemy. 
Title: Re: When evaluation becomes a fishing trip?
Post by: RoosterC on Mar 28, 2011, 10:58:53 AM
Thanks Gem!
And yes, after I found this board I took your earlier advice to another person and bought Divorce Poison.
Its been very helpful in knowing how to inocculate and respond.
I think Im going to get a lot out of the web link you gave me.
cannot thank you enough.