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Author Topic: MEETING WITH GAL  (Read 10757 times)

jojobear

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MEETING WITH GAL
« on: Jan 14, 2005, 09:35:33 PM »
I have my first visit with GAL on January 31st.  I do not know what to expect.  

Already, I have done some research on her(GAL)...and she represents a lot of gays and lesbians.  Which I am assuming the Christian home that we have is not going to mean anything to her  (sorry if I have offended anyone....I'm being stereotypical and I should not be).  

But, what should I expect on the first visit?  I have heard that I should send the GAL emails that are supporting my case....and any information that I have.  (I am the Residental parent and my ex is filing for custody).  

Do I send these things before I see her, or do I wait until afterwards...or do I send them at all?  What should I expect at the first visit with the GAL.?

I have 2 boys, age 12 and 10.  They both live with me and my wife.  I have had custody for 5 years (since my x walked out in 1999)  I have no experience with a GAL and I do not know what to expect.  Just looking for a little bit of advice.  

The first thing she wants is 1-3 people she can contact concerning my (and my wife??) parenting styles.  I am assuming that after that she will want to interview people about how the kids are doing..and not just my/our parenting styles.  But again, I have no experience...so I do not know what is going on.

My lawyer has not contacted me since I asked him these very questions and we are in the process of trying to find a new attorney.  But everyone that is in our local area will not travel the distance to where the court is held....and our finances will not let us just get "anyone".  

I hate this whole thing.  I know that the boys' best interest is with me .....and I don't know what the BM is trying to prove...but it is putting everyone through turmoil.
Please help if you can.


exwiferuinsson

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RE: MEETING WITH GAL
« Reply #1 on: Jan 14, 2005, 10:58:05 PM »
I wouldn't send anything unless asked, I would have anything on hand at your meeting you may want to offer.

DH had a bad experience with the GAL assigned on his case. She basically didn't want the truth and 99% of the report she filed with the court was "fabricated". As someone else told you....trust noone. In Ohio the GAL is basically free from any liability in their testimony and reporting on your case. Unless you can prove through recordings, audio or video they can say or report anything they want....been there done that.  Be cooperative, I would not bring up your ex unless she asks a specific question, be direct, brief and do not speak negatively about the ex. By the way, I am stepmother and GAL never spoke to me nor met me outside of the home visit of which she spent 20 min in our home. She never spoke to stepsiblings, she never observed any interaction of stepson with other children. She never contacted Pediatrician in regards to medical issues, she never contacted anyone provided to her for contact. Yet in her report she stated she had a long conversation with stepmother and spoke with stepchildren. She informed stepson on initial visit that what he wanted would NEVER happen. She basically did nothing she should have done. Afterwards DH's attorney had words with her....we don't know what transpired there, what we do know...we never got a BILL. Her billing was also fabricated showing meetings and visits that never happened.

Where in Ohio are you and what county is case being heard in?

jojobear

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RE: MEETING WITH GAL
« Reply #2 on: Jan 14, 2005, 11:53:01 PM »
we are in Southern Ohio (Ross County) but the court is being held in Hardin County.  I was wondering what role my wife would play in this.  To be very honest, she has taken on the role of mother in this house.   I have 2 BS and 2 SS and 1 SD.  We have custody of all 5 of the kids...and for 5 years they have all lived in this house.  When our youngest (my SD) found out about the upcoming custody case after we had a family meeting..she cried and cried.  She is still so unsure about our living conditions that she is constantly telling everyone she loves them and that she would miss them if they were gone.  (Even her own biological siblings. ) This is such a horrible time.  My sons do want to move in with their mother, they have told me that.  The oldest has retracted his statement when he found out how strongly I was against it..but the youngest is still smitten. He says that at Mom's house he doesn't have to do his homework and can stay up as late as he wants...and even though he does "bad things"....Mom doesn't care!  (exact words)  


Was the verdict in your favor?


exwiferuinsson

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RE: MEETING WITH GAL
« Reply #3 on: Jan 16, 2005, 01:54:53 AM »
The verdict was NO CHANGE, the 50/50 Shared/ALL EQUAL parenting agreement stands. SS wanted to live primarily with father, mother was attempting to gain sole custody/primary physical placement. Her goal was to gain "control" ,child support, and make good on her threat to prove she was "superior" over DH. It's very unfortunate that ss had to go through all of this and today is very bitter with his mother.

I am bio mother of 5 which I have sole custody of, but my ex and I have a civil relationship and I have always allowed him an open door for visitation. In 9 yrs since our divorce we have never been back to court.

I hope for your family's sake that staus quo will stand. It's very difficult to say or predict what the court will decide. Your ex should have the burden of proof for a "substantial change in circumstance" that would warrant a change in custody for "the best intrests of the children". Ohio does not have a law that allows children to choose. The judge may speak to children in chambers, attorney's from both sides my be present and possibly GAL.

Kent

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Check this link
« Reply #4 on: Jan 16, 2005, 09:35:37 AM »


jojobear

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RE: MEETING WITH GAL
« Reply #5 on: Feb 06, 2005, 09:30:27 PM »
My kids met with the GAL this weekend.  They were with their BM and they told the kids that what would happen would be that they would spend more time with their mother in the summer.  Course when I met with her this last past week by myself she told me that she could lie to me, to the kids, to anyone and that was fine.  I figure she was just lying to my boys to get their reaction.  I knew by my boys response...that they had told her that they wanted to live with their BM.  *heart break*  
The kids go back on the 14th with us to meet with the GAL.  So far, (it has been a week) the GAL has not contacted any of the references that we have given her.  She did not return our call when we tried calling last Wednesday.  I'm just up at arms and feeling very helpless.

c_alexander

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at a loss
« Reply #6 on: Feb 06, 2005, 09:41:45 PM »
Why would your kids be meeting with a GAL rep? I am sorry I don't know the full situation.

jojobear

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RE: at a loss
« Reply #7 on: Feb 06, 2005, 10:09:12 PM »
custody fight.  The BM of my boys is trying to get custody of them. After her walking out 5 years ago, and not seeing anything of her besides the every other weekend visits....she now wants custody.  She has promised my boys all these outlandish things and has bought them more items in the past 6 months then what she did for the past 5 years combined.  I don't know why her reasonings..but I do know that she is asking for child support and tax exemptions for the boys.  She gives $51.00 weekly in child support but stated on the custody papers that she wants FULL child support.  I don't know.  All I know is that my boys are torn.  She is not a bad parent, but she does not have good judgement...and they will be in harms way if they go there.  But that is where they say they want to be.  It is not because of a lack of love here....but because they can do more things there....and get more things....but one day...the promises will end....or will never come true.  

gipsy

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oops re -read
« Reply #8 on: Feb 07, 2005, 02:24:25 AM »
There were two  GAL's In My case the first one was a Attorney , This one was very to the facts , And did very little actually , And It seems to Me that there is actually very little for them to do except for them to determine , Wether or not you are some  sicko or something , thats a very basic statement becuase I don't wan't to go at length about the first GAL , And . Will conclude that the first GAL basically reported that I was reguarded ,By My three witnesses, As a normal productive member of society , And that the mother [Custodial] Had Many allegations, and there was no proof , And there should be visits
   Now the scary part , The above post Is unfortunatley very true In My case also , The second  GAL was and Is a hated fruitcake in this area , Except that the court  doesn't know it , And I will repeat the warnings of the above response , Because it didn't seem to matter to iether   GAL Any way , But in the case of a bad GAl Do Not engage in a bunch of shit , Do not Try to Do a bunch of crap talk bad or , ANY thing about the other parent unless you have proof !! Got that ! , because these GAL's can and will say virtually any thing they want , And yes You have to realise absolutely ,The GAL Is only part of the case , And Yes In My case the GAL  report made some difference , But The Judge still listens to the GAl , And there are some things that You Need to understand that You can do or not do,,, But always Remmember this as I will NEVER FORGET !! The GAL does not have to report by the rules of evidence as required By the court , And the GAl Report is admitted as a part of facts pertaining to the case , If you don't get it read on , The GAL can OPINE , As to whose fault every problem Is, and that If you give the GAL  a bunch of info , a real psycho/ sicko can  twist up and turn it all aroung on You !! IT HAPPENED TO ME !!! . SO iT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU TAKE THE HIGH ROAD ON THESE iSSUES  , And the high road is . Be a good parent , And do not engage the other parent or let her games piss you off . The other high road is , DO NOT , Assume that the GAL will do any sort of a good or qualified job , Or actually get  the facts  straight , And that Includes facts that you know are not as they could be reported , [Example )  I talked to the GAl About My son saying that Single Moms are Bad , , I told the GAL I had evicted a single mom tenant from a rental , And that My son heard part of My communications on the phone , And that He may think he heard that but,I have a letter from  woman from the rental agency that was doing the eviction and she  knows absolutely that I did not say Single moms are Bad , Because the woman from the rental agency was a single mom and put into writing that She Knows I did not say that single moms are bad because she would have been offended , , The GAL  said 'she did not need the letter ', , And I thought the issue was over , ,,, And , Mind you, there were other things I did engauge , and other minor things that Probably don't mean much , BUT!!! the GAL wrote that She believed that I was the root of many problems In this , And used the Issue of My son saying that single moms were bad Against me , And she even turned the words around And said that I admitted it. Soo There is the high road theory , Don't admit any stupid thing , But best of all for Now do Not say any thing to the Kids about this , The GAL May talk to the kids , It would be better if they had absolutely nothing to say about the case  < because . Again the high road theory is , Don't give any one Any chance to turn any information around on You , So Conclusevely , With out over doing it , Say good things about Mom In front of the Kids , You DO Not want the kids to say you talk bad about the Mom , This looks very bad , I am honest, and a few things have slipped from My mouth that should not have , And no matter what you think you May accomplish , this does actually no good for the kids , My son hates it , And his mother has kept it up for some time , And he finally told her To Shut up , I told Him he could tell her He doesn't like it  when she talks bad about me, Because He tells me how he doesn't like it ,when His mom talks bad about me , I could speak volumes about this , But I will continue .
   The ABSOLUTEY Hardest thing to do is Just Be a good involved parent , , Heres why,
    At trial virtually no one was asked to testify because the other parent was a bad parent ,  All testimony Was about how good of a parent I am , And from her part the same , There was no proof entered on anything , So what I am Getting too is this , Unless there is some legal proof , Or drug testing will reveal drug use or something I would take the high road and talk about what you do with your kids , And then talk about common conversational issues , Basically , I would  not go to the GAL with a list of Bullshit about the other parent , , Unless it is proveable , Also The GAL seems to be looking for very little , And really they are , They Can't really be looking for much because they Aren't always so smart ,They have a case load , And  Trust Me can't keep numerous cases straight , And what if they are sort of smart, and they see your efforts as a way to poisen the other parent's role in the life of the child , You have to remove your self , And say what would be best for the child , And that is that both parents cooperate , You want to be the cooperative one , And show good will to the other parent , That was another thing that came up In My case , the mother was very good at Making trouble and blaming Me , So , Thats why I say take the high road , And be the good parent , Don't give any one a bunch of shit to ponder , Twist Or lie about , I garuntee a good psycho can turn anything around on you and make it your fault that she is such a f-up, I doubt that if the kids say they want to go live with there mom that the court is going to just flip custody on that Issue , IF !! You show that the kids are and ,have been in a good stable environment , And you are a good parent , If there school record of attendance is good etc , You may have the defense of saying the mom is spoiling them etc , and luring them with toy's and candy , But just remmember , These cases are very common to the court , My case went on and Freeken on for four years , And I am telling you, I have been in the court MANY times and have attended mens groups , And sat in the court waiting for mY case and have heard many cases , And Just remmember there isn't much that one person can invent to tell the court that hasn't already been masterminded By more clever people than you and I put together , So I repeat , As I wish I would have listened to My atty , Who has basically told me every thing I have written , Or warned Me ,  Write this in your Fore head . ATTY SAID " Its better that you spend your time being and showing that you are a good parent " than it is to spend all your time trying to dicount the other parent " The court hears this all the time they are sick of it " They have many other things to do like criminal and murder cases etc" they really just want to know the kids are in a good place " So how are you showing that your place is the best " When you Are so buisy trying to make the other parent look bad " What Atty Said is , It starts to look like you are more concerned with the other parent than you are concerned with being a good parent to the kids "  
      This makes a lot of sense to Me After I have seen My trial go down , And I promise you all the BS engaugement I did to the mother of My son Did me no good , What did Me good was when I was on the witness stand and I said good things about myself and what I do with My son ,
    As a matter of fact the negative part that was brought out was that with the Friction Between us, that it would be difficult to foster a cooperative parenting situation , Again Be a good cooperative parent and let her say all the crappolla , but be very definet in your denial

NoNicky

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RE: MEETING WITH GAL
« Reply #9 on: Feb 07, 2005, 12:00:08 PM »
We've dealt with two different GALs in two different cases in two different counties in Ohio.  Based on our different interactions here is some advice.

1.  Don't volunteer any information more than the GAL asks for.  Remember the words "anything you say can and will be used against you"
2.  When giving the "references" the GAL wants go for a variety of sources.  We were asked to give 5.  We chose 1 relative, 1 friend, 1 neighbor, 1 school teacher, and spouse (both dh and I had/have cases)
3.  Remember that GALs have a tendancy to say what they believe the party wants to hear.  They also, in general, are only concerned about brokering a deal before it goes to court or they actually have to take a stand.  If you accept a deal make sure you can live with the terms you strike.
4.  If you don't like the reccomendation of the GAL there are prescendents in OH in which the GALs reccommendation can be thrown out for many things.  These go from heresay, to in our case the GAL promised in June of last year to be here for the home visit.  Now he says one is not needed.  If the reccommendation does not go our way we will appeal based on the fact that he was ordered by the court to investigate both homes and has not done one of our home.  

We have a meeting with the GAL two weeks from now.  This is his idea of an investigation.  He wants to meet my dh and his son at Bob Evans near his own home!  We had offered many suggestions for a compromise to him not visiting our home but this is what he wants to do.  He will not however meet just dh and son.  On the advice of our attorney the whole family will be here.  How can he judge the child's bonding to his stepbrothers and sister if he does not ever see them together.  We have other things we can and will use to throw out the GALs reccommendation if he chooses to say that ss should live with his 2 time felony, court-documented mentally ill mother and her parents over living with his non felon, non mentally ill father.  Our final hearing is at the end of this month (yeah I'll believe that when I see it).

Best of luck!
NoNicky
For God has not given a spirit of fear; but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  1 Peter 1:6

 

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