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Author Topic: Some good news so far...  (Read 2544 times)


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Some good news so far...
« on: Jul 02, 2004, 03:50:15 PM »
Honorable Judge
Todd County District Court

(her) vs (Me)topher Peterson
Case Number:
Guardian Ad Litem Report

Dear Judge XXXXXX:

Motion to Change Custody

(Son)’ s elementary school teacher GXXXXX EXXXXXX
Siouxland Community Health Center
(Son)’ s therapist JXXXXX
(Her Mom)
(My Girlfriend)
Girl friend daughter

School reports
Clinic Reports
Diagnostic Assessment — Parental Capacity for (Me)
Child Abuse Assessment — Not Confirmed
Court Reports

This writer met with (Me) and (Son) in Willmar on May 15. (Son) appears to have a close relationship with (My Girlfriend) children and with (Me). (Son) was very happy and played well with the other children in the home. (Me) appears to have a good relationship with (My Girlfriend)’s children and is definitely acting as a father figure. (Son) did not want to talk with this writer. He appeared to just want all the court business and discord between mom and dad to STOP. (My Girlfriend)’s eleven-year-old daughter, Girl friends daughter, requested to talk to this writer alone. Girl friends daughter just wanted to share that all of the children love and miss (Son) and they think of him as a brother.

This writer met with (her) and her mother, (Her Mom), and (Son) in Sioux City on May XX. (her)’s home is adequate for herself and (Son). (Son) has his own room. (Her Mom) had a lot more to say than (her). (Her Mom) had concerns regarding the first hearing in 2003 and questions about her husband and his anger problems. (Her Mom) questioned me about why the Psych. Evals. were set up in XXXXX. It was explained that the court asked for three names and their fees so the least expensive one could be chosen. Ms. XXXXX’s name was one of the names the court was familiar with. (her) told this writer that she could not afford the fee, nor could she miss work without putting her job in jeopardy. Those were the reasons for not following the court order of Feb. 19, 2004. To this writer’s knowledge, the court was not notified that (her) would not be following the court order regarding the evals. I was able to visit a little bit with (Son) during this home visit. He was willing to interact while we all sat around the kitchen table. My visit was video taped by (her) without my prior consent. This writer became aware of the taping only after (Son) was playing with the camera and made some comments, at which time I turned and saw the camera.

Reports from the clinic indicated that (Son) has had normal sore throats and flu-type symptoms. In May of 2004 (Son) was seen for abdominal pain which comes and goes. It was felt that he was under a little more stress due to the problems between (her) and (Me).

A report from (Son)’s teacher indicated that he has made gradual progress this year. It is difficult for him to stay focused and motivated. During the last nine weeks of school, (Son)’s absences and tardies greatly decreased. According to (Son)’s report card, he was absent for four days and had twelve tardies for the school year.

This writer spoke with XXXXXXX on the phone but has not received anything in writing. XXXXXX confirmed that she has seen (Son)

approximately two times a month since January 2004. She reported that (Son) worked with a sand table for three or four sessions and turned it into a battle field. XXXXXXX feels that (Son) sees his life as a battle between his parents. XXXXXX has seen nothing to make her believe that (Son) has suffered any sexual abuse. On the original visit (her) spent most of the time talking to XXXXXXX and really pushed the fact that she was looking for something to substantiate that (Son) had been sexually abused. This information was substantiated by comments in a Child Protective Assessment by HXXXX MXXXXX. This assessment states “Ms XXXXX did state that she felt a great deal of pressure from (her) . (her) was requesting that she write a letter to the Court in order to stop visitation between her son, (Son) , and his biological father.”


1. Lack of cooperation between the two parties. There appears to be no willingness to change or modify a visit when it becomes necessary. (Son) is put in the middle frequently, even if it is subtly.
2. A disruption with (Me)’s parenting time. i.e. Police being called on more that one occasion, phone calls not responded to, common courtesies not being used, and accusations of sexual abuse.
3. (her) not having a diagnostic assessment — parental capacity completed.
4. (her)’s continued contact with Michael, whom she claims has been abusive in the past.


(1) The wishes of the child’s parent or parents as to custody;
Both parents love and want (Son) to live with them. Both parents feel
they are the best person to have custody.

(2) The reasonable preference of the child, if the court deems the child to be of sufficient age to express preference;
This writer does not feel (Son) is of sufficient age to express a
preference. (Son) feels he is in a battle, as his parents are unable to
deal cooperatively for his best interests.

(her) has been (Son)’s primary caretaker, except for last summer when (Son) spent most of the summer with (Me). (her) takes (Son) to doctors’ appointments. (Me) would take (Son) to the doctor when necessary. (Me) also took (Son) to the dentist for a cleaning and checkup.

(4) The intimacy of the relationship between each parent and the child;
This writer witnessed a positive relationship between both parents and

(5) The interaction and interrelationship of the child with a parent or parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interests;
While at (her)’s home, (Son) has a close relationship with his grandmother, grandfather, and two cousins. While at (Me)’s home, (Son) has (My Girlfriend) and all of her children, whom he has a sibling relationship with.

(6) The child’s adjustment to home, school, and community; (Son) appears well adjusted to primary environment.

(7) The length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity;
(Son) has had several moves in his life and has not had a completely stable environment for any extended period of time.

(8) The permanence, as a family unit, of the existing or proposed custodial home;
It would appear that (Me)’s long standing relationship with (My Girlfriend) and her children, along with his extended time of living in the same house and holding down the same job, would show permanency. (her) has had several jobs and has moved repeatedly. (her)’s relationship with MXXXXXXwas abusive and caused (her) to move to a women’s shelter prior to moving to Iowa.

(9) The mental and physical health of all individuals involved; except that a disability, as defined in section 363.01, of a proposed custodian or the child shall not be determinative of the custody of the child, unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interest of the child;

To this writer’s knowledge, both (her) and (Me) are in good physical health. Attached please find a copy to the court of (Me)’s Diagnostic Assessment and Parental Capacity. (Me) did not project a profile of any personality disorders. The Child Abuse Potential Inventory resulted in a valid profile. Scales were in the normal range, which suggest that he does not engage in the type of thinking that would be characteristic of known physical child abusers. (Me) is not experiencing stress in the area of parenting his child. He does experience some stress due to the discord between himself and (her). The psychologist XXXXXX, Ph.D. made the following recommendations: No recommendations seem to be appropriate, as (Me) appears to be a well functioning man who is not experiencing psychopathology or problematic thinking that would interfere with his being able to provide a nurturing home for his son. The indicators in the evaluation would be that he more than likely does not need to engage in any kind of psychological treatment at this time. This writer has no information on (her)’s mental health or her potential to parent due to the fact that no Diagnostic Assessment or Parental Capacity was completed.

(10) The capacity and disposition of the parties to give the child love, affection, and guidance, and to continue educating and raising the child in the child’s culture and religion or creed, if any;
To this writer’s knowledge there is no disagreement on (10).

(11) The child’s cultural background;
To this writer’s knowledge there is no disagreement on (11).

(12) The effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, if related to domestic abuse, as defined in section 518.01, that has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual, whether or not the individual alleged to have committed domestic abuse is or ever was a family or household member of the parent; and
(13) Expect in cases in which a finding of domestic abuse as defined in section 518B.01 has been made, the disposition of each parent to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact by the other parent with the child.
(her)’s relationship with XXXXXX, who has been identified as being abusive in the past.

1. Primary physical custody of (Son) be transferred to (Me).
2. (Son) have on going mental health services to meet his needs.
3. (Me) and (her) work cooperatively regarding visits and vacations to meet (Son)’ s best interests.
4. There be no negative talk from anyone regarding either parent.

This information is true and accurate to the best of this writer’s
knowledge. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at any time.

Respectfully Submitted,

Guardian Ad Litem

Cc: (her)


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RE: Some good news so far...
« Reply #1 on: Jul 02, 2004, 07:10:33 PM »
SOME "GOOD NEWS" SO FAR???  Is that the best you can do with that subject heading???

For god sakes man you are on the home stretch!!  I am sooooo happy for you Hate!!  You have gone down the road of hell and have made it through.

This recommendation should stick.  Do you have any more details?  When is court again or when a ruling will be submitted??

We need details, details, details!!

In the meantime I will keep your family in my prayers!!

((((((HUGS HATE)))))



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« Reply #2 on: Jul 10, 2004, 10:52:48 AM »
The following was mailed to me yesterday. It is a letter that my son's therapist mailed to the Guardain Ad Litem in this case...

June 29, 2004

Guardian Ad Litem

p.c: (My son)

Dear (Guardian),

This letter is to serve as a summary of services that (My son)has received from this office. I first meet (My son)in January of this year when his mother, (My ex), brought him to this office. Hank MXXXX ,a local DHS worker, bad referred her to me. (My ex) stated at that time that (My son)had told her that his father had “touched him in a bad way.” (My ex) indicated that the Child Advocacy Center had interviewed (My son)on January 8th and that (My son)’s weekend visits with his father had been suspended pending further investigation. (My ex) also indicated during that initial visit that (My son)had been having problems with “bedwetting. nightmares, and rageful behaviors.” (My ex) stated that she wanted therapy for (My son)to “get to the bottom of this abuse.”

During the first visit (My son)drew a picture of his family for me. He drew himself between his two parents and staled that be missed his father and hoped that his visits would resume soon. It was following this visit that I told (My ex) I could not provide any recommendations regarding (My son)’s visits with his father. I had met alone with (my son) only one time and he had not given me any indication of any problems. Following this January 30th session I also encouraged (My ex) to get therapy for herselt During the following three visits (My son) played with the sand tray, re-enacting battle scenes.

On February 4th of this year I met with (My son) and (My ex) informed me that (My son) was to have visitation with his father that coming weekend. (My ex) cried and stated I feel like “I'm putting a child into a burning building.” I encouraged (My ex) to abide by the court’s ruling and again seek therapy for herself.

Since then I have seen (My son) eight times, the most recent being June 11th of this year. Many of these sessions followed (My son)’s weekend visits with his father. He played war games in the sand tray a great deal and I suspect this to represent his feelings about the discord between his parents. (My ex) has shared that (My son) "has an attitude” when he returns from his father’s visits. I have indicated to her that this is quite normal and explored ways in which she could manage this. I have not bad any contact with (My son)’s father.

(My son) has never provided any information either in play therapy or talk that points to issues mentioned above. I do believe that he struggles with the parental conflicts in
which be frequently finds himself. I have encouraged his mother to begin therapy for herself but I do not know if she has followed through with this recommendation.

If I can be of further assistance, please feel free to contact me at this office.


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