S.P.A.R.C.

Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center
crazy gamesriddles and jokesfunny picturesdeath psychic!mad triviafunny & odd!pregnancy testshape testwin custodyrecipes

Author Topic: in between DRC recommendation and judges decision, good dad needs help.  (Read 15310 times)

DrewW

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
I have been fighting a year long custody battle with my ex wife.  We recently had our hearing about 3 weeks ago.  I just received a letter from the Domestic Relations Commissioner siding completely with my ex-wife despite the fact that I can show my 3 year old daughter has a better environment and in measurable ways.  I am now going to see my attorney to file an exception to the recommendation sent back by the DRC.  I am not familiar with this and do not understand the impact of the DRC's recommendation.  Do judges find against the recommendations of their DRC's?  I know alot of fathers feel like they dont have a fair shake in custody hearings, especially with a female child.  When I can show in measurable ways that I have and have kept a better environment for my daughter and get a default "go to mom regardless" response like this, what options do I have left?  I am willing to go to the state supreme court in Kentucky or further if they will let me.  Do you really have to prove a mother completely unfit to get custody of your child?  I am willing for her mother to have joint custody with me being the residential custodian, but am amazed at this decision despite all the negative things that were brought forth about my daughters mother in contrast to my record of stability and love that I have worked so hard to keep for my daughter.  Is there any organizations out there that will go to bat for a good father battling an unjust gender bias?  I am in the midst of it now and any advice or help would be deeply appreciated.
                                 Drew W. - Ashland, Kentucky
                                  newbielink:mailto:Countryboy51@hotmail.com [nonactive]


Kent

  • Global Moderator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 256
  • Karma: 23
    • View Profile
First off,  Please keep in mind that your ex may be looking around here too, it is wise to not use your real name here. We've had that problem on multiple occasions already, and you don't want to give away your strategy.

Usually a judge will blindly follow the recommendations of a court appointed guardian or GAL. Not sure where a DRC falls into that.

You will need to proof that th DRC is completely wrong, and that is very difficult to do.
When you state that you brought up negatives, that may have hurt you. So what kind of negatives are there? Is it just that you believe you are a better parent, or is the mother bordering abuse?

Please provide more detailed information so we can provide better advice.

Kent!

DrewW

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Kent,
 
       Thank you for the reply.  The DRC is a domestic relations commissioner, Kentucky uses these as a means of hearing the custody cases and them forwarding on a recommendation to the judge who will have the final say so and sign into order.  90% of the time the judge follows the DRC's recommendation.  I met with my attorney today to see what my options were which were limited.  1)Do nothing - was not an option to me. 2) Negotiate a better visitation schedule by agreeing not to file an exceptions report - would put us in a visitation bargaining situation which visitation is easier to get fixed later, custody is not.  3) File an exceptions report, noting problems or errors in the DRC's recommendations.  I chose number 3, as I feel it is in my daughters best interest to be with me the majority of the time.  The negatives I mentioned were in good taste and only concerned parenting, nothing to do with our personal issues in the divorce.  My ex wife has no job and only goes to school part time to become a nurse someday, a course she has failed out of before.  I had previously put her through Phloebotomy school so she is a trained employable woman, but chooses not to work and is on various forms of govt assistance including housing and healthcare.  She failed out the first time due to grades but also cited a failed pregnancy by another man, unbeknownst to me while we had first started dating.  After seperating, she came home and played family with me and my daughter on several occasions, taking a family vacation with us in August 08' , and coming and staying with us as recently as January of this year.  She also became pregnant after our seperation by another man in November of 08', with a subsequent abortion.  During testimony she admitted to having men stay the night with my daughter present.  I argued that this was confusing my daughter coming back and forth and playing family with different men.  When her efforts at coming back home again failed the last time in January, partly in due to finding out about her most recent pregnancy, she made up charges on behalf of her and my daughter and filed an EPO which was later dismissed.  During that time she drove down and made a scene at my daycare and took my daughter away during my time and kept her for over 3 weeks without me seeing her.  We had been splitting time 50/50, only verbally agreed, but practiced for almost 9 months.  She has a history of mental health and physical health issues that relate to some of her rash behaviors.  She took my (at the time 2 yr old) daughter to a psychologist without my knowledge or consent, at a place her mother works at, with concerns over some of the odd things my daughter had been saying.  She kept her residence and multiple moves(3 residences in less than a year) a secret, as well as where my daughter stayed at times, and who my childs physician was up there.  Only through efforts by my attorney were these found out, and my childs physician is scared to write any prescriptions because our inability to coordinate health care and concerns for double dosing.  In contrast, I have worked very hard to keep the same environment for my daughter that me and my ex-wife picked out together.  My daughter has the same home she has always known.  My daughter has the same daycare she has always had, where all her friends go, where I actually went as a child myself.  She has the same pediatrician she has always had, an excellent one that was there from day 1 in the hospital for her.  I have a good solid job with a semi flexible schedule for making my childcare plan work as I am the one who makes the schedule at my place of employment.  I take her to the park, to the museum, to Gattiland, paint her nails, doll her hair up better than any woman, keep her physically healthy and happy.  She is very much a "daddys girl" in behavior and relationship, as testified to by my witnesses.  In my exceptions report my lawyer and I filed today, we cited the overwhelming evidence showing that my daughter had a more suitable and stable environment at home than with her mother and how that evidence had been ignored with no showing of such an environment by the other side.  Her side never even explained why they had a better environement for my daughter, in fact the DRC was rushing us through the hearing, seeming very frustrated to be there at all.  My lawyer mention in the exception the "unwritten practice" of a female child going with a mother regardless of circumstances, and how it has been shown unconstitutional for decades now.   Now I sit and wait to see if the judge will allow another non-evidentiary hearing to allow both (counsels only) sides to argue the exceptions cited.   Odds are I will face an unwritten wall that many fathers faced before, and be forced into the court of appeals.  Which from my understanding, the odds of getting something overturned become smaller the higher up you go as judges do not like to overturn other judges decisions.  I am in between a rock and a hard place trying to figure out why the deciding factors for custody law are not really practiced and how to get them to just go by their own rules and give a father a fair shake?  Most importantly, how to put a child where their best interests are served and they have the best possible chance at a happy healthy stable future?
 
                      Thanks..... DW - KY.
Also, do you know any groups that take on fathers rights issues in these types of situations??

amymarie

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 29
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
DW - I don't have any advice, but wanted to offer you support.
 
My fiance and I had the same problem with our GAL (guardian ad litem).  She tried for 3 months to get ahold of the mother and couldn't but then told our lawyer the day before mediation that she was going to recommend that even though he was an excellent father, the mother should get primary (she hadn't even spoken with her yet!).  This was after she had already made the comment courts usually think girls should be with mothers and boys should be with fathers (which, apparently was her philosophy as well).
 
Fortunately, we settled in mediation, keeping 50/50 but with neither parent designated as primary. 
 
Good luck to you!

gemini3

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 873
  • Karma: 1004
    • View Profile
 
Also, do you know any groups that take on fathers rights issues in these types of situations??

 
Talk to the ACFC.  If you have a solid case to appeal in higher court they might be able to help you.
 
www.acfc.org


superdad01

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 195
  • Karma: -8
    • View Profile
Truth be told it's all about the money and the people in charge here realise this. This crooked system keeps moving because the money keeps rolling in. They don't care about your child only the revenue they generate. That's what it boils down to. Mother gets custody = you pay..... You get custody = they know the mom will pay nothing.

DrewW

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
Thank you to everyone for the advice or comments.  All other exceptions reports that were filed were denied, except for mine.  Apparently the judge did see something wrong, and there will be a secondary hearing on the exceptions report filed by my attorney previously, occuring in a couple of weeks.  The DRC made a recommendation, but the judge is waiting to make the offical decision until after that hearing.  There will be no new evidence introduced and I am not going to be present, my lawyer and my ex-wifes lawyer and the judge will be the only ones present.  This is a step back in the right direction, but still appears to be very much an uphill battle since the DRC's decision was so one sided.  All I can do at this point is watch and wait and pray for the case for stability to win out.  I will try to do my research in the meantime and prepare for an appeal situation if we have to, so any advice on that process from those who know or have lived through that would be appreciated.  Other than that, prayers or well wishes are also greatly appreciated.

ksmarks

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 111
  • Karma: 3
    • View Profile
Drew, I will be sending you good wishes, keep us posted and keep your chin up!
KSMarks

DrewW

  • New Arrival
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 1
    • View Profile
The judge has kicked it back to the DRC now and now the DRC will have a second hearing with only lawyers present in a few weeks.  I dont know if this is common for the judge to give the DRC another opportunity to decide after a recommendation has already been given once before by him.  It will still have to go back to the judge to sign as the DRC doesnt actually have that authority, he just hears the cases and makes recommendations.  Im not quite sure how to take this and I hope its not to just slightly modify visitation, if you go by the states guidelines, it should be a shoe in if gender wasnt an issue here.  Half Glass Empty - the judge doesnt want to fool with it, they are just changing visitation days to days I am off work, or they are covering their butts that due time was given b/c they know an appeal is immenent..... I dont know.  I am choosing to go with Half Glass Full for now - The judge saw the DRC's "go with mom regardless" recommendation, he's not going to let it fly, and hes sending it back to his DRC to get it right this time.  Im hoping and praying at least.... and I am thankful that there wasnt just a rash blow through the system response, Im still in the fight and Im thankful to be here still fighting for my daughter.  Anybody familiar with a back and forth situation like this while still no "official custody" decision has been made yet?  Would love some feedback if anybodies ever heard of this or been through it.....

4honor

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 630
  • Karma: 56
  • Been hanging out since 1998... I think.
    • View Profile
Kicking it back to DRC
« Reply #9 on: Jul 06, 2009, 10:15:41 AM »
I read the appeals for my state (WA) and most of the time when a judge sends something back to a commissioner, it is for them to either justify their decision based on the state statutes/guidelines, or to reconsider their decision.
Do you have a copy of the judge's order sending it back down to the DRC?  And will the same person at DRC be doing this?
A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves whats behind him...dear parents, please remember not to continue to fight because you hate your ex, but because you love your children.

 

Copyright © SPARC - A Parenting Advocacy Group
Use of this website does not constitute a client/attorney relationship and this site does not provide legal advice.
If you need legal assistance for divorce, child custody, or child support issues, seek advice from a divorce lawyer.