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Author Topic: Adverse Court child assessors report  (Read 4259 times)

5cents

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Adverse Court child assessors report
« on: May 25, 2007, 07:14:36 AM »
I am currently going through a judicial separation. On legal advice approximately 1 year ago I moved out of the family home , and there is an interim court  consent order in place whereby our two young girls (2 yrs and 5 yrs) are c 50% of the time with their Dad and Mom respectively. we both have houses less than 1 mile apart.

The court appointed a child custody assessor’s (child psychologist) report lists all the nasty allegations my wife has made against myself (which are untrue) in his report, and is looking for sole custody , move away from the family home approximately 170 miles to her home town, with the offer that I could have a few hours access every second Sunday.  I didn’t attack her at all in the assessment and proposed joint custody, c50 % each. We both work fulltime, but my job allows me to work from home c80% of the time. I am also able to show my extensive time spent prior to the separation in bringing up the girls.

Now , his recommendation is to drastically reduce the girls time with their day to 1 overnight at the weekend.

Have you any advice on how I can challenge this report  ? as it is very biased in favour of the mother.



mistoffolees

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2007, 07:33:41 AM »
>I am currently going through a judicial separation. On legal
>advice approximately 1 year ago I moved out of the family home
>, and there is an interim court  consent order in place
>whereby our two young girls (2 yrs and 5 yrs) are c 50% of the
>time with their Dad and Mom respectively. we both have houses
>less than 1 mile apart.
>
>The court appointed a child custody assessor’s (child
>psychologist) report lists all the nasty allegations my wife
>has made against myself (which are untrue) in his report, and
>is looking for sole custody , move away from the family home
>approximately 170 miles to her home town, with the offer that
>I could have a few hours access every second Sunday.  I didn’t
>attack her at all in the assessment and proposed joint
>custody, c50 % each. We both work fulltime, but my job allows
>me to work from home c80% of the time. I am also able to show
>my extensive time spent prior to the separation in bringing up
>the girls.
>
>Now , his recommendation is to drastically reduce the girls
>time with their day to 1 overnight at the weekend.
>
>Have you any advice on how I can challenge this report  ? as
>it is very biased in favour of the mother.

I would not even attempt this on your own. Get a GOOD attorney.

Your description of how the report was developed is sketchy. If you provide more details about how it was done, that would help to assess your chances. For example, how much time did the assessor spend with each person involved? Did he/she talk with any other witnesses? Who selected the assessor?

Good luck.

5cents

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2007, 01:06:23 AM »
The assessor met both parents separately on 3 occasions and one time each with the girls in both houses.The report is a short report, 7 pages long, simply laid out where the assessor highlights comments from both parents and quickly moves onto discussions/recommendations. Unfortunately he lists my wifes comments (basically an attack on myself and ability as a parent) which sets the tone for the whole report. He uses selctive quotes and and alot of context dropping when referring to my inputs. I gave him a sixty page document listing teh various child parenting areas which I participated on before and after the separation. He states my wife is looking for sole custody while I am looking for a 50/50 set up. He finds that it is a high conflict situation (from my wife who won't co-operate in anything) but her initial attacks at the start of the report have already done damage. Finally he states both girls are doing well, and the have two very caring parents. He recommends
a. The girls should stay in the city and not move away with their mother as its in their best interests  BUT
b. The girls live 'more centrally' with the mother
c. They gilrs have one overnight per week with their father (either Fri or Sat)
d. The father can pick up the girls after school twice a week from 130pm to 430pm (when I then have to drop them back to my wifes childminder as she is at work)

All in all the girls time with their Dad goes from c 50% to 20% which is what I vehemently dis-agree with. I have a good attorney, but they think fighting the court appointed expert would be detrimental, and that if I fight it, thecourt may allow my wife go down the country making the girls access to their Dad even more difficult.
Any advice much appreciated !!

Jade

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2007, 04:43:03 AM »
>I am currently going through a judicial separation. On legal
>advice approximately 1 year ago I moved out of the family home
>, and there is an interim court  consent order in place
>whereby our two young girls (2 yrs and 5 yrs) are c 50% of the
>time with their Dad and Mom respectively. we both have houses
>less than 1 mile apart.
>
>The court appointed a child custody assessor’s (child
>psychologist) report lists all the nasty allegations my wife
>has made against myself (which are untrue) in his report, and
>is looking for sole custody , move away from the family home
>approximately 170 miles to her home town, with the offer that
>I could have a few hours access every second Sunday.  I didn’t
>attack her at all in the assessment and proposed joint
>custody, c50 % each. We both work fulltime, but my job allows
>me to work from home c80% of the time. I am also able to show
>my extensive time spent prior to the separation in bringing up
>the girls.
>
>Now , his recommendation is to drastically reduce the girls
>time with their day to 1 overnight at the weekend.
>
>Have you any advice on how I can challenge this report  ? as
>it is very biased in favour of the mother.
>
>

Do you have a lawyer?  

Jade

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2007, 04:48:22 AM »
>The assessor met both parents separately on 3 occasions and
>one time each with the girls in both houses.The report is a
>short report, 7 pages long, simply laid out where the assessor
>highlights comments from both parents and quickly moves onto
>discussions/recommendations. Unfortunately he lists my wifes
>comments (basically an attack on myself and ability as a
>parent) which sets the tone for the whole report. He uses
>selctive quotes and and alot of context dropping when
>referring to my inputs. I gave him a sixty page document
>listing teh various child parenting areas which I participated
>on before and after the separation. He states my wife is
>looking for sole custody while I am looking for a 50/50 set
>up. He finds that it is a high conflict situation (from my
>wife who won't co-operate in anything) but her initial attacks
>at the start of the report have already done damage. Finally
>he states both girls are doing well, and the have two very
>caring parents. He recommends
>a. The girls should stay in the city and not move away with
>their mother as its in their best interests  BUT
>b. The girls live 'more centrally' with the mother
>c. They gilrs have one overnight per week with their father
>(either Fri or Sat)
>d. The father can pick up the girls after school twice a week
>from 130pm to 430pm (when I then have to drop them back to my
>wifes childminder as she is at work)
>
>All in all the girls time with their Dad goes from c 50% to
>20% which is what I vehemently dis-agree with. I have a good
>attorney, but they think fighting the court appointed expert
>would be detrimental, and that if I fight it, thecourt may
>allow my wife go down the country making the girls access to
>their Dad even more difficult.
>Any advice much appreciated !!

You stated before that you work from home 80% of the time.  Can you set your own hours?  If so, use that.  Point out how the kids could be with a parent rather than a babysitter or daycare center most of the time.

Since you have the ability to spend more time with them, you should be the primary parent, imo.  

Talk to your attorney about getting a second opinion.  


mistoffolees

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2007, 06:40:04 AM »

>All in all the girls time with their Dad goes from c 50% to
>20% which is what I vehemently dis-agree with. I have a good
>attorney, but they think fighting the court appointed expert
>would be detrimental, and that if I fight it, thecourt may
>allow my wife go down the country making the girls access to
>their Dad even more difficult.
>Any advice much appreciated !!


Your attorney is probably right. Escalating a high-conflict situation typically goes in favor of the CP unless there's very good cause.

You haven't given anything there that provides a reason to believe the report could be overturned on the basis of bias. He talked with both parents and with the kids on both houses. He didn't find either parent deficient, but indicated his beleif that one particular option is better for the girls - and gave his reasons.

The only thing left is if there was a major bias in the selection process. For example, if your ex chose the assessor and presented it to the court without you having the option to recommend another or even discuss it there's a slight chance you could do something with it - particularly if there's some relationship bias (the assessor knows your ex or whatever). Barring that, you'd probably be spending a ton of money trying to overturn it - and only make yourself look bad.

Go with your attorney's advice. They know what's going on better than I do or anyone else here. At some point, you have to consider a battle lost and move on to the next one. Jade's advice is good. Accept the report as written and use it to build a case for greater parenting time on your side - using your job flexibility as an advantage.

Good luck.

5cents

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2007, 07:25:33 AM »
Yes , have had the same lawyer for a year, she is a family lawyer,,,but isn't creative, and could be a bit more robust in addressing the large number of legal letters I am getting from the other side making various false claims

5cents

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2007, 07:36:33 AM »
Thx for the advice,
my own belief and my lawyers is that  because the court assessor recommends my wife should stay in the city, he has counterbalanced that with giving her >80% of the time with the girls. I had previously given him a large amount of information, health, nuttrition, discipline, play activities, education, development AND including my work schedule , which allowed me take care of the girls, none of this seems to have been considered. I know I am stuck with te hreport and he won't change it, but I have asked him for a meeting to 'clarify' why the drastic reduction in the girls time  with their father in favour of teh childminder,,,it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Similarly he stated there were currently too many shifts between the parents.  
Yes the key question is to either fight the report or work with the assessor over a number of years....either way I am looking at the girls being reduced to less than 20% of their time with their Dad.

ocean

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2007, 11:48:01 AM »
This is a report not a judges decision. I would talk to your lawyer about the times they want you to return them to the babysitter and see if you can get more time on those school days. The evaluator is right though...50/50 is only given when BOTH parents can cooperate. The evaluator felt you two could not so she gave BM custody with you the parenting plan. It sounds like you got what most NCP's get...every other weekend and two days during the week. You could maybe also ask on your weekends to make it Fri-sunday (instead of both days during the week). Since mom is not cooperative, go to your lawyer with a DETAILED plan and see if they will accept it. Dates/Times/vacations, summers/pick-up and drop-off spots.....
Good luck!

Jade

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2007, 12:22:54 PM »
>Yes , have had the same lawyer for a year, she is a family
>lawyer,,,but isn't creative, and could be a bit more robust in
>addressing the large number of legal letters I am getting from
>the other side making various false claims


Personally, I would get a different lawyer who is more aggressive.  In my opinion, judges don't like to change the status quo.  And if you have been doing 50/50 physical custody to date and the kids are thriving, you can point that out.  

janM

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2007, 05:56:36 PM »
Are you in England? Or are you British? If in the US, what state?

5cents

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2007, 04:28:36 AM »
Ireland, legally I have a solicitor (same as attorney) and a barrister (used in higher courts)

backwardsbike

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2007, 03:19:31 PM »
I also was a victim of a biased custody evalaution report.  My lawyer told me to not gfignt as it would be deterimantl and the judge might just take away what little time I was given.  That was seven years ago.  I finally just gave up after seeing my kids EOW for the last seven years.  They are so PAS'd that having them in my home became too much of a strain for my new family.  False allegations, first bu CP then by Children, children stealing medical and financial record from my mone for CP, disrespect. then fisanlly false allegations anytime Cp wanted more time with the kids.  All together I spent about $60K- 20 for the eval and the rest fighting all of the nonesense adn i ended up just walking away anyways.

Here is what I learned- spend the money on the front end of things.  Had I more vigorously defended my positon from the get go I would have gotten more, I think and then had more baragining power. I was "tricked" into thinking that if I just looked cooperative the judge would soon see how uncooperative the CP was and I would get more time with the children.  WRONG!  The one who is the most dispicable seems ot get what they want- so if you're gonna fight- do it now.  

If a laywer is telling you not to fignt but you want to fight get a different attorney. Hire one on the same page of music as you are.  Hell, ittook my attorney about 18 months of representing me before she realized the evalautors biased report was bogus. I took her with me to an IEP meeting at my son's school where she witnessed foirst hand what the X is like- negative, never an idea of how to make htings better, rude entitled adn expecting everyone to do the job instead of the CP.  By then it was too late ot fight adn the PAS was heating up.

BTW- I'm a non custodial mom- no I'm not a drug addict or criminal.  Infact, I am a licensed nurse, amaster's candidate in counsleing and a certifed parent- child educator.  No criminal record, no child abuse record I do not drink, smoke and hardly ever swaer althought that is going by the way side since I have been dealing with this for so long.

5cents

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2007, 05:10:39 PM »
Hi Backwardsbike


 
Thankyou very much for your response and advice, I think you are right,,,its better to oppose my ex now rather than 'hope for the best later' and then spend years in the courts trying to a decent schedule of joint custody. I don't want to b ea 'contact' dad being peripheral to my childrens lives. I am meeting the lawyer tomorrow and will listen to her and then instruct her to oppose the 'expert' report and my ex's lawyers and appeal to the judge directly .

Thx again 5cents

janM

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RE: Adverse Court child assessors report
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2007, 06:01:15 PM »
I had a hunch, judging by some of your expressions lol.

I hope everyone's advice applies there as it would here in the States. I have heard that in England it's been an uphill climb for Dads to assert their rights and things are slow to change in court.

Sounds like you're on the right track, keep us posted.

 

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