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Author Topic: GAL question  (Read 870 times)

mango

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GAL question
« on: Sep 26, 2005, 02:28:46 PM »
We are in the midst of a custody dispute, and a GAL has been assigned to the case.  

DH is self-representing. Ohio court, childs is 11, mother is residential, and the parents have shared custody 50/50.

Mother is seeking sole-custody, and want sto terminate fathers rights to make decisions because he will not agree to (1) activity. He has agreed in 6-8 (all other) things mother has wanted, but is not in favor of this one thing. The childs grades are starting to go from honor roll student to C-'s. The father thinks she is overscheduled, the mother and now the GAL disagree.

They all appeared in front of the magestrate for a review of findings and the magestrate said she will likely not change the parenting order from what it was. But had no time to hear the case. Continuance.

Meanwhile, the GAL is trying to force DH to do things without court by telling him he has to do them. She made him give up his Wednesday visits only because at the findings review he mentioned he would be willing to give them up if necessary (as a compromise) But nothing ws determined that day or written. But then she made him hold his words the next time he went to pick her up, he was refused his daughter and the GAL supported this witholding. Now, she is trying to force him to participate in the activity that he is in disagreement with (which he has gone to court previoulsy last year, and was found in NOT in contempt of this matter.) DH thinks it's fishy or that she is bullying him because he is self-representing. He thinks she is trying to pull something over because the magestrate stated that she will unlikely change orders.

1.) Does the GAL have the right to terminate orders and force parents to do things without a hearing? I thought they could only make recomendations to the court, not make binding rulings.

2.) Did she have a right to get rid of his Wednesdays without it being in writing? He was trying to negotiate to settle....but it is not settled because there still seems to be a trial scheduled.




socrateaser

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RE: GAL question
« Reply #1 on: Sep 26, 2005, 11:00:06 PM »
>1.) Does the GAL have the right to terminate orders and force
>parents to do things without a hearing? I thought they could
>only make recomendations to the court, not make binding
>rulings.

The GAL is the legal representative of an interested party, i.e., the child, and not a neutral decisionmaker. The GAL has no authority to make orders, and to do so, without authority violates the GAL's professional duty to not coerce an outcome in his/her client's favor by unlawful means. I would complain to the court that the GAL is using improper methods to influence to course of litigation in matters that are for the court, and not the representative of an interested party, to decide.

>2.) Did she have a right to get rid of his Wednesdays without
>it being in writing?

No. In my opinion, you are voluntarily submitting to things to which you have no duty to submit. You may want to mention to the GAL that she needs to make the fact that she represents an interested party clear to an unrepresentated party, and that she should not be offering legal advice to an unrepresented party, other than to seek independent counsel, because to do so, is a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct.

This will probably cause her to dirty her underwear, because you could make an ethics complaint and she could find herself suspended from practice for a while.

Now, having said all of the above, I must caution you to realize that the GAL can be your friend or your enemy, and the former is better than the latter. The question is whether or not the child's best interests are being served here or not, and I can't really determine this from the few facts you present.

mango

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RE: GAL question
« Reply #2 on: Sep 27, 2005, 06:24:04 AM »
Thank you.

 

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