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Custody Issues / Some good news so far...
« on: Jul 02, 2004, 03:48:21 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)

Custody Issues / court yesterday....long
« on: Feb 21, 2004, 12:51:51 AM »
Well, now that that's behind me I have another hurdle to jump. The court was schedauled for 11 to 3, we ran from 11 to almost 5PM! I represented myself at the hearing.

2 days before, her attoreny served me with a anmended order, they wanted me to attenden parenting classes, make a seperate bedroom and bed for my son, she wanted 3 weeks of my summer visitation and everyother weekend during my summer visitation. Plus they wanted me to not be able to have my son spend the night at any non-relative person.

The judge asked at the hearing if we still wanted to go ahead with the evediatry hearing as the opposing party amended their order and didn't want a hearing now. I said I did want the hearing, her attorney objected to it. But the judge ruled that I had made my motion in a timely matter and made enough evidence in it to hold a hearing based on interfeance and such. So we went ahead with it.

I, the judge and even the GAL caught her in many many lies. When she couldn't lie she would answer a YES or NO question with "I can't remember" or "I'd have to look at my calander" or some other dumb lame excuss.

A few I caught her in was when she moved into her boyfriends homes in St. Cloud...I asked how many bedrooms they had, "2"
I asked there were 2 other guys living there right? "no" (lie)
I asked if my son slept on the couch ever?  "for a few weeks"
Where did you and your boyfriend sleep?  "in a bedroom"
Why did my son sleep on the couch then? "because jerry rented a room from her boyfriend"
I then asked "I just asked you before if anybody else was living with you other than your boyfriend"
At this piont the judge looked back at her and then PBFH said " you asked if 2 guys lived with us, it was just one"
How long did he rent from you? "a couple of months"
And my son sleep on the couch for that time "yes"
Did you watch TV in that room, living room with him on the couch at night. "we had 2 other TV's in the house"
I said did you watch TV in that room at night, YES or NO! "ummmmmm yes"

Another one was later in the day when the GAL got to ask questions. GAL said that my son was tardy alot for school and that was a concern back then and asked how many times he was late. PBFH "6"
I then slid a report I had printed out over to the GAL that showed 12 tardies
GAL then said she was just shown a report that shows double that amount PBFH "I can't recall"
I got that enterned into evidence after a round around with her attorney and the judge.
Another one was when I asked her if she was evered interviewed or taped when she was sexaully abused as a child. Her attoreny objected to the quewstion and the judge overruled and allowed the question.
PBHF " I can't recall it was back in '82...I don't even know if they had video camras then"
ME: But you where interviewed and asked questions about the assult?
PBFH: I can't remeber...I've tried to block it from my memory
ME: So it was that tramatic that you tried to block it from your memory and yet you put my son though it instead of calling me to ask about what had happened?
PBFH: I was just trying to protect him, that was my first priorty all  I was thinking about.
at that point the judge stepped in and aske PBFH what my son told her.
PBFH: that his Dad touched him on his bottom.
Judge: so that is consitant with the Police reports, the taped interview and the CPS conclussion that he had just touched him.
PBFH: I never watched the taped interview
Judge: well, you where given the oppertunity to...if you haven't that is your own falt then. Did he ever say anything else had happened other that his Dad touched him?

Another one that PBFH pulled was when we wher discussing a police call PBFH made on me about the end of the summer visitation. It was about a question of "end of the week" Sat. Or Sunday. The order was writen that I have to have him back by the end of the first week in Augest.
She called the cops on me when she was waiting in Windom on Sat. I told her I would be there Sunday not Sat.
In the court room now...
Me: you called the police on me this summer correct?
PBFH: yes
Me:I told you I would be there Sunday correct?
PBFH: yes
Me: you faxed up a copy of the order to the police department and they came to the same conclussion as Sunday correct?
PBFH: well, yes
Me: you wanted me arrested right?
PBFH: I thought you where in contemt of court.
Judge: Did he tell you he would be bringing him back on Sunday?
PBFH: yes
Judge: you called the police from Windom?
PBFH: no
PBFH: I didn't have the court order with me in Windom and had to drive back home then.
Judge: But he said he would be there in Windom on Sunday?
PBFH: Well, I was confuzed...the order was written poorly and is very confuzing.
Judge: looking down and away rolling eyes....anything else?
 LOL The judge wrote that order herself!!

This type of stuff went on all day long...

not that I did a great job, but I think I prooved my point. At the end The judge told the PBFH that she had allowed the move to Iowa based on party that she was moving to get away from her abusive boyfriend and now she has maintaned contact and even called him many times...
Judge asked the GAL to get on the stand and give a recommendation...
She said she had some concerns before and said she was VERY concerned now and recommended a phyc test on us both.

So now it is ordered that both she and I take a MMPI test.

I just got off the phone with the GAL and she said that the custody will be based on the results of this test.

I have gathered that the judge and the GAL think there may be some emotional problems with the PBFH. The GAl said she was at my home and my Girlfrieds home and said she isn't concerned with the physical envioment at this time...but is more concerned about the emtional envioment of the child. I can't see how they would be concerned about me...I think the PBFH is the one that is in question. But they want a "pyc. picture" of both to make a fair ruling.

This may be the oppertunity for me I've been waiting for. At least I think I'm normal and stable...I'll leave that up to the test to show.

Pray for me and my son....

Custody Issues / "X drew the trump card....very long...sorry.."
« on: Jan 15, 2004, 09:17:04 AM »

           I give you the order that alowed the a move to Iowa by my x last year. She has called the cops on me twice so far for minor disputs with transportation. Once was the end of my summer vistation I she called me the first weekend on Sat and wanted him returned. I said I had until Sunday night. (minor I know).

Now to the big one. Last weekend I went down to get my son. She never showed up. I was concerned and went to the police station to file a report and have them check for accidents. The officer let me use his cell phone to call her, she never answered. I waited until 1:15 and drove home. I called again...no answer, left message to call me back. I tried again on Sunday night at 9PM now answer...no call back.

Monday I called the X at 7:30 to try and see if she was home....no answer. I then called the school to see if my son was in school. He ended up coming late, the excuse, they overslept.

I'm now worried, I call my x at work and she won't say anything to me. I tell her I had been calling and she didn't pick up or return my calls and she said she nows that. I ask whats up and she says "I can't talk right now" I ask her if she'll be at the exchange piont this weekend and she says "no".

Come to find out she had my son in to be video taped and reported to CPS that I touched his butt. I spent many hours on the phone to find this out. I had to call the school, which wouldn't let me talk to him because of this "investagation" they did piont me in the right direction of calling CPS because I had no idea of anything going on.

Iowa police trasfered the case up to my hometown and I talked to an officer and gave my statement. Basicly the story goes that I touched his butt while we were in bed sleeping, my son said this. He didn't know the date when asked, he didn't know how many times this happed when asked. The officer knows this is a custody disput thing, he said he has seen many of them. They are still waiting for the video tape from Iowa.

Needless to say I am very hurt by these accusations and feel so sad for my son that is being draw into all this crap, just because my x doesn't want me to have visitation.

I talked with the Iowa CPS today and they said if the officer up here doesn't think nothing is going on the they will drop the order to not allow me contact with my son. The officer up here is going to call CPS toady to say just that. He can pretty much see through the whole thing, but needs to wait for the video, then it goes to county attorny. Which the officer said he can't see how I could be charged with anything.

I have many doctors reports dating back to birth about here bring my son in and blaming me for this or for that. One doctor wrote on the bottom "It seems they are trying to make a mounten out of a molehill"

I have no idea of what started all this, I did bring my son to the dentist the last visit and they said he had the start of gingivitus and they filled 2 cavities that were nearly absist. He hadn't been to a dentist in over 3 years.

My son is 9.

Now the question.

1: Do I go back to court for full custody on this?

2: How much weight do judges put on these false accustations with regards to a custody change?

3: X has tried this before about 5 years ago and it was thrown out. Does that help establish a pattern?

4: With just this small bit of info what do you think my chances are of a custody reversal are now?

Below is the order from the judge...she seemed like she didn't want to allow the move but had to under MN law. She made several comments about how we need to work together and she would like to see parents live in the same town or within 50 mile of each other.


Court File No.
Case Type: Dissolution with Children
In re the Marriage of:

the X

Me (hatewelfare),


The above-entitled matter came for argument before the Honorable Sally I-------- R---------, Judge of District Court, on January 17, 2003, for an evidentiary hearing on Petitioner’s request for an Order allowing her to move to the State of Iowa with the parties’ minor child, over Respondent’s objection. Petitioner appeared personally, pro Se. Respondent appeared personally with counsel (My slow attorny). Also appearing was the court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem, K---- P-----. The Court gave Petitioner permission to move to Iowa with the child, subject to conditions set at the hearing and subject to further review hearing on the issue of parenting time, if the parties could not agree.

On the 12th day of March 2003, both parties appeared personally pro Se, for further hearing as to parenting time. Also appearing was the court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem, K---- Pi--------i, who had filed with the Court her recommendations as to the child’s best interests.

Based upon the arguments of counsel, the files, records, and
proceedings herein, the Court makes the following:


1. Permission to move to Iowa. Petitioner’s request to move with minor child to Iowa is GRANTED. Petitioner’s request is conditioned upon (1) Petitioner’s full cooperation and compliance with Respondent’s parenting time as set forth below,
(2) Petitioner’s sharing one-half of the visitation transportation
obligation, and (3) upon the Court’s express retention of jurisdiction as the child’s “home state" for the purpose of custody jurisdiction.

2. Respondent’s Parenting Time. Unless the parties otherwise in the best interests of the child, Respondent have parenting time with the minor child:

a. Every other weekend, beginning at 11:15 a.rn. Saturday until 4:00 p.m. Sunday, with the exchange taking place at Windom, MN. Because of the travel time and the need to exchange at a mid-point, each party shall be prompt in meeting at the exchange point and shall advise the other immediately of any weather conditions which may make travel inadvisable.

b. Summer vacation as follows: from the third week in June through the end of the first week of August, at which time Respondent shall return minor child to Petitioner. Petitioner shall have one weekend of parenting time in June and one weekend of parenting time in July. The parties will mutually decide upon the particular dates for Petitioner’s parenting time; if they cannot agree, it will be the last weekend in June and the third weekend in July.

c. Alternating holidays as follows: Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (Respondent to have parenting time for one-half Christmas vacation every year), and the minor child’s birthday.

d. Petitioner shall have the minor child for the weekend of Mother’s Day; however, if this causes Respondent to miss a regular weekend visit, the missed visit will be made up within two weeks, unless the parties agree otherwise.

e. Respondent shall have the minor child for the weekend of Father’s Day as part of his summer parenting time.

3. Other and Additional Times As Agreed to by Parties. The parties are free to agree to additional parenting time as needed for special family occasions and events. Both parties shall cooperate with each other and be flexible in dealing with unforeseen scheduling issues and any other matters that may arise, affecting the parenting time agreement. Both parties shall take all appropriate steps to avoid conflicts with the schedule, but shall accommodate whenever possible requests for changes so the minor child can attend important family and social events with both parents or with his friends and school.

4. Shared Oblicjation for Transportion. Petitioner and Respondent shall share equally the costs and time associated with the transportation required for Respondent to exercise his parenting time.

5. No Interference. The parties are hereby advised that this Court will view any persistent failure to cooperate, unreasonable denial of parenting time, failure to provide prompt transportation, unreasonable failure to be prompt for exchanges, or any other obstacles or patterns of resistance to parenting time, as intentional interference of parenting time. In accordance with Minnesota law, such conduct could result in a change of custody of the minor child and/or revocation of this Conditional Order permitting Petitioner to move to Iowa with the minor child.

6. Duty of Good Faith. The parties shall use the utmost good faith in dealing with each other as to issues of visitation and other matters involving the couple’s minor child. Neither party shall vilify or speak badly about the other parent in the presence or earshot of the child, and neither shall allow the child to be in the presence or earshot of any other person who vilifies and speaks poorly of the other parent. Each parent shall assist the child in making adjustments to the move, and other major changes in the home or living arrangements of the parent.

7. Suspension of Child Support in July. Provided that Respondent remains fully current in the payment of child support throughout the year as previously ordered (on October 26, 2002, as corrected in part on January 4, 2002), his child support obligation shall be suspended and not payable in the month of July every year, to allow for the additional expenses he will have for childcare during his summer parenting time, and also for the additional expenses of transportation occasioned by Petitioner’s move to Iowa. This suspension of child support for one month each year is in the child’s best interests as it will foster the parent and child relationship with the parent who does not have physical custody during the school year and needs funds to exercise parenting time. Court Administration shall serve a copy of this Order on Todd County Social Services, who shall not withhold child support in the month of July each year, provided that Respondent is current in his payment of support.

8. Retention of Jurisdiction. This Court shall retain jurisdiction of this matter as Minnesota is deemed the child’s “home state” for purposes of child custody jurisdiction regardless of the child’s move to the State of Iowa, until further Order of this Court. The Petitioner has made various representations to the Court as her lack of intent to deprive the child’s father of parenting time and her ability and intent to assist with transportation needed to continue to foster the parent and child relationship between the child and his father. Petitioner’s mother made this same representation to the Court in sworn testimony. This Court would not have found the move to be in the child’s best interest were there not continuing jurisdiction to assure full compliance and cooperation with Respondent’s parenting time.

9. Guardian ad Litem. The Respondent shall pay one-half of the total costs of the Guardian ad Litem on a schedule to be arranged with Todd County Court Administrator --------; the Petitioner, having proceeded In Forma Pauperis, has no present ability to contribute to said costs. The Guardian is hereby discharged from further duties in this case, with the thanks of the Court and the parties for her services in this matter.

10. Service of this Order. A copy of this Order shall be served upon the parties, the Guardian ad Litem, and Todd County Social Services Support Collection Officer (referencing suspension of support in July as per paragraph 7 above).

Dated this 3rd day of April, 2003.


SALLY I----- R------
Judge of District Court


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