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3 Bumps

Is it wrong to ask for a guardian at litem? and what can i expect with one?

ill try to simplify the best i can. currently my soon to be ex husband has supervised visitation. its always been with me, occasionally with his mother, and a few times with my parents.

were getting divorced, we're close to the end and are trying to agree on a parenting plan. he wants the supervision to end this month already (which is a surprise to me because he was asking for may and suddenly changed it to now)

but i want it to continue for like, ever.

well not long ago we were in agreement with a time sharing schedule. he was to have them every other weekend under the CONSTANT supervision of his mother. the very first time i allowed this to happen, i found out that he went somewhere with them in the car with only his sister present. his mother wasn't there.

ever since then, ive had the visits taking place in my home again. so his family has made it clear, as well as he, that they can't be responsible with the children, do not have their best interests in mind, and cannot be trusted as supervisors.

at the same time, i dont want to see his face. i dont want to have to deal with him. i dont want him in my household. its one hell of an awkward hour when hes sitting on my couch and i have to pretend like i dont hate his guts. im divorcing the man so i want to deal with him as little as possible.

and i dont want to place the burden on my parents, either. they shouldnt have to deal with him.

so, that leaves nobody else but a court appointed GAL. i think its smarter anyways. im just really intimidated by his lawyer, and i dont have representation right now (but im going to make some phone calls tomorrow about that) and im afraid that he's going to make me look spiteful and vindictive, and that im going to stumble over my words in court when i have to explain myself. ive also specified that i want supervised visits to remain in effect until the children are 18.

if a GAL is approved for visitation, what can i expect with that? where do visits take place in this situation? is it in a public place, his home, what?

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Asked by tnm786 at 7:55 PM on Jan. 16, 2013 in Relationships

Level 43 (159,608 Credits)
Answers (23)
  • i am not a lawyer
    but i thought a GAL was to be on the childs side in court
    not to supervise visits
    asking the court for a GAL for your child because you =supervised, he= unsupervised...and then bring in GAL to see what is best for child
    is excellent idea!

    the GAL is not for you or him
    but will decide what is best for child/children
    you meet with GAL to tell your stuff, he meets at another time same thing
    GAL will want to meet with children (see where they live)
    GAL will talk to school, therapists whomever might have input
    then GAL might suggest mediation (if you have no done this)
    then GAL makes suggestion to court what is best for child


    Answer by fiatpax at 8:06 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • and IF court appoints a GAL
    the GAL will have a lot of pull with the judge
    the judge will listen to what GAL has compliled

    this is NOT free
    usually split between the two parents

    this might take the wind right out of his lawyers sails

    you tell court that you two are not coming to consensus on supervised vs un supervised
    and ask for a GAL

    if you know he has been very horrible around the kids and you have proof, the GAL will get these facts and take that into his/her report

    i have a GAL for my child (i am still going through court 2+ years), in my case the GAL is in my corner and the judge does listen to everything she says, almost like GAL is more important than the judge. the GAL is not cheap, but not 250 hour like my lawyer
    in my case, the judge suggested the GAL, but i see no reason why you can not suggestion this to judge- GAL is for the chilren and not on either side, his lawyer should no

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:11 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • his lawyer should not protest this, that would look bad in eyes of court- like he had something to hide
    be 100% honest with GAL and let GAL take the reins

    have had one for my child for over a year, my half was about 2 grand
    much less than my lawyer
    i have a payment plan and pay her 200 a month

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:13 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • A Gal is usually appointed by the courts to represent the best interests of the child(ren). A CASA worker is also court appointed and you can request that one be assigned to your case as far as visitation. A Gal is supposed to be for the child and the child's best interests. However; they are often appointed as a result of a Dependency and Neglect charge through CPS. A Casa worker also has the child's best interets at heart and they are purely on a voluntary basis. In our town we have a place called Harmony House where non-custodial parents go to visit with their children supervised by a designated person; a social worker, a police officer, a Casa worker, a family member, etc...Honey; get an attorney. I have beed dealing with the court crap over my granddaughter and you are right, they will pulverize you. Legal aid as soon as you can, even if you have to postpone the hearing until you get one. GL!

    Answer by Sierrarose99 at 8:15 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • oh really? i didn't know that. what is the term then when a court appointed third party handles visitation?

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 8:15 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • as for GAL doing the supervising for his visits- i do not think it works that way
    you can get an agency to do this (not free)- and do not know what kind of agency, but not common to work it out this way (as far as i know)
    a GAL is a lawyer for your child, not a supervisor for visits

    at least as far as i know

    when is your next court date?
    i would reply to the lawyer letter with - i do not agree with your proposals..." see ya in court"
    and when in court ask judge to appoint a GAL to look after the best interests for your children
    as you and ex can not come to agreement
    if you have not been through mediation- be prepared to go to that (waste of time in my case and 200 bucks hour, split in two)
    to the GAL-state your concerns for their safety because ex husband's ___ actions (nice to have some proof)

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:19 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • supervised, and it would only be with a social worker, I don't know exactly what he has done, but it could backfire on you. Unless he has been abusive and convicted of abuse, the court doesn't like it when they "feel" a woman is taking it to the extreme. I am with you 100%, so I think you need to have your lawyer and his make an agreement that when the kids are with him they are also to be with his mother, make him sign a document that this will be the case at all time, so sorry you have to deal with this.

    Answer by jerseydiva at 8:19 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • he has an assault, battery and child cruelty CONVICTION against two of our children. so i really hope i dont look extreme, but my fear is that his lawyer will make it seem as such. i thought i could trust his mother to watch them, but its clear she puts him before them. thats why i want to really buckle down now, im not taking anymore risks/chances with my children. would he do what he did again? probably not. but i dont want to take any chances. i just dont really know how to handle this

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 8:23 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • we did go to mediation, and this was when i was pretty much bullied into agreeing to the previous plan, the every other weekend supervised visit at his home thing, by his deuchebag lawyer.

    Comment by tnm786 (original poster) at 8:24 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

  • in my case, it has been 2+ years
    just recently his supervised visits have been suspended
    and a CASA (?) worker for visits was never brought up
    i had to supervise him
    it sucks yes, but court has yet to give him alone time
    we did get a GAL, and this has been very helpful, as the GAL gathers all info, is not on either mom or dads side, but what is best for the kids
    and judge takes GALs word as gold
    if you have proof that he should not be alone with kids
    a GAL might very well be direction to take your case
    they WILL do what is best for your child, and will tell judge supervised is best- then try to do the CASA thing that the other mom spoke about
    the GAL will cost you
    and i am guessing the CASA might too
    but maybe based on income??

    that is all i got
    not a lawyer
    just a mom that is going through similar thing

    Answer by fiatpax at 8:25 PM on Jan. 16, 2013

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