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ButterflyGirl posted 7/16/2013 10:14 AM

I got an email from my L today with an attachment showing that my STBX has subpoenaed the DCF investigator who worked on our case. I guess she will be testifying at our temporary hearing..

When I talked to her after she interviewed him, the kids, OW and OW's kid, she said she didn't have enough for abuse, but that we definitely have different parenting styles, that a lot of his techniques and "games" were inappropriate, and that I should go for more custody.

I asked her if she could provide me with a letter of some sort to describe what he admitted to, what she thought, etc., and she said no, that it's all confidential..

I can only see this woman as helping my case, so I have no idea why STBX and his L would subpoena her.. I guess I feel like I'm missing something?

nowiknow23 posted 7/16/2013 10:19 AM

They may be wanting it on the record that there was no finding of abuse? Can she testify to the confidential stuff?

Ashland13 posted 7/16/2013 10:25 AM


I'm sorry for your worry, on top of the rest.

What I'm noticing here is that sometimes when there has been a big enough problem that I mention it to my lawyer, STBXH has already mentioned it to his. Lot of times it's to do with the visits or him not following the plans put forth by the lawyers.

What I think is he makes it a game...a race, if you will, like "there. I beat her to that one." A while ago, I got a letter from his L that I need to be more cooperative? Basically this means, I need to let him not do the rules and be quiet...which is just not me.

I have only deviated except to be later in coming home, when he wants to stay later anyway with DD and he is constantly making changes, often without notice, even very recently.

So that's my thought, is that maybe your Wh is aware that you are "upset", as I hear often, and he is working to make some kind of case for himself in effort to save face.

The other thing that happens sometimes here is that STBXH wants me to shoulder blame with him or none for him, so will make up piddly crap like that letter to make me look bad...maybe you have something like this happening?

I wish you luck and hope the caseworker helps. I'm hoping we don't have to get to that point, with some of the sh.

ButterflyGirl posted 7/16/2013 10:30 AM

She did say that the only thing she could provide me with was a letter stating that the case would be closed (which wouldn't help me), so yeah, I guess they could just want it on record that they didn't find abuse, but that could be done with the letter. They don't have to drag her into court for that..

I really don't know what she would be allowed to discuss.. Maybe it's like doctor/patient confidentiality, but even then don't they have to talk if they are subpoenaed? Guess I have some more homework to do.. I'm learning more about the legal system than I ever wanted to know

It would be great if she could testify to what he actually did to the kids. Maybe the judge would be horrified by it, as most normal people I know are.. I really don't care "why" he did it. The fact that he did it at all is what bothers me.. There's no good reason to dunk their heads in the toilet or spank them till their butts are red..

Skan posted 7/16/2013 18:45 PM

Well, if he's stupid enough to call her to testify, then I would hope that your L would run down each and every charge and make her testify about them.

L: So, one reason that you were called was that WH had shoved childs head down the toilet, is that correct? And you didn't consider that "quite" enough abuse to bar him from visitation, is that correct? Is that also your finding on his spanking the children's butts until they are a specific shade of red? As to his laying on the children, you found that that wasn't "quite" sexual abuse yet, correct?

That sort of thing.

Nature_Girl posted 7/16/2013 19:06 PM

Because I'm feeling bitter about the court system's inability to protect kids, here's my jaded, cynical take on how this will go down.

Court day arrives. Everyone shows up.

BG and her STBX are told to wait outside the courtroom while the lawyers discuss with the judge what the DCF lady might testify.

The lawyers & judge conclude that the DCF lady will not be allowed to testify about what she saw, only her findings of no abuse.

BG and her STBX are called into the courtroom. The trial proceeds. The DCF lady gets on the stand and goes on record that she found no abuse. No questions about what STBX did are allowed, no mention is allowed of what happened. The only thing allowed is that no abuse was substantiated. DCF lady gets off the witness stand.

Judge grants STBX all kinds of access to the kids because no abuse was found. This ruling of no abuse & false allegations will be held against BG in the future, creating an even higher hurdle for her to surmount the next time something horrible happens.

peridot posted 7/16/2013 19:31 PM

I don't know if this will work with DCF but at one time my family had to deal with adult protective services. We subpoenaed their records and we were able to get detailed records that way.

ButterflyGirl posted 7/16/2013 19:53 PM

That's great advice Skan.. This is why I feel like he's so stupid to even call her in. He never called DCF against me, so I don't have to defend against anything. She never even interviewed me, so he would only be defending himself against what he did. If I was him, I would try to not bring it up..

Unfortunately, I think you're right Nature_Girl.. After I told my L that I called DCF, he told me to take movies of the kids admitting what he did, which I did right away.. I'm very glad he gave me that advice as now I can prove that I wasn't just making up stories and creating a false allegation.. I have no doubt he will accuse me of that.. Hopefully the movies will save me regarding that.. And his own emails and text messages where he admits to constantly involving them, telling me the toilet incident was just "horseplay" and that involving the kids in schedule changes in "no big deal."

I was learning in IC tonight yet again that I can only control me. I know she's trying to help me with my anxiety, but I just can't help worrying about what I should be doing, how I should be responding, how I should be handling things.. Since he continues to involve them and tell them about our divorce and custody issues and continues to be a completely irresponsible (and abusive IMO) parent, I'm going to keep worrying and fighting for now.. I have to do my best to stop him from hurting the kids, emotionally and physically..

The DCF investigator did tell me to go for more custody, so that's what I'm doing.. I truly believe that I would have been a neglectful parent if i didn't raise these issues and call DCF. Perhaps we could have worked it out ourselves, but all he did was curse me out and tell me to "stop being a bitch" when I raised my concerns with him, so I'm taking the next step and reaching out to people who could maybe help me since I can't get him to understand on my own.. Sometimes I feel like if I knew nothing would come of the call, maybe I shouldn't have made it, for the exact reasons you describe (not taking me seriously later on), but I hope your prediction turns out to be wrong. Crossing my fingers..

And just to add to my annoyance tonight, when I picked up the kids, OW and her kid were with them, the first time he has brought them. And when he was driving away, he got behind the cop car where the police officer couldn't see, honked his horn, smiled real big and flicked me off. He's such a fucking child, and it's such a good example of the kind of shit he does behind everyone's back. I'm so sick of him..

GeniusOrAFool posted 7/16/2013 20:16 PM


I believe the 'confidentiality' thing does prevent a professional from disclosing information to just you...verbally or in the form of a letter. However, in court, she could be asked to provide details of her assessments and conclusions...things which she documented.

My IC/MC indicated this to me...that she documented the sessions carefully because she does get called into court sometimes to testify.
So, apparently, the confidentiality clause is lifted in court.

roughroadahead posted 7/16/2013 20:18 PM

Call your lawyer, get the game plan. Here is where you need him/her to be aggressive. Ask lots of questions, more about their side than your own (eg "is it possible the judge will exclude any testimony about what DCF lady saw?"). Your L cannot predict with certainty what will happen, but you want to feel good (or at least realistic) about your position going into this.

Is there any other witness to this besides stbx and ow?

ETA: Adult witnesses.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 8:21 PM, July 16th (Tuesday)]

ButterflyGirl posted 7/16/2013 20:34 PM

GeniusOrAFool, I very much hope you are right. I was actually surprised she was so open and honest with me on our phone call, so I'm not sure if she broke any confidentiality rules there.. Before I got to her, most of the DCF people just told me that they couldn't even tell me whether or not there was a case being investigated..

I think my L has been ready to pounce for quite a while now, but I will be having one or two more sessions before court to get our ducks in a row.. I have forwarded him ALL of our communications, so he constantly up to date on what has been happening..

I don't think there are any other adult witnesses to the things he did, but there are plenty who heard the kids admit what happened. Mostly my family, but also their former counselor.. Perhaps I could subpoena her, but I still don't think she's as qualified to deal with this stuff as I would like (hence the switch I just made, choosing someone the DCF investigator found and recommended for me).. I do think the counselor could be quite helpful to testify for me, so I guess I will ask my L about that..

peridot posted 7/16/2013 23:36 PM

You could subpoena the IC and her records.

5454real posted 7/16/2013 23:48 PM

Arrrrrgh, I hate this sh**, hate it, hate it.

Bitter experience has taught me that(at least in my state), "the best interests of the children" over rides everything. During the custody trial, XW subpoenaed my financials, my school transcripts and my medical records. Also, my son's medical records and counseling transcripts. Nothing was inadmissible as it was for the "best interests of the child". It's a very humbling experience.

Talk to your lawyer about your states rules. It might be that the judge will request all these things and review them outside open court.

In any case, MOJO and good luck. For myself, I WON! Stupid XW couldn't believe it was mostly on evidence she provided!

ETA not current FWW

[This message edited by 5454real at 1:36 AM, July 17th (Wednesday)]

roughroadahead posted 7/16/2013 23:49 PM

Not that easy. No one would tell a therapist anything, ever if it could show up in court with a simple subpoena. Definitely talk to your L about the best way to go about this.

ETA: should add that some therapists are on to the possibility that the records could be allowed, so are purposefully vague in their notes. And the best interest of the child argument, as it pertains to the child's own therapy, does go both ways. Need to case law in your state to say anything about that.

[This message edited by roughroadahead at 11:52 PM, July 16th (Tuesday)]

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