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Last minute advice for custody evaluator visit in home?

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Bleu posted 12/8/2019 11:08 AM

Hi,

Your response to my post seems to not respond to my points.

Your attorney should know how your evaluation has gone. I believe I suggested a brief summary a few posts back so that she does have information.

Attorneys do a lot of behind the scenes work. She will ABSOLUTELY advocate for you. That is her job. The evaluator may have questions that she can provide insight into and fill in the gaps.

Why did GF write a recommendation letter for you that discusses STBXW? The evaluator likely knows the standard attorney instruction and may wonder why GF didn't follow them. Your attorney can easily advocate for you with a simple - "Wow! GF wrote that letter without Barcher144's knowledge.'

GF may be perfectly lovely as a GF. She didn't follow directions in this situation and it could cause you detriment. Her education and training weren't particularly helpful as emotions won out.

Does it make sense to wonder about it if the decision is not in your favor?

More questions:

Why did GF write a recommendation if she doesn't observe Barcher144 with his kids?

Why did GF write such a letter if she is educated in family systems?

Does she speak such to the kids since she was comfortable writing a letter that may be used in a formal proceeding?

I would have a lot of questions and a credible third party (your attorney) could clear these up if she is aware. A lot of attorney time is spend determining how to craft and present their client's story.

Use all the tools at your disposal. It will take about .3 of billing or 3/10ths of your attorney's rate if you stick to the facts.

When I call my attorney, I sometimes say this is .2 conversation so she knows I want to give her information without spending a lot of money.

Bleu posted 12/8/2019 11:15 AM

I wrote my response before you responded to Catwoman. Yet, it all stands.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

barcher144 posted 12/8/2019 12:56 PM

Your attorney should know how your evaluation has gone. I believe I suggested a brief summary a few posts back so that she does have information.

*I* don't know how the evaluation has gone, so I can't tell her. I responded that we can wait until after the evaluator gives the results and she agreed.

Attorneys do a lot of behind the scenes work. She will ABSOLUTELY advocate for you. That is her job. The evaluator may have questions that she can provide insight into and fill in the gaps.

Not with a custody evaluation. My attorney is not allowed to be directly involved in the custody evaluation at all (by law).

Why did GF write a recommendation letter for you that discusses STBXW? The evaluator likely knows the standard attorney instruction and may wonder why GF didn't follow them. Your attorney can easily advocate for you with a simple - "Wow! GF wrote that letter without Barcher144's knowledge.'

I don't think GF's letter is a problem. She said things that I wish that she did not say, but that's okay. She discussed STBXW's infidelity with her current relationships and some of her other misdeeds. My preference would have been to avoid these topics.

GF may be perfectly lovely as a GF. She didn't follow directions in this situation and it could cause you detriment. Her education and training weren't particularly helpful as emotions won out.

I think that you are making incorrect assumptions here.

Does it make sense to wonder about it if the decision is not in your favor?

Of course.

Why did GF write a recommendation if she doesn't observe Barcher144 with his kids?

This was explicitly discussed with my attorney.

There is virtually no one who has observed me with my kids, outside of family members and STBXW's friends. I have a small circle of friends.

GF was chosen because she can speak about me. Remember that the major point that STBXW is making is that I am violent, angry, and controlling. I would argue that I am very much the opposite of that. That is, GF (and my other references) are references for my character.

Attorney's specific comment on this was that there references are not particularly important... the in-home visit was far more important.

Why did GF write such a letter if she is educated in family systems?

You seem to think that GF's letter was simply 15 pages of disparaging STBXW. This is not the case.

Rather, in a section of the letter, GF discussed the fact that STBXW has introduced our kids to her new love interest too soon (6+ months ago) as well as his kids. She then opined of the consequences of STBXW's on-going infidelity, the associated fragility of her current relationship, and the consequences on my kids.

Does she speak such to the kids since she was comfortable writing a letter that may be used in a formal proceeding?

I don't understand this question.

I would have a lot of questions and a credible third party (your attorney) could clear these up if she is aware. A lot of attorney time is spend determining how to craft and present their client's story.

Again, there is no crafting, arguing, or advocating by my attorney in front of the evaluator. My attorney is not allowed to speak to the evaluator at all until after the evaluation is over.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

You too!

(mini-update: GF met DD13 and DS7 for the first time yesterday. It went well).

[This message edited by barcher144 at 12:56 PM, December 8th (Sunday)]

Loukas posted 12/8/2019 13:05 PM

Have you considered, that if you feel she was mostly spot on and you only disagree with these two points, that maybe you should look into her claim? I mean, she really has no reason to make this up other than to point out what she has observed.

These claims were based on the psychological testing, not her observations.
Sorry my mistake, none the less, the question is still unchanged.

nekonamida posted 12/8/2019 16:02 PM

Sorry my mistake, none the less, the question is still unchanged.

As someone who has followed barcher's journey here since his first post, I completely agree with him that he does not have issues with taking accountability and would not be difficult to coparent with. In fact, when he first came here, if taking the blame was a competition, he'd take first place. He took almost all of the blame for his STBXWW's A and continued lack of R for months. He trusted her when she lied about things he had done while under extreme emotional duress which is how he ended up in this situation needing a custody evaluator in the first place. He kowtowed to her repeatedly without a fight even when she was dead wrong and cruel. Even today he takes responsibility for trusting her too much in the aftermath of DDay, defending her too much, and he's willing to do what the custody evaluator recommends even if it goes against what he wants.

The only reason he talks so much about full custody is because he's right about his STBXWW. She's abusive and manipulative. She's not careful about who she brings around the kids which factually raises the likelihood of them being abused emotionally, physically, or sexually by one of her boyfriends. And now she doesn't have barcher around to beat on so she could be tormenting the kids more than he knows. What's known is bad already and clearly impacting them. It would be better for barcher to have full custody over his STBXWW but unfortunately he started this battle at a disadvantage that might be too big of a hill to climb to expect anything more than shared custody.

barcher144 posted 12/8/2019 16:42 PM

As someone who has followed barcher's journey here since his first post, I completely agree with him that he does not have issues with taking accountability and would not be difficult to coparent with.

barcher144 posted 12/8/2019 16:55 PM

She's not careful about who she brings around the kids which factually raises the likelihood of them being abused emotionally, physically, or sexually by one of her boyfriends.

I had not even thought of this. My specific, internal-dialogue response is: I hope that her judgement is better than that. And then I sadly realized, oh fuck... her judgement sucks!

I was specifically more worried about there being a revolving door of dudes. She is almost certainly cheating on her current BF (if she isn't in the present tense, then it's 100% certain in the past tense). If/when he finds out, he will likely end the relationship. How will this affect my kids? That's hard when kids gets to get attached to a guy (and his kids) and then to see the guy go.

I am also concerned about her having sex when the kids are around. She admits to having sex with AP in June 2016 with then-DS4 in the house. (GF's ex husband is pretty fucked up with relationship issues because of this. He cites the fact that his mother was frequently fucking random guys in their house for his issues. )

But, mainly, my primary and most legally legitimate complaint is that she is practicing textbook parental alienation. She is convincing the kids that I am a bad parent, causing them to reject me. My kids, particularly DD13, exhibit textbook symptoms. The field of psychology is moving towards classifying parental alienation as child abuse, on par with physical abuse of a child.

Honestly, you know what I want if I could magically make the decision? I want STBXW to stop being a selfish person, to quickly end this divorce by splitting our assets and liabilities down the middle, and to share 50% physical and legal custody of the kids. I want us to set aside our personal hurt to raise our kids.

Catwoman posted 12/8/2019 18:38 PM

I don't think GF's letter is a problem. She said things that I wish that she did not say, but that's okay. She discussed STBXW's infidelity with her current relationships and some of her other misdeeds. My preference would have been to avoid these topics.

The question remains how did GF obtain her knowledge of your STBXW's current relationships and other misdeeds if it wasn't via you?

She doesn't know your STBXW.

I doubt she has personally observed your STBXW's interaction with the children.

So the evaluator could logically conclude that GF is your mouthpiece and this could be damaging to your case. I suggested giving your attorney the heads up so damage control could be done if possible.

Cat

barcher144 posted 12/9/2019 07:21 AM

I suggested giving your attorney the heads up so damage control could be done if possible.

Correct.

You suggested that I contact my attorney so that she could do damage control. I responded that my attorney will have no opportunity to do any damage control.

My attorney is not allowed to get involved in the custody evaluation process in anyway. She is not allowed to speak to the custody evaluator about the custody evaluation.

I do not understand why you continue to harp on this.

Bleu posted 12/9/2019 09:26 AM

The evaluator meets with the lawyers in two weeks.

This meeting is the reason for the continued focus on mitigating GF's divergence. This meeting is done near the end of the evaluation process since it is before the written report.

The mere fact that this is a meeting and not a mailing of results is key. If there wasn't going to be any dialogue, there would be no meeting. If attorneys sit down without tape on their mouths, they speak.

Admittedly, this is your first custody evaluation and you are not within the law realm. It makes sense that you don't know what happens in these types of meetings.

I have worked with a number of experts. I know.

The advice has been offered to you to mitigate any damage done. It doesn't matter if it was one sentence or a thesis. The professionals involved have seen enough of these cases and evaluations to spot red flags a mile away.

Is there a different fee if no written report is issued?

If it is in your favor, you may want to have a report prepared and filed even if you settle. Custody determinations are not always permanent and evidence of your parental fitness could benefit you down the road.

barcher144 posted 12/9/2019 16:17 PM

Admittedly, this is your first custody evaluation and you are not within the law realm. It makes sense that you don't know what happens in these types of meetings.

Correct. I only know what my lawyer has told me.

I have been told that the lawyers are not allowed to get involved in the custody evaluation process at all.

I have been told that the purpose of the meeting in 10 days is to inform the lawyers of the results of the evaluation in an informal setting. There will be no advocating, negotiating, or other lawyering.

The "goal" is to provide the lawyers sufficient knowledge to appropriately settle the case. A large fraction of my divorce has stalled because STBXW has claimed that I am an unfit parent, deserving of no/minimal physical custody of the kids. The evaluator's recommendation essentially resolves this point of contention.

barcher144 posted 12/9/2019 17:42 PM

Another update...

STBXW gets this kids this year for Christmas per our informal agreement to alternate holidays (I got them for Thanksgiving).

Being nice/stupid, I offered to let her have the kids for Dec 26th because I knew that she was going to visit her parents and some of her siblings (and their kids) would be flying across the country. You know... pretty much I was trying to do what was best for my kids type of deal.

In exchange, I asked for another night around that time because I only get my kids 25% of the time and it's Christmas time, which is a time for family (by my way of thinking).

Initially, she refused to acknowledge that I asked to trade nights for her.

So, I sent her a reminder message. She did not respond.

So, I sent her another message letting her know that I expected to be picking up the kids at 4pm on December 26 per the court order.

She responded to that one. She's claiming that we had an agreement and that I can't back out now.

Yes, I already have a call into my attorney (and yes, I'll mention GF's letter while I am at it). For now, though, I am just venting. There is more of her BS, but this is the worst of it.

I am going to be so disappointed if the custody evaluation does not go my way.

sassylee posted 12/9/2019 19:15 PM

I canít imagine the anxiety you must be feeling. I read your updates and I can feel my blood pressure rise. I wonder if it would be best for all if you stick to the letter of your separation agreement. Your STBX-douchebag is never ever going to play fair. There will never be quid pro quo. To avoid these kinds of conflict - just stick to what is written in black and white.

In the meantime - Iím saying a prayer for you Barch.

barcher144 posted 12/9/2019 20:32 PM

I canít imagine the anxiety you must be feeling.

Honestly, I am just exhausted by it all. I want it over.

I offered to let her have December 26 in exchange for another day around then. And, so I am the bad guy for wanting to spend some time with my kids around Christmas? Ahh... I dunno.

In the meantime - Iím saying a prayer for you Barch.

Thank you. I could use all the help that I can get.

ArkLaMiss posted 12/10/2019 03:22 AM

I would send her a message saying that you're going to follow the decree since she never agreed to switch with you. After that, do NOT engage. On second thought, have your attorney send the letter instead.

Catwoman posted 12/10/2019 07:53 AM

Your recent attempts to negotiate with your STBXW highlight the absolute need to have every little detail nailed down in your decree.

Every.
Last.
One.

Certainly if both of you agree, you can make changes. But when there is disagreement, you follow the decree. No variations.

My attorney (I love her) made certain she detailed things like what entailed college expenses (hugely helpful). Nothing was left to chance, as I was (and still am) dealing with a seriously disordered individual.

I would let your attorney know that this decree is going to require a good bit of detailing to protect your interests.

Cat

HalfTime2017 posted 12/10/2019 14:57 PM

Agreed with what others have said above Barch. Your ex is a Narc. They don't play fair, no matter how nice you are being. There is no rational in the psychos.

barcher144 posted 12/10/2019 15:57 PM

I would let your attorney know that this decree is going to require a good bit of detailing to protect your interests.

Uh, yeah. To say the least.

Way way way way ahead of you on this one.

barcher144 posted 12/10/2019 20:07 PM

I spoke to my attorney tonight. I had sent her the entirety of the transcript of the argument between STBXW and I about the trading of nights around Christmas.

1. She confirmed that I was being reasonable and normal, not the jackass that STBXW was claiming. She questioned whether STBXW was creating conflict as a strategy to prove that we cannot co-parent. I told her that I thought that it was real; STBXW is just a narcissistic asshole. When I asked my attorney if I should just cave and give STBXW what she wants, I was specifically told NO!

2. My attorney and I discussed a handful of interesting factoids that have come up (or not come up) during the evaluation. First, the evaluator did not have us do an outside psychological analysis, which is curious because STBXW is claiming that I am mentally ill, forever and always. Second, the evaluator has a specific form for issues related to domestic violence and neither STBXW or I have been given it.

3. I discussed GF's reference letter to the evaluator and what was potentially in it (recall, I haven't actually read the letter). My attorney didn't see a problem with it. I emphasized that all y'all emphasized that she NEEDED TO KNOW so that she did not get blind-sided next Thursday. She then confirmed my memory. Next week's meeting is strictly the evaluator telling the attorneys the results of the evaluation. There will be no advocating. The only thing that attorneys are allowed to do is to ask clarifying questions. The evaluator, apparently, is very strict about this and she has literally ended the meeting when lawyers started advocating in the past.

Bleu posted 12/11/2019 06:58 AM

Very good news! I am thrilled to apologize for my vehemence. The opportunity to ask clarifying questions is a great one.

I now see what you mean by advocacy. My use of the term is more loose. I definitely understand that your attorney cannot use that time to suggest that you are entitled to any rights, etc.

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