Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

WW asked that a Guardian Ad Litem be utilized during our custody case. I was curious if anyone else has any experience with them? My WW was unfaithful prior to our seperation, has to continued throughout the process, has brought at least one other man around our daughter. I have a lot of very damaging proof and I think it somehow helps that we have a daughter and I don't want my daughter to follow her mother's footsteps.

I also have about 3 different emails/texts from wife threatening to keep daughter away from me because I wouldn't do something she wanted.

I don't think my wife really knows what she's gotten herself into but I could be wrong...
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Old 09-26-2011, 06:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

I was a GAL for a while. Do it.
The GAL is basically a social worker that is only concerned with the welfare of the child. Your problems, your wife's problems are not the GAL's concern or problem.
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

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I was a GAL for a while. Do it.
The GAL is basically a social worker that is only concerned with the welfare of the child. Your problems, your wife's problems are not the GAL's concern or problem.
I understand the welfare of the child, but my motivation for this custody battle is my wife's activities and the fact that they don't set a good example for our daughter. I have proof that she's sent nude photos to several men, the infidelity, several men (not all sexual) prior to her filing divorce, several men since she filed, her threats to keep daughter away from me, etc. Would any of the matter for not being in the best interest of the child?

Oh yeah, as Christians, my wife has stopped going to church and we vowed (when our daughter was 6 mths old) to bring her up under that admonition of the Lord. Wife has been to church about 3 times in the last 6 months. I'm a minister and our daughter is 8. She enjoyed going and it's really all she's ever known since birth and now she's forced to not attend any more because my wife doesn't go.

She tries to buy our daughter's love by taking to all of these different places because she makes more money than I do (I also believe out of guilt because of what she's done and is doing.

Also, my wife is a social worker, too. That's what makes all of this so crazy.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

The GAL will talk to you and your wife. He or she will only report on areas that involve your child. You are free to express your opinions of your wife's shortcomings as a mother, but leave out the problems between you and your wife. Save those for the judge.
As far as church goes, I think that you are pushing a rope, but it should be mentioned to the judge in a way that your way of raising a child is not being respected by your wife.
The infidelity and nude photos are definitely for the judge, not the GAL. Things like that can indicate a moral shortfall, but really don't have any bearing on being a mother.

I hope that this helps.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

It is a good idea, especially to set a good example for the child, who is 8, and can have her voice heard and see a good example for the way the two significant adults in her life will settle differences about a serious issue, that is parenting.

I am sure as a minister you are aware that forcing someone to go to church, or keeping them away from it, has little bearing on spiritual and moral development. As you wish to protect your daughter, to have adult competency after she matures, by censoring her environment, also be aware that seeing mommy experience the effects of mommy's choices may have the same effect, perhaps even more so. While subjecting her to the realistic outcome of Daddy being a control-freak and keeping her away from Mommy and having this rule and that rule and never being allowed to do anything that might possibly be wrong, might have the opposite effect from what you intend.

I am just playing the Devil's Advocate here, saying, that from MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE seeing Mom behave like a tart with a revolving door, etc. and seeing her get used and spend her physical assets like a currency going out of style, can have the effect of your daughter never wanting to shame herself like that.

I am sure your daughter is not the type to be held long by being bought, stick to your guns and spend some real time with her. Kids know what feels right and what is interesting and novel but is not sustainable.

Getting all upset will make you look like you have less confidence, kids will normally gravitate to the person who acts more secure and predictable, and will be exceptionally leery of someone who goes from loving to nailing to a cross. Your daughter will wonder, gee, suppose I grow up and have a boyfriend dad doesn't like, or make out with someone (like when she is 12 or 13 she might start thinking this) so I wonder if he will act towards me like he is acting towards Mom right now, maybe all that minister stuff he preaches is just mumbo-jumbo after all, easy come, easy go, surface stuff.

So, I would like to say, use a GAL and be careful what you call evil around a kid. #1 they can decide for themselves by observation what is sustainable and real and valuable, and #2 everyone has some evil in them, and to ostracize a woman due to bad choices, especially when it is the only mother she has and one you were with up to this point in your daughter's life, is to have an incredibly short-sided perspective compared to what you would like to gain.

Even if your daughter ends up with her mother NOW, you have to think, how do you keep the door open for later, or also, making the assumption you are immune from mortality or the effects of being mortal, that is, like anyone else you can end up in the hosptital or dead or worse, like a vegetable and where will your daughter be then if you have driven a wedge between her and her mother. Your duaghter is an avenue for you to continue to have positive effect on her other parent, if you put up a wall, you cut off communication. When you cut off communication, you lose all input into whatever relationship she has with her mother, as well as information about it. I am sure that is not what you want.

GAL is a good idea. My older son's dad asked for it, and in the end he was very displeased by the results, as many recommendations were made to address our son's issues with his relationship with his dad. None of which his dad followed, but still, someone put it down on paper, so when these weren't followed, our son had some rule of measure about the legitimacy of his feelings towards his dad, with whom he now has a very distant relationship (son is now an adult).

Just go with the flow. Anyone who fights a GAL being appointed is not going to win that argument anyway. be prepared to ask 10-20 acquaintances who know of your parenting and private life, for confidential assessments to be submitted to the GAL. Since you're a minister, I'm sure you are used to living in a fishbowl.
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Old 09-27-2011, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

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Originally Posted by Homemaker_Numero_Uno View Post
I am sure as a minister you are aware that forcing someone to go to church, or keeping them away from it, has little bearing on spiritual and moral development.
Actually, as a minister, I wholeheartedly disagree. The bible teaches that we should "train up a child in a way it should go" not let them find their way. It also says to "bring up a child under the admonition (counsel) of the Lord. It's almost like you're saying don't teach them that a stove is hot, just let them find out themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemaker_Numero_Uno View Post
While subjecting her to the realistic outcome of Daddy being a control-freak and keeping her away from Mommy and having this rule and that rule and never being allowed to do anything that might possibly be wrong, might have the opposite effect from what you intend.
So teaching a child that adultery is wrong is not what I'm supposed to do? You make it seem like I'm making up the things I believe. No, they are taught by the Word of God. I know I fall short of his standard of living but I try my best. That's a big difference between my wife and I, at least right now. I don't have a long list of rules that any responsible parent wouldn't have: no lying, stealing, cursing, being disrespectful to adults, etc. What makes me so bad for having rules? Didn't your parents have rules for you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemaker_Numero_Uno View Post
I am just playing the Devil's Advocate here, saying, that from MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE seeing Mom behave like a tart with a revolving door, etc. and seeing her get used and spend her physical assets like a currency going out of style, can have the effect of your daughter never wanting to shame herself like that.
So you're just saying that I should wait another 10 years and just see how this all affects my daughter. Just wait 10 years and see if the example her mother sets will surface in my daughter's life or not? That's not something I'm willing to do without a fight. It may be a fight I lose, but I'm determined to atleast fight.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemaker_Numero_Uno View Post
Getting all upset will make you look like you have less confidence, kids will normally gravitate to the person who acts more secure and predictable, and will be exceptionally leery of someone who goes from loving to nailing to a cross. Your daughter will wonder, gee, suppose I grow up and have a boyfriend dad doesn't like, or make out with someone (like when she is 12 or 13 she might start thinking this) so I wonder if he will act towards me like he is acting towards Mom right now, maybe all that minister stuff he preaches is just mumbo-jumbo after all, easy come, easy go, surface stuff.
I'm far from angry. I haven't once expressed any anger throughout this. On the contrary, I've loved my wife unconditionally. I'm willing to forgive her and move forward if/when she expresses remorse and contrition. I've, for 11 months, been unwilling to expose my wife in a public forum because I still love her and don't want her to experience shame, although I know it wouldn't be my actions that would bring shame but her own. I still don't want to. I STILL love my wife in spite of all that I know she has done and is still doing. I don't hate my wife. I hate the sin of adultery that she commits. I hate that she is thinking only about herself and no one else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemaker_Numero_Uno View Post
#2 everyone has some evil in them, and to ostracize a woman due to bad choices, especially when it is the only mother she has and one you were with up to this point in your daughter's life, is to have an incredibly short-sided perspective compared to what you would like to gain.
I don't want to ostracize her. I simply would like that her relationship with God be restored. I don't want her to be outcast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemaker_Numero_Uno View Post
Just go with the flow. Anyone who fights a GAL being appointed is not going to win that argument anyway. be prepared to ask 10-20 acquaintances who know of your parenting and private life, for confidential assessments to be submitted to the GAL. Since you're a minister, I'm sure you are used to living in a fishbowl.
I'm NOT opposed to a GAL nor is my desire to fight the use of one. My question was raised simply to find out what to expect. I have nothing to hide.

I guess one thing that does somewhat bother me is the fact that morals are not taken into consideration. Aren't morals that which shapes who we are? If you have low or no morals, trouble is usually something that accompanies you. Isn't it ones moral deficiency that tells them there is nothing wrong with stealing or killing? Isn't it one's moral deficiency that tells them it's okay to sleep with another wife/husband? I guess I don't understand why morals have no basis as to what kind of parent one can be. To me, it's everything. If a mother doesn't think adultery is wrong, will they teach their children it's wrong. If a mother/father believes it's okay to smoke weed or use cocaine, what will the child learn. I guess i just don't get it.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

Frankly, if it were the place of the legal system to judge the moral fitness of parents to raise their children, half the children in this country would likely be in foster care!

In the end, morality can't be legislated, but actionsand effects can. So for example, if morally you are opposed to adultery, then the concern you express to the GAL is about your wife's actions concerning the variety of men that your wife is bringing into the home she shares with your daughter as the primary residence at this time and how that could potentially affect your daughter emotionally, behaviorally and even her safety.

Or if morally you believe that children should be raised attending church, you express concern about your wife's actions in suddenly abandoning this practice that you'd agreed to and that had consistently been a part of your child's life up until the separation and how that inconsistency in attitude and practice could affect your daughter's ability to adapt to two households and to be raised in the manner you'd previously agreed upon.

The GAL looks strictly at how things are, or are likely to affect your daughter in order to find the best compromise for all of you. A moral survey isn't part of that. How those morals are being lived out day to day and may or may not be sentencing your child to a lifetime of therapy or incarceration is what they have to go on.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

That was a post that really encouraged me,COGypsy. I do understand that morals cannot be legislated. But I also understand I have an obligation to protect my daughter as best I can mentally, spiritually, morally, etc. You worded your post in a way that I can understand. Others may have said similar, but your explanation helped.

It does give me a way to look at things in a different way to be able to address the concerns I have. I do want you all to understand that I'm thinking more about my daughter and less about my marriage. And I truly believe that I am better fit. And i dont think you guys are saying that i am or am not. I just have to somehow convince others of the same thing. You all are educating me and that is what I need.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm glad that helped, it can be a fuzzy line when you're in the middle of it all.

I think that what you have to make a concentrated effort to do in this situation is outline what has to do with your wife and the divorce, and what has to do with you and custody. Then you frame your discussions with the GAL and the judge in that light.

So while you know that your wife did a lot of things that were hurtful and wrong, many of them had no impact on your daughter, like internet ads and naked pictures. So that's a divorce thing. On the other hand, the examples I used before are a parental fitness thing.

If you take all the things you know and that you're concerned about, etc. and put them into those two buckets and then relate them to how they do or don't affect your daughter and your better ability to care for her, not only are you more prepared, but you're also able to make a calmer, more reasonable case and present yourself more favorably. Win-win
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I don't want to ostracize her. I simply would like that her relationship with God be restored. I don't want her to be outcast.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always heard that, if one does indeed believe in and follow a supreme being, one's relationship with him/her/it is not defined, measured, or dependent upon going to a specific location at specific times.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always heard that, if one does indeed believe in and follow a supreme being, one's relationship with him/her/it is not defined, measured, or dependent upon going to a specific location at specific times.
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In terms of the restoration I speak of, scripture is pretty explicit that anyone who confesses a faith in Christ and strays from God's word and harbors unrepentant sin, they have separated themselves from God.

If I were to list the proof of this it would include desiring an unbiblical divorce, living an adulterous lifestyle, lying to others to avoid the shame of her actions, being unwilling to forgive my shortcomings, pride (her attitude of "it's all about me"), neglecting public worship with other believers, etc.

I could go on but I won't. Keep in mind that I still have my own struggles and I know I'm not perfect. It's not my job to condemn her, but as a Christian and one that happens to be her husband, I should "judge a tree by it's fruit". Right now, she is not displaying anything that resembles Christ.

I still pray for her daily. That's all I can do. She is in God's hands and there's no better place she can be.

God Bless....
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

So is a picture of my 8 yr old daughter clothed in only her panties posted by my wife on Facebook enough? I was told about this pic yesterday, had someone send it to me and I forwarded to my lawyer.
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Any Guardian Ad Litem experience???

I commented briefly in your other thread, but I'd also be sure to document who told you about the picture and the details of the conversation, when it happened, etc. and how and who acquired the picture for you, since it will almost certainly be removed from her Facebook. Any information that you can get regarding when and how long it was up would be good to pass along to. I'd also provide it to the GAL when they're assigned.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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The documenting is easy. I was told by my wife's stepmom of more than 30 yrs (she hates what my wife is doing, understands her mental state, and even wants me to have custody). The pic came from a church member and mutual friend. I've got times and dates documented. I'm going to also pursue some action regarding the picture with possibly the child services (whom my wife works for). I don't think anything would be done, but at least her boss will learn of my wife's inability to protect her own child via the Internet. The picture may not be for the purpose of exploitation but someone else, especially a friend, can use it to exploit.
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