Gardian at Litem


#1

After two years of conflict, I asked the court to appoint my two children a Gaurdian at Litem. The court did so almost two years ago. Overall I respect the GAL and have worked with her as best as I can to meet the best interest of my children. The problems I do have with her are as follows: She has hounded me at times about a mild and very well controlled anxiety condition I have. My ex told her about it and when she asked me I told her the truth and filled out a release so she could talk to my doctor. She repeatedly has brought up my “anxiousness” to me as though she has thought she witnessed it but that is not really true since it has been a non-problem (my doc agrees) since before my divorce. My doctor says when she first called she made comments that sounded prejudice against anyone with any mental health condition. Especially since I told her that my parents have more serious issues, although I do not.

But when I told her my ex had been a pot smoker and fairly heavy drinker since we married. I told her this was the primary reason I left. When she questioned him I believe he lied about having used any time recently. At the time the court assigned her I had multiple witnesses to his drug use, but she never questioned them. He has since gone to ground with it, in other words, where he did not care before if I saw him do it, now he hides it. He denies to me using since HE counter filed for custody. I can only prove he was using up to 18 mo. ago even though I sense he is doing it secretly. Is it ethical that the GAL has never investigated this? He never went to NA or anything, if he had and was I would have no problem. But I left him because he was always promising to stop then just hid it and got caught time and time again. The fact that he did so for over 8 years does not give me confidence in him to not use. Should I mention this at hearing even though the GAL does not seem to intend to mention it in her report or otherwise?

Also, after she has taken two years to finish her “investigation” she seemed to think she needed more time, but my ex’s attorney put it on calander and was able to force the GAL to finish even though she told me before that she was waiting for some test results and records. Can an attorney tell a GAL to “hurry up and finish”? Should I tell the judge the GAL has not spoken to or seen my kids since Mar-April. The GAL says she does not need to see the kids to finish, but this is different from what she told me in May. I have no atty. and cannot afford one, how can I question the GAL at hearing. For the most part I respect her opinion and decisions but she has at times acting in a manner that seems blatenly biased towards me for him. I thought she was supposed to be UNBIASED and objective for the best interests of the children. But by hounding me over a medical condition that my doctor has told her is not a problem and by ignoring evidence of poor judgement on my ex’s part, I fear her reccomendations will not be objective and unbiased. I even found someone else who’s children she worked with who had their atty. get her dismissed from the case and someone else assigned because of a similar seeming biasedness.

Other professionals she has spoken to other than my doctor suggest she has seemed biased. I do not know why unless it is because my ex’s parents are very wealthy and again my doctor said she seemed prejudice about mental illness.

I do not know what to think about the GAl and we go to hearing next Wed. I thought it was for final hearing, but in calander call today my ex’s atty. said it would be for a continuance with cotingencies. I do not know what that means. When I had an atty. I always knew what was going on but neither my ex’s atty. or the GAL are extending me the same curtosys they gave my lawyer. I have no choice but to be on my own, but how do I get the same considerations I would with an atty. And should I question the GAL’s actions on my own at hearing regarding the above mentioned?

Erin M Cunningham