Motion for GAL


#1

I have a trial date of 12/16/13 for Contempt, my motion filed on her. I filed my Motion on 11/4/13. On 11/8/13, I discovered, by accident that my oldest daughter (age 16) had been admitted to the Psychiatric Ward of a local hospital for threatening suicide. I have the hospital report and it states, among other things, that she was upset at the ongoing court battles between the Plaintiff and me. She was admitted for a week and released, This was on 10/8/13-10/15/13. I was not informed. I have a Court Order that gives me visitation and allows me access to hospital records, which is how I got the hospital to release them to me. Still, had I known of this incident, the severity of the situation, the wanton disregard from the Plaintiff to inform me, I would have not had filed these motions on 11/4/13 or filed a different set of Motions. And since the bulk of my case depends on presenting evidence that includes both daughters, may include putting the Plaintiff on the stand, etc, etc, I think this falls under the “high conflict” definition. I am not comfortable proceeding with this mental health situation lurking in the background.
Can I make a motion on trial date to have this case ‘transferred’ to a GAL…there is a non-profit Children’s Law Center which may be an option…should I type up a short list of particulars, submit one-two pages of the hospital report (out of 160), express a genuine fear of going forward with a conventional trial and make that motion to the judge. I am, of course, pro se, she has an attorney and there is also the issue of privacy for my daughter as we discuss this in a court of law. I plan on asking the judge to read a short statement when he asks me if I am ready to move forward. This statement will be similar to what I have expressed here. Will that suffice?


#2

[quote=“oceanjoe”]I have a trial date of 12/16/13 for Contempt, my motion filed on her. I filed my Motion on 11/4/13. On 11/8/13, I discovered, by accident that my oldest daughter (age 16) had been admitted to the Psychiatric Ward of a local hospital for threatening suicide. I have the hospital report and it states, among other things, that she was upset at the ongoing court battles between the Plaintiff and me. She was admitted for a week and released, This was on 10/8/13-10/15/13. I was not informed. I have a Court Order that gives me visitation and allows me access to hospital records, which is how I got the hospital to release them to me. Still, had I known of this incident, the severity of the situation, the wanton disregard from the Plaintiff to inform me, I would have not had filed these motions on 11/4/13 or filed a different set of Motions. And since the bulk of my case depends on presenting evidence that includes both daughters, may include putting the Plaintiff on the stand, etc, etc, I think this falls under the “high conflict” definition. I am not comfortable proceeding with this mental health situation lurking in the background.
Can I make a motion on trial date to have this case ‘transferred’ to a GAL…there is a non-profit Children’s Law Center which may be an option…should I type up a short list of particulars, submit one-two pages of the hospital report (out of 160), express a genuine fear of going forward with a conventional trial and make that motion to the judge. I am, of course, pro se, she has an attorney and there is also the issue of privacy for my daughter as we discuss this in a court of law. I plan on asking the judge to read a short statement when he asks me if I am ready to move forward. This statement will be similar to what I have expressed here. Will that suffice?[/quote]

  • Not an Attorney*
    I have experience in this and will tell you that you cannot “transfer” this to a GAL. A GAL is appointed by a judge for an abused/neglected child. As for your daughter in the hospital -Maybe you were not informed because your daughter did not want you to know. The worst things to see in family court is when a parent puts the children on the stand to testify against the other. This RIPS A WOUND in EVERYONE. If you are : “not comfortable proceeding with this mental health situation lurking in the background” Then I highly suggest you don’t write to the Children’s law center & cause additional unnecessary anguish in this child’s life. Instead you can simply request of the judge to have a GAL assigned to her, but a judge will decide if that is necessary. A social worker will be involved now that she attempted suicide.

Meanwhile the child needs much healing & counseling to deal with this emotional issue that has brought her to a point of wanting to die. I suggest you talk with a mental health professional about how to be supportive to your daughter & meet with her therapist on how you can be supportive and pursue your divorce issues with your WIFE, and leave your daughter out of it as much as possible. This child has been traumatized long before the actual divorce. If I were assigned to your daughter as a GAL, I would do everything in my power to keep you from putting her on the stand to testify due to her mental health issue that could cause loss of life.

Something to think about …

Also, I think there is much complexity concerning your legal questions on this forum & may require you to seek additional legal advice on this particular subject. Rosen Online runs $199 a month and could offer advice in a more private setting.

I’m curious to see Kathleen’s (or another Attorney’s response) to your question(s)…


#3

TO Not an Attorney
Your obvious repulsion and distorted view of my question leads me to wonder where the sanity is in your response. I NEVER made the statement that I was going to put her on the stand. Your ability to make this assumption betrays your obvious prejudice. If you had ANY insight you would have realized that my concern in this post WAS for my daughter’s mental health. You have no right to characterize me as having questionable motives when you suggest I get in touch with a professional. I have asked to be brought into the therapy and been denied. I have been denied records and participation solely because it bolsters the status of the WIFE being the victim. You know nothing about my case other than what your own biased and tainted perceptions passing for intelligence has led you to believe. Kindly refrain from any more comments.


#4

Cases are not transferred to a Guardian ad Litem. Rather, if you want a GAL involved, you need to move to have one appointed to the children in your case. GALs are usually not appropriate in a contempt action, but more for when custody is being determined. A GAL’s job is to express what it believes are in the best interests of the children which is most beneficial when the court is actually determining the custody schedule.