Preparing for GAL

Parental Alienation, Malicious Mother Syndrome, dealing with the ex, and various other non-legal concerns throughout the process.

Preparing for GAL

Unread postby americandadof5 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:26 pm

I have a few questions about GAL's that id like a dads perspective on.

Who chooses the GAL? Judge, attorney, parents?

Can a GAL properly conduct an evaluation when one parent and child lives out of state?

What can i expect as a father when confronted by a GAL?

What are some pitfalls to avoid when dealing with a GAL?

Is it 80-90% theatrics? Do i need shrines to my son in the living room?

I feel bad enough about asking one stranger to determine if i should be award majority time sharing with my son, but now to have two?
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby BartSimpson » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:09 pm

Hmm . . . I'd suggest you start here:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=64595

Then search for "Crock Pot" on the forum.
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby gamingdad » Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:21 pm

I have a list of recipes I use despite never having had a GAL. The go-to is beef stew over rice. Really sticks to you. Read the link Bart posted. Lots of info...
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby Ohiogal » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:10 am

americandadof5 wrote:I have a few questions about GAL's that id like a dads perspective on.

Who chooses the GAL? Judge, attorney, parents?

Can a GAL properly conduct an evaluation when one parent and child lives out of state?

What can i expect as a father when confronted by a GAL?

What are some pitfalls to avoid when dealing with a GAL?

Is it 80-90% theatrics? Do i need shrines to my son in the living room?

I feel bad enough about asking one stranger to determine if i should be award majority time sharing with my son, but now to have two?

The GAl is normally chosen by the court though sometimes the attorneys can have input.

Yes, a GAL can properly conduct an evaluation when one parent and child lives out of state. That can be expensive as the parents have to pay the costs of the GAL travelling but many courts will allow such travel. GALs around here (Ohio) have travelled across the country to California, Florida and even Alaska to do their jobs.

When do you mean when you say "confronted by a GAL"?

Pitfalls to avoid are badmouthing the mother. Express concerns and the reasons why. Don't say Mom sucks or mom doesn't know parent. Say, I am concerned because my child returns home from mom's exhausted and while with mother has been tardy to school 12 times out of a possible 16. Here are the records. Furthermore, I am concerned about people smoking around my asthmatic child at mother's because of the smell of smoke on the clothing and no one here smokes.

The GAL is there to make best interest recommendations for the children and to aid the court. The GAL can be a great benefit to you. or your worst enemy. You need to cooperate with the GAL.

I have one case where the Mother refused to let me see the child even though as GAL I have a court order allowing it. Mother no longer has custody for that very reason. At least not on a temporary basis so that I can actually do my investigation.
I am licensed only in Ohio. NOTHING stated by me is legal advice OR forms an attorney/client relationship or is to be taken as me advising you regarding YOUR personal LEGAL circumstances.
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby americandadof5 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:44 am

When do you mean when you say "confronted by a GAL"?


Well since i started this, it didnt take long to see how one sided the court either is or must be (depending on the facts) towards mothers when confronted with custody disputes. Some decisions are made solely on who legally is superior vs whats actually best.

Since im asking to add a third set of eyes to determine issues in my case, i almost expect the same thing. I dont want to fake it so i want know how to set myself apart since as a father, im already behind the 8-ball.
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby steelmark » Wed Feb 22, 2017 1:27 pm

In my case, my lawyer told OC that we were cool with a GAL under the condition that we would choose who it was.

It didn't come to that when OC's suggestion was someone on our short list anyway.

I took on a "how can I help" attitude and made things as easy as possible for the GAL, my door was ALWAYS open.
Prepare and execute to win by a thousand miles, just to be in position to win by an inch.
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby ForumVenter » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:22 pm

The attorney's both agreed to let the Judge choose the GAL in my case. Costs for the GAL were split 50/50. Some guys on here do not want the GAL involved as they can be deemed a wild card. Another person you have to prove things to. Generally, a GAL's decision carries the most weight. So why chance it? To me, the risk was worth the reward. I knew I was the better parent. I knew I could provide the most stable life. And I knew Ex would showcase her inability to do the same.

Similar to you, my Ex lived out of state. Prepare to fit the bill for half the cost of that. 11hr drive to get there, hotel stay needed, time to conduct her insight on the living quarters of Ex, and then 11hrs to get back. We were asked to pay prior to her travel.

There are some fathers on here that have had bad experiences with a GAL, and deemed them one-sided. I suppose I got lucky with mine. A female GAL that could see through the crap my Ex was feeding her.

No theatrics needed. Just be sure your home is clean and well suited for a child. And answer whatever questions they ask honestly and sincerely. Try not to jump on the bad mouthing of the Ex, unless you are asked a direct question where that may be called for.

Do not lie to the GAL. That is something you won't be able to come back from. It's best to tell the truth about something that is difficult to be truthful about, than it is to lie about something and get caught in that lie later. My Ex learned that the hard way on multiple occasions.
OH - Residential parent of D5 after a long distance move by Ex. If your child(ren) aren't a priority, you will have no chance at gaining custody.
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby americandadof5 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 10:54 pm

the replies here have been quite calming to a degree. I hope the appointed GAL can cut through the BS and speak objectively in court. I dont necessarily have an axe to grind with mom, I just simply dont think shes equipped to care for S10 on a long term basis, her history shows it and shes shown that she has no consideration to co-parent nor does she cooperate with orders of the court unless they are in her favor.
I swear, if you guys could read the crap she filed as an answer, you'd be face palming so hard. But im losing to this. In the meantime, S10 is being held hostage(not really) and missing out on everything and everyone hes come to know here at home.

How do I turn mom bashing into "Super Dad"?

Do you think less than 60 days is enough for the GAL to conduct a good evaluation? My motion for appointing one cant be heard until the first week of March. Ill have S10 only during the last week of March and the FJ hearing is the last week of April.

Ohio or anyone ....how does a GAL or a judge tend to view the circumstances where one parent unilaterally relocates a child out of bad faith, for example when as in my case, a parent absconds with the child to a new state? That parent will in most cases I believe, try to put on a show for the court and say the child is "flourishing" and "settled in" to their new environment. There's gotta be a way to mitigate against that argument.
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby steelmark » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:04 am

americandadof5 wrote:Ohio or anyone ....how does a GAL or a judge tend to view the circumstances where one parent unilaterally relocates a child out of bad faith, for example when as in my case, a parent absconds with the child to a new state? That parent will in most cases I believe, try to put on a show for the court and say the child is "flourishing" and "settled in" to their new environment. There's gotta be a way to mitigate against that argument.


How long has kiddo been with mom out of state?

This hindsight is not to bash you, it's for new members or lurkers to hear....

Mom should have been prevented from moving your child from the start. The second I sniffed out that my ex intended to relocate my kids, I filed for a temp order keeping them in their schools while the case was active.

It took well over a year after the temp order was granted for the case to settle, so another year of status quo. She moved, they didn't.

I think your challenge lies on what the status quo currently is. The length of time she's been gone and your child's integration in his new community, schools, etc...is going to factor in, status quo is not easy to undo, that's why we preach it here.

The GAL will ask S10 what he thinks...it's not THE deciding factor, but it's a part of the evaluation process, and a GAL will be able to sniff out coaching by either of you.

Her move is as much her fault as it is yours for not preventing it.
Prepare and execute to win by a thousand miles, just to be in position to win by an inch.
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Re: Preparing for GAL

Unread postby Fatheroffour » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:29 am

Ill echo steelmark above.

My ex tried to register the kids in a new school in her district. I protested immediately and the court ruled that the kids should stay in their current school until the GAL could investigate. Status quo ruled.

Status quo is the courts greatest bias, which is often mischaracterized as as pro-mom or anti-father. It's not.
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