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Experience with GAL and alchoholics

Old 11-21-2014, 08:14 AM
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Experience with GAL and alchoholics

Who among you have had a GAL or experience with one and how did that work out in your case with an A?

My xAH who continues to refuse to agree to a final order is finally being court ordered to agree to a GAL.

I am nervous that his slippery, narcissistic self will fool a GAL as he has managed to do for so long and that my children will be in harms way more than before because of this.

Anyone have good experiences with a GAL because all I am finding at this time are horror stories.

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Old 11-21-2014, 08:20 AM
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what is GAL
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:23 AM
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The experiences with my GaL have been nothing but awesome. I seem to be in the minority though...my AW makes it easy on us though, she practically ties the noose herself before every court hearing.

If my AW were a little more savvy and aware, I could definitely see the GaL not being such an asset as she has been to me.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:24 AM
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No personal experience. My friend's experience was very positive. The other parent was not an A that I am aware of but seemed very narcissistic and did a lot of things to make her co-parenting life hell and that I didn't think were in the best interests of the kids. He was very well spoken and accustomed to throwing his weight and community standing around. The kids had a good GAL that covered all the basis, did all the needed interviews, got all the information, and did a very good job of cutting through the bs and serving the best interests of the kids. It was another battle when it came time to consider legal guardianship for one of her kids - and again - the courts did a good job of weeding through it all.

There are good and bad experiences with anything. I sincerely hope that this marks the beginning of the end of this long road you and the kids have been on with this issue.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:29 AM
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GAL = Guardian ad litem
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by ResignedToWait View Post
The experiences with my GaL have been nothing but awesome. I seem to be in the minority though...my AW makes it easy on us though, she practically ties the noose herself before every court hearing.

If my AW were a little more savvy and aware, I could definitely see the GaL not being such an asset as she has been to me.
Yeah that is what I am worried about quite frankly... It seems to be another opportunity for my N AH to manipulate...

That said he has been fired due to alcohol use at work and threatening students and has criminal charges pending for DV toward me from a year ago and is a court mandated batterers class...

Hopefully that counts for something
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:51 AM
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My experience with the GAL during my divorce with XAH was awesome.

Since my XAH was lying about everything and covering up and explaining away his A history, I laid out ALL of the evidence to the GAL and then some, including all my opinions and fears. Simply put, once it's laid out to the GAL that the A is affecting the kids and their primary caretaker in XYZ ways, it has to be addressed by the court. Every document and timeline that you present will have to be addressed by the other party in detail.

That's the only bad thing, IMO. My NPDx made some crazy accusations that were humiliating to answer to, but ultimately they were baseless and the court saw that.

You can get a bad GAL or a bad court, but in my experience, courts use GALs because they're invested in doing better for kids, NOT shuttling them through a disinterested system.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:53 AM
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And I told the GAL outright, I know he's still drinking but I can't prove it. Talk to these people and you'll see what I'm saying, and he did.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:45 AM
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My sister had to use a GAL and it was a very positive experience. I would be very honest, including the fact that he is manipulative and you fear he will try to use that with the GAL.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:52 AM
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I'm so glad to hear so many had positive experiences. I never dealt with a GAL myself -- my state forced you to hire an independent custody investigator to the tune of $10K... and I never pushed it that far because by then, I was already out of funds.
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Old 11-21-2014, 11:13 AM
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I've only met with dd's GAL once. I was nervous too. Where we live the GAL won't really get involved unless the custody issue goes to court. Right now we have a temporary agreement until February...

I was worried about exabf manipulating her GAL as well. I still am a teeny bit because he managed to manipulate other people who could have helped. But when I mentioned the alcohol and drug use his demeanor changed completely and it was not taken lightly.
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Old 11-21-2014, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by lillamy View Post
I'm so glad to hear so many had positive experiences. I never dealt with a GAL myself -- my state forced you to hire an independent custody investigator to the tune of $10K... and I never pushed it that far because by then, I was already out of funds.
Who on earth has that kind of money?? How is that not a complete road block for most kids getting their needs represented?

I hate where I live but sometimes it really seems like a magical place compared to the stories of other states. A frozen lonely magical place, lol.
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Old 11-21-2014, 02:58 PM
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WTBH, the charges, job loss, etc., pretty much speak for themselves. With all that going on, "Mister Charming" is going to be under the microscope, and a little smooth talking isn't going to make those go away. It will actually ADD to the credibility of your claims of manipulation if he turns on the charm.

I'd look at this as a really positive development.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:41 PM
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Who on earth has that kind of money?? How is that not a complete road block for most kids getting their needs represented?
If you're below a certain income level, the court pays for the custody investigator. Because we were -- together -- over the limit, we would have had to fork up the money and whoever won would get to request of the court that the losing party pay their share back.

That's why my kids spent another 2 years with their abusive alcoholic father -- because I was broke, owned nothing, had my credit card maxed out, and was risking (if I lost) not just getting to pay $10K for the custody investigator but also AXH's lawyer fees, which would have been another $20K. I just couldn't take that gamble.
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Old 11-21-2014, 06:54 PM
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My niece had a GAL when her mama died, bio-dad/sperm donor was an A, my dad and stepmom were trying to get custody.

Our experience was very good. At the age of 3, my niece had her own lawyer, psychologist and GAL. The GAL was the one who really looked out for her best interests.

Sperm donor's family had a lot of money and a high-priced lawyer. It was the GAL who overlooked all of that and saw red flags when my niece visited them.

It seems Mr. Charming is slipping at hiding his true self? I know you've seen who he is, for a long time, even when he charmed everyone else. I truly believe in karma, though I admit I get impatient for it to come back around.

You are doing the best for you and your kids, and that speaks volumes. I truly pray that you and the girls find peace throughout all this.

Hugs and prayers,

Amy
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:51 AM
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My daughter has had a GAL for about 1 year. The experience has been good, but not over. She has had supervised visits for a year and the supervisors are his enabling parents. The GAL has made his recommendation that supv visits should continue and in the parenting agreement. We have pre-trial on Dec. 2 so we'll see what happens. In my experience stbxh showed his true colors to the GAL, it took a little time, but stbxh couldn't be consistent and follow the rules. Imagine that.... It has been expensive, way expensive, my suggestion would be to try to get the alcoholic/addict to pay more of the %. I haven't been able to do that, but think it makes the most sense. Good luck... Pray for a strong and grounded GAL....
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