imamommyJuly 1, 2009

It's July 1... they went to court on June 1 and the court ordered a full evaluation. DH & BM were ordered to split the cost of the evaluation 50/50. BM was ordered to set it up.

I called the evaluator the day of court and inquired about the cost, so we can come up with it. The court indicated it is several thousand dollars. Since he didn't have an order, he couldn't tell me the cost so I gave our info.. names & phone numbers. His office said they can't do anything or tell us what it will cost until BM sets it up and then he'll call us. We have not yet received a call.

An evaluation takes 2-12 months to complete and the further hearing is scheduled for August 3. The evaluation must be complete & given to the parties 10 days prior to the hearing so that means if it's not done by the middle of July, in two weeks... it won't be ready by the hearing. We are assuming she does not have the money and is stalling, but we might get surprised and have to get it done in a short time. So, for now it's anyone's guess.

School starts in mid August so if she asks for a continuance or more time to do the evaluation, school will start before we can get it done. If she drops it, the court will still hear DH's request for modifying weekends from the 1st three weekends to every other weekend and he has asked that SD be allowed to participate in sports that might take place on BM's time and allow BM to make up that time.

SD is back in counseling because either way, she needs it. She has spent most of summer staying with grandma during BM's weeks. Grandma has not moved yet, so we're not sure that's going to happen either. There's just a lot of uncertainty at this point. SD has been through a lot and it's taken it's toll on me too. At this point, I have removed myself from the mix... someone else picks her up & she spends 100% of her time with DH. I'm still around her but I am not alone with her anymore. I let DH do everything for her and things are fairly calm. It may also be that she realizes her mom is probably going to drop the case, but she is being nicer to me.

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What a drawn out, expensive mess. It is sad that BM makes things be this way. :(

So what exactly does a full evaluation entail?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 2:29PM
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A child custody evaluation is a report written by a neutral professional about you, the other parent and your children. The report summarizes each parent's ideas about what would be best for the children and looks at information from teachers, doctors and other people who have had contact with your children. A recommendation is made in the report as to what custody and visitation plan would be best for your children. The judicial officer and the attorneys for each parent receive this report.

The goal of a child custody evaluation is to provide the Court and the parties with objective information and recommendations about a family to assist the Court in issuing orders in highly contested custody disputes. In formulating a recommendation, the evaluator analyzes the family dynamics as they affect the children, and searches for a solution that serves the best interests of the children.

The information contained in an evaluation may be used by the Court to issue custody orders or by the parties to reach an agreement. Since the evaluation is written by someone who is neutral and is knowledgeable about how divorce affects children, a custody evaluation a very important alternative dispute resolution tool.

Evaluations may be conducted by Family Court Services staff or by a private mental health practitioner. The following information refers to evaluations made by the Family Court Services staff. (See additional information at the end of this section.)

There are two types of evaluations conducted by the Family Court Services staff: Full Evaluations and Fast Track Evaluations. The following refers to Full Evaluations.

Although sometimes altered to fit the needs of a particular situation, evaluations generally follow a definite pattern in terms of the steps taken to obtain information:

* Interviews with the parents may be held jointly except in domestic violence cases or where it is otherwise inappropriate.

* Observation of the children with each of the parents in each parent's home and interviews with all other members of the household.

* Individual age-appropriate interviews with each child at issue, usually take place in the home of each parent.

* All pertinent collateral information

* Interviews (usually telephonic) are done with other significant people. Evaluators exercise discretion in selecting those persons most likely to contribute information central to determining the best interests of the child(ren).

Every effort is made to apply comparable procedures with both parties. If a parent resides in a neighboring county, the evaluator may ask that parent to come their County for the office interview and may either make the home call or ask an appropriate agency in the other county to go to the home. If the party resides at a greater distance and is unable to be interviewed in their county, the evaluator will rely on a local agency where available. (In those rare cases in which the evaluator is ordered to go to another jurisdiction for purposes of evaluating a parent in his/her own environment, orders must include an order for prepayment of travel expenses.)


That was copied from a court website. We live in one county, BM lives four counties away and the evaluator the court chose is in the county next to ours.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 2:35PM
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Now, see---that is what I would LOVE to have done.

BM has gotten on the wrong side of ALL teachers SS has had from the start. She told his pre-K teacher she was going to kick her @$$. (well, actually, she told 4 yr old SS, and he repeated it to his teacher.) BM actually had to sign an agreement at SS's preschool that she would not "fraternize or socialize" with any of the teachers, and that she would keep her pick-up/drop off time to a max. of 10 minutes. This came about because she caused SO many problems and the preschool ultimately told DH (who was paying) that if BM kept causing issues, SS would have to leave preschool! DH did some sweet-talking (in retrospect, he should have dragged her butt to court!) and convinced the school and BM to draw up this agreement and have BM sign it.

Then when he was in kindergarten, BM was pregnant and showed up at school smelling of cigarettes all the time. SS told his teacher that his mom was going to kill her baby b/c she smoked. So BM and DH both got called in for a conference over that. SS had some behavioral issues that year, and the school pretty much said he could not come back. BM hated the school anyway (probably b/c we paid for it) and was planning on yanking him, anyway, so it didn't make much difference. But I heartilty maintain that BM was a huge reason the school didn't want SS there. This was a very expensive private school, and I don't think they felt BM "fit the mold." She lit into the teacher over many issues over the year, and towards the end, the teacher just stopped responding to her emails and stopped returning her calls.

Then this past year, he was in 1st in her district, and his teacher ended up contacting DH and having him sign off on SS seeing the school counselor. The teacher knew about BM's drinking, etc.

BM actually YELLED at the principal in front of SS and a bunch of other kids. SS missed the bus from BM's house, and BM had to drive him up to school. (heaven forbid!) Anyway, she parked her car in either a fire lane or bus lane, can't remember which---and the principal just happened to be outside doing carpool duty. Principal asked BM to move her car and BM started yelling at her about how she was "in her underwear and had the baby in her car and couldn't wait in the carpool line." UMMMMM, YEAH.

BM didn't realize it was the principal---so apparently, she was just so infuriated that this WOMAN had the "audacity" to ask her to move her car. So she called the school and ASKED (heehehe) to speak to the principal about the "situation." OMG, this is a classic---the principal got on the phone and pretty much said, "oh yes, ma'am, that was me who asked you to move your car."


Oh and this is great--at the end of the year, she wanted to go on SS's field trip, and the school supposedly had to run a "background check" on every parent attending. (this was BM's story, anyway.) Well, she was rip-roaring p*ssed because a DWI showed up so they wouldn't let her go!

I would love to have a full eval. done on BM. Oh, yes, I would.

Actually, sarcasm aside, I really do think SS would be better off if he lived primarily with us, and "visited" BM.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 2:55PM
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"DH did some sweet-talking (in retrospect, he should have dragged her butt to court!) and convinced the school and BM to draw up this agreement and have BM sign it."

Love, I am honestly not trying to sound negative against your husband but it seems like he let alot of things go with BM. Had this been documented (along with other things of this nature) your court case might be alot easier. It sounds like BM has a history of violence and threats. If this was on a court record she may of been in bigger trouble when she hit you. Tell hubby to stop letting the BS slide! It will make life so much easier for you guys.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 3:30PM
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Oh, don't worry---you can sound negative all you want. I totally agree with you. I don't know what his deal was for so many years, and why it has taken this long for him to finally start putting his foot down. (And I do mean start, because he is really just NOW beginning to do so.)

He filed for custody when SS was about 2 or 3, and then he recanted the whole thing. I have no idea why, other than he is just insanely afraid of confrontation. He will let people he works with walk over him, too. It is more of a character trait than anything else.

Anyway, no worries---I look back at all the crazy stuff that went on and think how mcuh BETTER our life today might be had he faced BM back then.

Ima--sorry to hijack! Back to the OT. :)

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 3:36PM
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Looks like BM is making herself out to be irresponsible to the courts.........again.

It's too bad all this stuff has to effect SD as it does. It's too bad the courts couldn't see what a nit-whit she is a long time ago and spared SD this heartache.

Poor SD knows her mom doesn't want her.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 3:43PM
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Hadley - Any chance of going back to those schools and getting sworn statements now? These school people generally really, really care about the kids, and might be only too happy to comply.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 5:55PM
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Imaommy, mom doesn't want custody, she just wanted to stir some commotion. She wired everyone up and now she lays low.

As about love's situation. DH SHOULD go to those schools and ask for statements. I gave several statements during difficult custody battles. Like crazy parent would say that they are reguarly attended meetings and events, and called on a regular basis. Then EVERY teacher would write that they have NEVER met that parent and NEVER talked to him/her. Guess who judge would believe.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 10:48AM
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