Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Waiting for the evaluation

The court-appointed psychologist promised the judge a written evaluation "on or before October 19", so as to be ready for the Oct. 26 hearing. So maybe it is already in the mail to me. I don't know.

I've never seen one of these evaluations, so I don't know what to expect. Since it cost me $1600, I am guessing that the shrink will write 10 pages or so to justify the money. Whatever he says, it will likely be taken as dispositive by the judge. There are just too many minor allegations for the judge to cope with, so he'll just take the supposed expert opinion as the best action. I can contest his recommendation, but I am told that it is nearly impossible to convince a judge to go against what the shrink recommends.

The scary part is that the shrink only talked to me for an hour. He also talked to my wife for an hour, and to the kids for about 20 minutes apiece. Maybe he liked me; maybe he didn't. It seems like such a crap-shoot. I don't know accusations she might have made against me in her interview, and she doesn't know what I said about her. In a real court, I'd have the constitutional right to face my accusers.

The shrink seemed like an honest and sincere fellow, but he has an impossible task. He cannot know what is best for the kids. He should not be judge and jury for domestic violence allegations. He cannot possibly have the proper context to properly interpret a few stray comments from a 5-year-old or a 7-year-old. All I can do is to sit back, and hope I get lucky. And prepare to hire a lawyer, if I am unlucky.

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