My ex-wife filed this demand for sole legal custody of our two kids. She attached over 100 pages of transcripts.
I. PARTIES and COUNSEL:
Petitioner, Jill AngryDad, is in propria persona
Respondent, George AngryDad, is in propria persona
II. MARRIAGE BACKGROUND:
This is a marriage of seven years, and there are two minor children of this marriage. The children are Mary, currently age 8 years, and Jenny, currently age 6 years. The date of separation is October 6, 2003.
III. REPLY TO PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION REPORT
This Status Report includes the following: A. a summary of the previous hearing held on September 28, 2005; B. a discussion of the relationship between the psychological evaluation report and Judge Kelly's findings and orders after the trial [including: 1) a description of the case history up until the psychological evaluation report; and 2) the psychological evaluation report's impact upon the parties legal and physical custody dispute]; and C., a brief reply to Mr. AngryDad's Status Memo comments.
A. SUMMARY OF PREVIOUS HEARING ON SEPTEMBER 28, 2005: On September, 28, 2005, the parties appeared before The Hon. Joseph for a review of the Dr. Bess's report concerning the psychological evaluation in which both parties were ordered to participate. Both parties received a faxed copy of the psychological evaluation report on the afternoon of September 26, 2005, but as of September 28, 2005, Judge Joseph still had not received the report. Judge Joseph gave Ms. AngryMom's then counsel, Ms. Jennifer Gray, until October 6, 2005 to file her comments regarding the report with the court. The new hearing date to review the psychological evaluation report was set for October 11, 2005.
B. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION REPORT AND JUDGE KELLY'S FINDINGS AND ORDERS AFTER TRIAL
1. CASE HISTORY UP UNTIL THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION REPORT
After both parties participated in a court ordered mediation with Dr. Berrenge, and then a court ordered evaluation with Dr. Johnson (summer of 2004), Dr. Johnson recommended to the Court that there be joint custody with Ms, AngryMom to be the primary custodian. Dr. Johnson recommended that Mr. AngryDad attend two 10-12 week parenting classes, and individual counseling (three times a month for six months), focusing on child safety and parenting issues. Depending upon Mr. AngryDad's successful or unsuccessful completion of the parenting classes and the showing of positive progress in his individual counseling, his custody percentage could and should be increased or decreased. In November of 2004, Judge Kelsay ordered Dr. Johnson's recommendations be put in place pending the outcome of the trial that Mr. AngryDad requested regarding Dr. Johnson's written report.
On February 25, 2005, Mr. AngryDad cross examined Dr. Johnson for 3 hours, eliciting the same information from Dr. Johnson that was in his report and the reasons for Dr. Johnson's recommendations Mr. AngryDad's inappropriate risk taking behavior while parenting as well as other poor parenting methods. The following are examples of Dr. Johnson's concerns with Mr. AngryDad's parenting (Attached hereto as Exhibit "A".
Reporter's Transcript, February 25, 2005, p. 17, 22 23, and 43) "Well, you might start by saying there's some issues that came up before the court where the safety has been brought up and possible supervision of the kids and there are some instances where you need to work on perhaps paying attention better and being more vigilant with the kids and understanding how your idea of perhaps "independence" may not be appropriate for the children of your age, children that you have of their age." (p. 43, 3 10) "Without going over the whole report, that's the essence of what I wanted to have happen here was for father to be willing, and as the Judge said, perhaps humble himself to be willing to participate in parenting classes and increase his level of awareness and insight into what appropriate parenting for two very young girls would be, including supervision." (p. 23, 6 13) On May 13, 2005, in an all day trial, Mr. AngryDad had the opportunity to cross examine witnesses to his risk taking behavior which had put the children in harm's way. He also testified on his own behalf. After viewing the evidence before him, Judge Kelly ordered the physical custody situation to remain the same, and that Mr. AngryDad participate in one 10 12 week parenting class, and receive the individual counseling that Dr. Johnson recommended two times a month. In response to Ms. AngryMom's request that both parties receive co-parenting counseling, Judge Kelly also ordered both parties to participate in co-parenting counseling. The following are some examples of Judge Kelly's comments concerning Mr. AngryDad's risk taking parenting behavior (Attached hereto as Exhibit "B". Reporter's Transcript, March 25, 2005, p. 106, 107, and 112 114.):
"But I think that there needs to be more awareness around two small girls and level of dependency versus independent and supervision." (p. 17, 20 22)
"Q. And do you feel any of those situations are trivial? A. No, I think they're important. And I address them because I feel like father needs to pay attention to them." (p. 22, 24 26; p. 23, 1 2)
"...and also that you get some of this parenting class under your belt because I do see safety risk issues, you taking more risks than really is appropriate" (p. 106, 20 22) The evidence garnered at the trial on Mr. AngryDad's risk taking behavior and inappropriate parenting overwhelmingly validates and substantiates Ms. AngryMom's concerns for the health, safety, and welfare of the children while in Mr. AngryDad's care. Attached hereto are Exhibits "C", "D", and "E", which provides further evidence that Ms. AngryMom's concerns were indeed necessary and genuine. (Exhibit "C" Reporter's Transcript containing trial testimony and Judge Kelly's comments on March 25, 2005 [p. 5 6, 10 14, 17, 22, 32, 34, 9, 42 54, 56 59, 61 69, 71 94, 97 101, 108, and 111] Exhibit "D" Reporter's Transcript containing trial testimony and Judge Kelly's comments on February 25, 2005 [6 12, 14, 16, 21, 25 26, 29, 31 33, 37, 39, 47, 53, 55 56, 60, and 65], and Exhibit "E" Reporter's Transcript containing Mr. AngryDad's deposition testimony on February 15, 2005 [100 102]; significant portions are highlighted for the convenience of the Court) Following Mr. AngryDad's failure to comply with Judge Kelly's court order regarding classes, individual counseling, and co-parenting counseling, Judge Joseph ordered both parties to undergo psychological evaluations in order to determine:
"And I think, Father, what you need to your own behavior needs to be a little more on the caution side." (p.107, 21 23) "Let me just tell you, some of this behavior I've heard today is inappropriate. It's not all putting the kids at unacceptable risk. I would give you that, okay. Some of it is clearly, but a lot of it is just bad bad parenting, just inappropriate parenting. And it's not something like it's way off on this bell curve, okay, but it's just something where, with some input from a counselor, you might rethink some of these positions. So that's the parenting part." (p. 112, 16 24) "And I wanted you to do the parent counseling at Simply Your Best for what that will [tell] teach you. Some of this behavior that I heard today, as I say, is just not appropriate." (p. 113, 16 19)
"Some of it is safety. Some of it is just not appropriate, okay. I have the ultimate call on this but I'm just trying to let you know where I'm coming from so that we don't we can bring some closure to this and not go to the continue these hearing with more people, more court time, more expense... " (p. 113, 22 26; 114, 1)
1 . Do the parents have the ability to co-parent? 2. THE PSYCHOLOGICAL EVALUATION REPORT'S IMPACT
2. Are there any personality disorders or other mental illness that would impair parenting? What is the recommended treatment or solutions to these issues?
3. Are there any other psychological or behavioral issues that the Court should consider in determining what arrangement is in the best interest of the children?
Pursuant to Family Code Section 3006, and based upon the court's findings and Dr. Bess's Evaluation Report, Ms. AngryMom is requesting sole legal custody of the two minor children be awarded to her, and the physical custody arrangement be slightly changed to accommodate Mr. AngryDad learning to care for the children during a school week. Dr. Bess's report states that both parties do not at this time have the capacity to co parent. His report goes on to state that co-parenting requires the capacity to discuss a parenting issue or decision, reach an agreement and then to follow through on the agreement. Dr. Bess found that both parties are not even able to agree on whether there are legitimate issues they need to agree upon. Dr. Bess reiterates Ms. AngryMom's concerns in his summary of assessment, which are that she does not feel that Mr. AngryDad provides adequate supervision for the children and she does not feel that Mr. AngryDad is willing to adjust his behavior to provide closer supervision. In his interviews with Dr. Bess, Mr. AngryDad indicated that he does not feel that Ms. AngryMom's issues are valid or that her concerns are necessary or even genuine. (Psychological Evaluation Report [Psych. Eval]) Dr. Johnson and Judge Kelly found Ms. AngryMom's concerns to be valid, necessary and genuine. Mr. AngryDad refuses to acknowledge and/or accept this finding.
Dr. Bess also wrote that he thought that it would be necessary for the parties to have clear orders from the Court that define their relative authority to make parenting decisions. (Psych. Eval.) Clear court orders do not work for Mr. AngryDad. If he will not go to simple classes and pay money when ordered to, then he will not accept orders from the Court on how to parent. He has been brought to court two times under motions to compel documents and money. He has not delivered the compelled documents, nor has he properly filled out documents that he has delivered under court order. He hasn't taken the classes, counseling, or the extent of co-parenting counseling ordered by the court. His unwillingness to comply with court orders directly impacts the children. For example, despite a court order in place since November of 2004, about 25 entreaties from Ms. AngryMom, and two co-parenting counseling sessions, Mr. AngryDad still refuses to set a specific time at which he plans to deliver the children to Ms. AngryMom. This event should be one of the simplest co-parenting decisions, but yet, it has been the subject of a discussion for a year. As Dr. Bess points out, the parties cannot even agree that there are legitimate issues that they need to agree upon.
The bottom line is that Mr. AngryDad insists upon behaving in such a way that is detrimental to his children, and that whomever disagrees with him is wrong Dr. Berrenge, Dr. Johnson, Judge Kelsay, Judge Kelly, this Court, and inevitably, Dr. Bess. Moreover, Dr. Bess's report points out that the parties each have a strong investment in their attitudes and approaches. (Psych. Eval.) Finally, Dr. Bess's report characterizes Mr. AngryDad as a man who values his autonomy and perceives Ms. AngryMom's alleged concerns suspiciously, as a tactic to gain an advantage in court and as an unnecessary effort to interfere with his autonomy. Consequently, Mr. AngryDad feels that there is no legitimate need for co-parenting and that it could actually make matters worse by supporting her manipulative tactics. (Psych Eval) Just as depicted, Mr. AngryDad's character weighs heavily and negatively in all of his interactions with Ms. AngryMom.
Therefore, in view of the court findings on health and safety issues, the psychological evaluation report, and the reality that unsuccessful co-parenting efforts are for the most part paralyzing the children's lives, Ms. AngryMom requests sole legal custody be awarded to her, pending a strong demonstration to the Court on Mr. AngryDad's part that he is willing to comply with court orders, make great strides in co-parenting issues, and modify his behavior for the children's best interests when it comes to their health, safety, and welfare.
C. BRIEFLY ADDRESSING MR. AngryDad's STATUS MEMO COMMENTS
Just about every sentence in Mr. AngryDad's Status Memo is some kind of distortion of the truth. Please read the following corrections:
1. "We had a fact finding hearing on March 25, 2005, and no significant defects in my parenting practices were found." (AngryDad's Status Memo [hereafter, S.M.] pg. 2) See attached exhibits "A", "B", "C", "D", and "E" for 'significant defects' found.
2. "He does not give any explanation for the fact we did 50 50 co-parenting successfully for a year." (S.M. pg. 3) The reason why the parties have been in court for the last year and a half is because they were unsuccessful at co parenting the children such as agreeing that there are legitimate issues of concern.
3. "Dr. Bess's report does not show that anything would be gained by delaying a return to 50-50 custody." (S.M. pg. 3) Dr. Bess clearly states that we are unable to co-parent, which is a major ingredient in the recipe for a successful 50-50 custody situation.
4. "Dr. Bess's report suggests that the current schedule and court oversight might be an impediment to collaborative parenting, and sees no concrete reason why 50-50 parenting would not work." (S.M. pg. 5) Mr. AngryDad seems to confuse his own words and reasoning to be that of Dr. Bess's.
5. Property Division: (S.M. pg. 1) Ms. AngryMom does not acknowledge the validity of any marital settlement agreement.
6. Attorney Fees: (S.M. pg. 1) Ms. AngryMom intends to make a request to this Court to order Mr. AngryDad to pay Ms. AngryMom for the amount of bills incurred throughout this court case.
7. Child Support: (S.M. pg. 1) Mr. AngryDad has refused and continues to refuse to fill out documents that would allow the court to pinpoint the amount of money he is making per month. That being the case, Mr. AngryDad is under a court order to pay Ms. AngryMom a retroactive amount of child support, totaling about $2,000. This was ordered on March 25, 2005. It is now October of 2005, and Mr, AngryDad still has not paid.
October 5, 2005
Cc: George AngryDad
She cites Family Code Section 3006
, which only says:
3006. "Sole legal custody" means that one parent shall have the right and the responsibility to make the decisions relating to the health, education, and welfare of a child.
I am flabbergasted by this. I will defend myself in court and on this blog.
Ok AD...breath...slow your blood pressure...breath some more. Are you breathing? Good.
First off, don't be too flabbergasted. Again, keep it simple. She's certainly not going to change her routine simply because she represents herself. She's an underhanded wench and she will continue to be one.
Now then, as to this allegation of you putting the children in harm's way...
If the kids were TRULY in any danger, she, as a lawyer, is fully aware that at any time, she could have filed for an order of protection on behalf of the kids, with absolutely no burden of proof, and had it in effect until such time as you demonstrated through counselling, that you were no longer a danger. As a responsible parent, isn't that what she SHOULD have done?
IOW, if you are a danger, then isn't she neglegient in allowing you to have the kids in your exclusive care? Of course not because she knows you're not a danger to your kids and she knows it.
She's never alleged that you were a CLEAR danger in fact. what she IS doing is ALUDING to it in the hopes that the judge will conclude that one himself. What she continues to do is sling shit to see what she can get to stick.
As far as co-parenting, of course if one parent refuses to do so, a therapist is going to conclude that both parents are unable to. That's simple common sense.
The question is not whether both parents are going to agree in a co-parenting relationship all the time. Naturally conflicts will arise even in the best of married couples.
What's of paramount importance is the willingness of parents to cooperate and constructively work through conflicts. The word WILLINGNESS being the operative phrase.
What your ex is doing is creating a laundry list of conflicts, and yet is demonstrating an absolute unwillingness to work through and resolve these conflicts. While you're trying to keep things simple, she is merely convaluting things. She's trying to make a case by creating confusion. This is something to stress with the judge.
Remember that in a trial setting, she's going to have to get these doctors to come in and support her exhibits. She's going to have to coach their testimony ahead of time. No easy feat considering SHE'S the one with anger and hostility problems.
She wants them to tell the judge, through confusion, that she's the best parent and also tell the judge that she should have full legal and physical custody, again through confusion.
Here's the point. Absent any evidence that you are a clear danger to your kids, there's is nothing in her brief that demonstrates that you should lose legal rights to your children.
And to grant her such would effectively ALIENATE you from your kid's lives, and they from your life. It would reduce you to little more than a periodic visitor.
You are certainly not asking for that even though she has demonstrated a total unwillingness to co-parent, which effectively illustrates that you are the more willing of the two.
Finally, remember that it's not enough to have 100 pages of evidence. In a trial, you have to support all 100 pages via supporting testimony from the authors.
If she is falsely trying to maintain that you are a danger to your kids, then every bogus piece of evidence she's trying to scrape together becomes MANUFACTORED evidence. Look up 'fraud-on-the-court' in a Black's Law Dictionary. Look at (I believe) the third definition and smile....
....she just might be making your case for you.
Aw man, one more thing...
Object to any references of money, support, back pay etc.
In a custody hearing, the issue of money or support is ABSOLUTELY inadmissable. No exceptions! In this case, she uses it to prejudice the court against you. As a lawyer, you can bet that she DAMN well knows that.
If the judge allows it, yell, "Exception." He will respond,"Noted."
That means that you intend to appeal on the grounds of 'abuse of discretion. Good luck and keep smiling!
I was just looking around the net for web sites related to abusive relationship and came across your blog. I was going to add a blog to my site, for abusive relationship and of course other related material, but I'm not sure if it would work.
I'm a bit worried about getting un-wanted 'rude' posts rather than ones related to abusive relationship on my site...... perhaps I just try it out - then you can come and post on it :)
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