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Tag: quality

I’ve never seen a GAL or custody evaluator add value equal to the fees they charge

I’ve never seen a GAL or custody evaluator add value equal to the fees they charge

This post is the fourteenth in series of 15 posts on the subject of custody evaluations and the appointment of guardians ad litem (“GALs” for short) in Utah child custody cases when the judge could simply interview the children instead. You do not have to read all 16 posts to benefit from this series. Read as many or as few as you wish.

The purpose of this series is to make the case for the proposition that an interview by the judge is a faster, more accurate, more particular, more reliable, and less expensive form of evidence than what a GAL and/or custody evaluator provides.

I’ve never seen a guardian ad litem or custody evaluator add value to the child custody analysis that is equal to what the GAL and/or custody evaluator charged in fees, and here is why:

First and most glaring of all, there is no way to know if the guardian ad litem has done anything (let alone done anything well or poorly) because the guardian ad litem does not have to make a record and is not subject to discovery. The guardian ad litem could literally do nothing and lie through his or her teeth to the court and there is be no way discover and expose it except by dumb luck. Custody evaluators, as opposed to guardians ad litem, can be subject to some discovery, but rarely is a custody evaluator willing to part with his or her file contents in response to a discovery request. It is often very difficult to get a custody evaluator to comply with the discovery request, if a discovery request is made.

Back to the problems of guardians ad litem specifically. Because the guardian ad litem is not required to furnish the court with any proof in support of any alleged facts that underlie the GAL’s assertions and recommendations, the guardian ad litem’s assertions, analysis, and recommendations literally have the same evidentiary value as any other person’s bald claims.

If there are devoted guardians ad litem out there becoming intimately and accurately acquainted with their child clients’ circumstances and feelings AND providing verifiably accurate and credible factual information to the court, as well as sound analysis based upon and citing to such evidence, I have yet to witness that personally. If anyone viewing this has had a different experience that can be documented and verified, I plead with you to share it with me. I must warn you: even if you were to produce such of guardian ad litem, I would ask whether what the guardian ad litem charged for such a thing justify the expense when the child could have been interviewed directly by the judge instead.

Third, even if we were to grant that a guardian ad litem somehow furnished accurate evidence and analysis—without the basis of that evidence and analysis being subject to discovery and verification and without having to make a record of what the children are asked and what they say in response—the amount and quality of such evidence and analysis still does not justify the time and money consumed by the appointment of a guardian ad litem compared to the much lower cost, much shorter consumption of time, and greater accuracy of a judge’s on the record interview of the child.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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How useful are a GAL’s or custody evaluator’s recommendations?

How useful are a GAL’s or custody evaluator’s recommendations?  

This post is the twelfth in series of 15 posts on the subject of custody evaluations and the appointment of guardians ad litem (“GALs” for short) in Utah child custody cases when the judge could simply interview the children instead. You do not have to read all 16 posts to benefit from this series. Read as many or as few as you wish.  

The purpose of this series is to make the case for the proposition that an interview by the judge is a faster, more accurate, more particular, more reliable, and less expensive form of evidence than what a GAL and/or custody evaluator provides. 

Then there’s the nature and quality of the guardian ad litem’s and/or custody evaluator’s recommendations. They are never, never detailed or presented in a manner that subjects them to independent objective verification.  The guardian ad litem makes a recommendation to the court the guardians recommendations are cursory and vague. Things like, “I’ve spoken to my client and he is scared of his father.” While a custody evaluator’s recommendations may include more background information and supporting detail, as I stated previously, the problem with custody evaluator recommendations is that I’ve had more than one custody evaluator confided to me that they are afraid to give their frank assessments and opinions because they fear being reported to their licensing boards and/or being sued if they happen to make recommendations adverse to a parent. So, custody evaluators also end up giving vague, equivocal, and less than completely forthright analyses and recommendations. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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Does an ongoing divorce make one a lame duck at work?

I believe what you mean to ask is, “Does an ongoing Divorce make you unable to focus and be productive at work?” The answer to that question is: for most people, yes.

When Divorce Increases Productivity at Work

Some people actually find that a divorce makes them more productive at work because they find that their jobs give them something to take their minds off the divorce and a purpose into which to channel all of the energy and effort that would otherwise be wasted on worry, anxiety, and rage. But I find these people to be in the minority of divorce litigants.

When Divorce Decreases Productivity and Work Quality

Your question is better than you might have imagined. You ask a very important question because many people going through divorce do not realize until it’s too late what a deleterious effect the divorce is having on the quality of their work and/or their productivity on the job. I’ve known more than one person to lose his or her job as one of the unforeseen consequences of divorce.

If you are going through a divorce, make sure that you find some way to deal with the strain outside of work, so that you don’t end up taking it to work only to find that it places your livelihood in jeopardy.

What to do?:

I don’t like exercise, but when I exercise I can see that I can handle physical and emotional stress better. If divorce is driving you to distraction, get some exercise. It strengthens your ability to deal with stress, and it helps you get a better nights sleep.

Go to church. One of the primary purposes of church is to provide comfort to the suffering. If your divorce is causing you suffering, except the comfort the church offers. Hear inspiring messages of hope and forgiveness. Bask in the brotherhood of your fellow parishioners. Take your minister up on his or her offers to confer and counsel with you privately, if and when needed. Avail yourself of opportunities to provide service to others in need. Paradoxically, we feel so much better when we take the focus off our own pain in our efforts to relieve the pain of others.

Seek professional therapy or counseling help. Many of you reading this may think “I’m just going through a divorce, I’m not mentally ill,” but the fact is that for most people divorce takes a greater toll on them psychologically and emotionally then they imagine. Divorce literally can drive you crazy, if not permanently, then on a temporary basis at the very least. For those of you who are skeptical, you must look at it this way: if therapy or counseling is not for you, then put that question to the test by attending two or three therapy or counseling sessions. If you find that it does you no good, you can conclude that it’s not for you. But if you find that it is helping, you’ll be glad you had the humility to get this kind of help that you need.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Does-an-ongoing-divorce-make-one-a-lame-duck-at-work/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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