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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 01-18-2006, 10:08 AM
CatvsLion CatvsLion is offline
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Well my case conference was pretty much useless yesterday. The judge wouldn't give a temp order unless there was consent by both parties. Obviously my x isn't going to consent so I was left with the following choice:

To not agree to anything and then basically go on as is (with no overnights) and file a motion.

Or, to agree to no overnights until we meet with a nuetral pyshcologist to address any anxiety and overnights and agree to there suggestion.

Basically my x was first saying how it was because my girlfriend might stay overnight - as I previously said and we said again that we'd put in the order that she'd not stay overnight while my daughter was there. Then she said she didn't trust me. (so what do you do about that). Then she changes her point of view of saying it's because of the anxiety that my daughter espresses when I pick her up (only from my x). So we said then why did my daughter stay on my last visit... and she switches between these two issues.

So I was pretty much forced to agree to no overnights and have the psychologist get involved. As if I filed a motion I'd have to go 2 months with no overnights anyway and then at that point they'd probably want a psychologist involved anyway.

At least this way I have a regular time-sharing agreement on paper - even though it doesn't include overnights. (until a psychologist says it's ok - then the order will be amended).

So my question is this:

In picking a pychologist, is there any specific questions to filter out any bias. As I have had the unfortunaty of attending counselling (with in my opinion) a bias pyschologist. (which they were basing all there argument on). I've also seen one, and have read various things that shows my daughters anxiety is pretty much normal - I just have to convince my x of that or to have the pyshcologist somewhat agree to the point of saying overnights are a good thing.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:47 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Catsvlion,

I believe your daughter is still quite young and under the age of 2. How in the world is a psychologist going to communicate with your daughter as her ability to communicate is still developing.

Your ex is alleging there is or may be a stress anxiety problem with your daughter. Is your ex a specialist in the field of infant child development.

I would go ahead and file the motion as it is apparent that she is using a psychologist involvement as a costly delay tactic for you to have a meaning relationship with your daughter. If 2 months elapsed without you seeing your daughter, I would think the courts would not think highly of your ex behavior for refusing access between now and when the motion is heard. Your ex has no legal stance to determine incidents of access.

The other thing I would do is bring someone with you for pickups of your child.
This individual can attest to the behavior of your daughter and rebut your ex's claims of same.
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Old 01-18-2006, 10:54 AM
CatvsLion CatvsLion is offline
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Just to clarify, my access isn't being refused - but the overnights are. I completly agree with what you're saying... and that's why it's so frustrating. It's basically he said / she said in determining how my daughter is acting - unless the pschologist is there.

The only time that my x will be there during pickups is on the weekend (otherwise it's at the daycare). I do on occasion bring someone with me - and I agree with this as well.

My only concern now - is if I do file a motion and they again continue to raise the anxiety concern and if the new psychologist leans more to what the mother is saying then it'll just be worse in the long run.

Basically right now I'll see my daughter every tues & thursday and every other weekend fri - sun (without overnights). The judge in the case conference said ' if this case doesn't settle out of court, then no case will' based on the material he read and the means of how we've settled on pretty much everything. He then went on to say how basically kids cry, just like dogs whimper when the owner leaves, you can't go on one professionals opinion, and basically go and settle this... we adjourned and the lawyers talked and that's basically what was settled. (they had all control).
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:12 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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I would of filed the motion from the comment the Judge made.

Is the psychologist going to be with you during all access times with your daughter to witness and observe her behavior. If not then anything the psychologist has to say would be subjective.

As I mentioned, your daughter is in an infant stage of her ability to communicate.
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:32 AM
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CatvsLion,

You may want to wait until the psychology report is completed before filing a motion. If you went forward with a motion at this time, a judge would most likely adjourn it until the report is completed. This can take several months.
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Old 01-18-2006, 11:38 AM
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This is an excellent site you should check:

http://www.yoursocialworker.com/Assessments.htm
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Old 01-18-2006, 12:23 PM
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Just a thought.. it sounds like you and your ex have managed to settle most every other issue, which tells me that you've both been reasonable. That being the case, what makes you think your ex isn't being truthfull about her concerns with overnight visits? Your daughter is very young and you're being given generous access to her (aside from her not staying overnight); why not just agree to it? I think you should give your ex the benefit of the doubt, and listen to what she is telling you about your daughter; she IS the child's mother, after all, and your daughter is quite young. It doesn't seem that there would be any benefit to your ex personally to deny you overnights; if anything, it's likely more inconvenient for her too. Co-parenting involves an element of trust, and giving her the benefit of the doubt on this issue might go a long way in improving your co-parenting relationship with her.
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:23 PM
CatvsLion CatvsLion is offline
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You're right it is an element of trust - and that she doesn't trust me. Her problem with overnights is my girlfriend and her being jealous - if my girlfriend wasn't in the picture this wouldn't be a problem. The fact that my daughter has been spending overnights for the last 10 months is a major concern of mine for it all of a sudden to be withheld. Also, the fact that my daughter stayed with my overnight on my last weekend access shows that she has no concern about the anxiety... that being said because we couldn't make an agreement she's now going back to the anxiety because she says even if I put it in the agreement that my g/f wouldn't stay overnight she doesn't trust me. The anxiety is not the issue here - it's the girlfriend and it's my x using our daughter (I AM the child's father) as a means to punish me. She's blowing the anxiety out of porportion - I would admit that she has anxiety but it goes both ways - it's just my daughter chooses her mother over me when she is forced to - which is nothing to do with overnights.

Sorry if that came across as a rant - but I have given her the benefit of the doubt in many more areas, but there comes a point when it's obvious of what she's doing.
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:44 PM
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Catsvlion,

I agree with you 100%. It is obvious what she is doing.
per say,

"she agree to overnights as long as gf is not present."

This is your ex's abusing her position and putting her own needs ahead of the childs. It is delaying to settle the issues.

Psychological assessments are expensive. On average 5K. Question is how much weight will be given to the assessment. After all, you mentioned what the Judge said already at the case conference.

"He then went on to say how basically kids cry, just like dogs whimper when the owner leaves, you can't go on one professionals opinion, "

The assessment would be based on subjective research due to the age of the child and her inability to express her view.

Have you determined who is going to be paying for the assessment, ie prorated basis?

After completion of the assessment and by the time the matter does go before the court, circumstances with your daughter will be all changed as she will be that much older.

You have indicated that the child has spent overnights with you in the past. The child is enrolled in daycare etc. Would their not being any signs of anxiety when she is at daycare. Have you considered questioning the daycare workers and get their opinion as a secondary source. I believe by law the daycare have to keep daily logs of children's behaviour etc. They can also attest to her behaviour when you pick up your child. This will go a long way.
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Old 01-18-2006, 02:55 PM
CatvsLion CatvsLion is offline
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It's not really a full assessment that is being done - sort of a modified version per say. The cost will be split equally.

I will inquire with the daycare - but as we just switched daycares this could not hold as much ground... the last daycare was my x's mother - so I think that is self reason of why I wouldn't go that route.
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