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What are the chances of a judge ruling for unsupervised visitation when a guardian ad litem recommends it ?

Tacoma, WA |

A judge ordered supervised visitation and a drug evaluation and a psychiatric evaluation based on a biased guardian ad litem report that strongly favors the other parent . I've only seen my two year old son once in the last six months and my trial next week , and I haven't done the evaluations because I think they're unreasonable and because I can't afford them . When I go to trial and explain that I didn't do them because of my financial situation , will the judge take that into consideration ? I'd like to have unsupervised visitation with him again . What are the chances of the judge ruling against the guardian ad litems recommendation ?

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Attorney answers 3


Without any contrary evidence, as opposed to opinion, little to none I'm sorry to say. By failing to follow the courts order regarding drug and psychaitric evaluations, you probably have irreperably damaged your case, You do not have the option to ignore court orders, especially when it comes to deciding what is in the child's best interests. Without the evaluations that the court ordered you to undergo, the court has no information other than what the GAL has recommended.

Please note that THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT INTENDED AS LEGAL ADVICE and are for informational purposes only. This response is not intended to create any attorney-client relationship and is only based on the limited facts given. The response might change should additional facts be learned and should not be relied on as legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney who can properly assess the situation, as well as all pertinent facts, prior to taking any action based on the foregoing statements


Belief they are unreasonable - is a problem. If it was unreasonable - likely a judge would not have ordered it. Financially unable - is a different story. You would want to fill out a financial declaration and provide evidence of your income for the last 12 months. If you are unemployed - you would want to bring in documentation that shows all the efforts you have made to look for work. You would probably want to tell the judge that your child would benefit from having a relationship with both parents and that you are willing to do whatever is required and ask that the other parent contribute to the costs.

You are allowed to disagree with the Guardian ad Litem. You are allowed to bring and call other witnesses that are helpful to your case. However, "I have not done them because they are unreasonable" may mean that you are not looking at your case objectively. Of course, it is also possible that everything you think is correct. If that is the case, you will need to bring your witnesses to the court and have them testify at trial so that the judge can hear the complete story.


The chances are slim to none. If the court has concerns about drug use and psychiatric issues, the court will almost certainly not waive the evaluations just because you cannot afford it. There may be other solutions, and there may be ways for you to find funding, but the court will likely enter an order that you must complete the evaluations before you have unsupervised visits.
As one of the other attorneys said, be sure to bring proof of your income for the last year or two to prove to the court that you simply could not afford the evaluations. Otherwise, you are not likely to convince the judge with an emotional appeal or by simply disagreeing with the guardian ad litem's report.
The more witnesses you can bring to discount the g.a.l. report, the better.

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