5 Ways a GAL Makes You Broke in Divorce? 6 Steps You Can Take to Fight Back!

By: Sherry Palmer | December 10, 2016 | Last modified August 21, 2021

5 Ways the Family Court uses a GAL to Prosecute You in Your Child Custody Case

Here are 5 ways the divorce court can make itself a prosecutor by appointing a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) or an Attorney Ad Litem as the government’s agent to prosecute when it can’t prosecute you any other way.

The family court judge is part of your state government, so we will call them what they are. The state government will take your child and make you pay for it all while claiming the state isnt involved. Your family court judge will say that if CPS is not involved then it is not the state taking action. That’s not the way you should look at what is happening to you and your family. You should consider the GAL (Guardian ad Litem) and the Attorney Ad Litem to be government agents working for the judge who is acting as an investigator and prosecutor not a judge.

They are NOT your friends and they are NOT the least bit interested in your rights or your child’s rights.

These are 5 ways that demonstrate your judge appoints a prosecutor who works for the judge and forces you to pay for your own prosecution, under threat of jail, without there being any charges in your case, and without qualifying under criminal law:

    1. Your ex can report false allegations to CPS. The ex then uses this report to CPS as a basis for asking the court to change custody.
    2. The ex can also be using teenage angst in this process to inflame the judge to further support their request.The ex will ask for an ad litem and say that your child doesn’t want to be with you. Or your attorney will tell you to ask for an ad litem to investigate and then take all that the ad litem wants to say about you to the judge to determine who gets custody. This process can be very expensive, feel extremely unfair and punishing, and doesn’t guarantee you custody even if the ad litem were to side with you. Although there are many ad litems that are said to be in the judge’s pocket and if they side against you, you are done and lose custody without ever having broken any laws.
    3. The ex can bring an emergency ex parte request to the court for a temporary restraining order or protective order, and emergency temporary orders, and use that CPS is conducting an inquiry into the allegation to get you cutoff from your children completely, or make up something else like you don’t want to agree to medicating your child for a diagnosis you feel was trumped up just to make it look like you have neglected to understand your child’s needs. The suspension of your parenting time can last for a very long time and turn into supervised visitation or no visitation at all, even if you didn’t do anything wrong.
    4. The court can make an order that suspends your visitation/parenting time with your children and appoint an amicus or a guardian ad litem, all without a hearing.
    5. Then the court can keep making orders that delay you getting your time back with your children by making orders that continue the restriction on your time and rights with your children, and say that you will have to wait and see what will be decided pending evaluations and interrogations now conducted by an amicus, GAL, or custody evaluator even though CPS completed their inquiry, decided that there wasn’t enough there to bring charges, and closed the inquiry.

You might think that the court will apply due process that will protect you from false allegations, or that the court will end the taking of your child as soon as CPS drops the case, or as soon as a GAL says that you are a fit parent and love your children. That isn’t usually the case though. Family court judges have been appointing a GAL or an amicus in situations where there wasn’t enough to bring criminal charges and turning the situation into a civil matter where they can conduct exploratory searches to justify the taking of your child and more of your money!

Courts have also been known to threaten parents to consent to an amicus or lose rights to see their child so that the court does not have to justify anything. Once you consent they can proceed without further explaining themselves. You don’t get to challenge later in an appeal like some attorneys tell parents. Most appellate cases that we have read say that if the parent consented they waived their right to challenge on appeal, and if they didn’t raise the issue in the trial court that the issue was not preserved. You have to make your objections known all throughout the process.

When the cops and CPS fail to turn up anything that could justify taking a child from a married couple, your judge is likely to pick up the prosecutorial challenge and prosecute you under an entirely different and vastly lowered standard of justice that these judges apply to divorced or never married parents of minor children, and call it a civil case, and tell you that they don’t have to provide you the same protections you would get if you had been accused of a criminal act, and will tell you that you are asking them to do this to you, gave them permission, and therefore aren’t violating your constitutional rights either.

Why would the family courts do things this way you might ask?

FIRST, the courts know that you are afraid of losing time with your child.

SECOND, by forcing you to pay for an amicus or a GAL right away, you will have less money to fight the courts. Parents who cannot even afford to pay for an attorney for themselves are being forced to pay for an amicus or a GAL (and these are usually attorneys charging attorney rates).

THIRD, the family courts have enjoyed being able to do as they please, especially when they hold the threat of being able to take your child from you and force you into a battle that can last for several months to several years. Children develop and grow so quickly that their childhood is lost in this amount of time. Parents, in the past, have not had any way to successfully fight the abuses of the family courts, so they tended to make deals that they otherwise would not make. Parents do not have protections that they should have so they give in. Parents do not have the money that it takes to fight the abuses so they are forced into living with bad orders.

FOURTH, parents have difficulty finding an attorney who will fight an amicus or a GAL. The courts know this so they feel comfortable bullying you by demanding that you agree to an amicus or a GAL.

All of this can happen at any age in your child’s life. As long as your child is under 18, you are subject to this kind of legal abuse. An amicus or a GAL can cost you thousands of dollars more than you thought you were going to spend in your divorce or child custody battle.

The amicus and the GAL will participate in every hearing, can call their own hearings with the court, and will conduct discovery and investigations on their own, all at your expense! Every hearing now comes with the hourly cost of another attorney who is working against your interests and failing to protect your child’s rights. And there may be nothing you can do about that bill. So if you cannot even afford the attorney you have on the payroll now, you certainly cannot afford a GAL!

There is also nothing you can do to restrict how much bill they run up. There are no controls, no limitations (in most states), and no accountability. We have coined the term Attorney Welfare to explain how this works.

Your judge spends your money by appointing these expensive government agents (that they call court-appointed experts), runs up your bill as high as they want, and then becomes the collection agency. When you cannot pay, your judge will use every power available to them to come after you to collect what you now owe to their prosecutor. You may be threatened that if you do not pay the bill that the court will hold you in contempt and may even threaten to throw you in jail! The court might apply other sanctions like blocking you from filing additional motions. (Depends on your state statutes as to what the judge can do to you in this situation.) You may even have an amicus ask the court to restrict you from seeing your child until you approve the amicus and pay them.**

6 Ways to fight back against the GAL.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are being taken back to court under these conditions, consider fighting back using declaratory judgment relief (or some other action that allows you to implement the next steps).

Here are 6 steps that we recommend as a starting point to protect yourself from this illegal prosecution.

    1. Insist that the court provide you with guidance on what process is due your specific case and what statutes are being used to deprive you of fundamental rights. (This is very challenging and you will need to have read our books or get a consult with us to help you adapt some of the arguments to help you do this.)
    2. If you believe that your state’s statute authorizing the court to appoint an amicus or a GAL in your state is unconstitutional, you would find the rules in your state for making a constitutional challenge to a statute, and follow those. Some rules require that you notify the Attorney General in your state. (Just because a statute is authorizing a judge to do something doesn’t mean that they are allowed to do what they are doing.)
    3. Consider filing a request for a protective order quashing the order for the GAL/amicus, and ask for an emergency hearing on the matter since it is immediately depriving you of the use of your own money. (This is an important concept to understand when you are making a constitutional challenge on deprivation of your property.)
    4. If the court denies you the ex parte motion and denies an immediate quash of their own order, try a request for a STAY until you can have it run through the appellate courts on a mandamus (or whatever mechanism that you have in your state to be heard on an interlocutory or temporary order)***
    5. File declaratory judgment relief in your trial court in addition to the above and ask them to rule before your next hearing. (We made this easy by providing samples on our motions page.) If the court denies the motions, fails to rule on them in a timely manner before your next hearing, and you believe that you are facing deprivation of fundamental rights, and that the amicus/GAL is a violation of your constitutional rights contact us so that we can assist your attorney evaluate the rest of the process and find what is right for you. www.fixfamilycourts.com/contactus
    6. Learn your fundamental parental rights and the argument behind them. You will need to know the arguments to help your attorney protect your requests. You can attend the online course here, “Protecting Family Rights,” and get started right away.

Do this or be forced to play along and hope that the GAL or amicus and the court choose to side with you. You better hope that you don’t run out of money before you get there. The moment the judge is convinced that you cannot be squeezed for any more money, you case will rapidly be resolved in essentially the same way it would have been resolved before, that is, if they find no angle to punish you further.

Playing along is very risky. You could end up in a situation where if you don’t please the GAL then you don’t get your kids. This isn’t just a feeling by the way. A GAL has the power to ask the judge to completely cut you off from seeing your children if you are not doing as they say. You need to seriously consider just how bad the downside risk can get for you.

A GAL can do all of this without the court ever providing you with a process that would protect you and your child from abuse of power.

If you are going to fight back, make it meaningful by identifying when and where your judge abuses his or her discretion and object properly so that the abuse of discretion can be appealed. If you do not preserve your rights, you will have a much more difficult time with an appeal. But first, to do this, you have to learn what you are looking for. How do you know where the mistakes are if you don’t know how your rights are supposed to work in this process? Let us teach you.

Preserving your rights is not just for an appeal, it also puts pressure on the court by letting them know that you are prepared to challenge any abuse of power and can make the court more cautious. Many attorneys falsely believe that objecting and preserving error for appeal is showing weakness and telegraphing that you are expecting to lose. In reality the exact opposite is true. Your judge, if not a complete moron, knows full well that what they are doing is illegal. And if there is any doubt about whether they know, once you outline it for them, they know. When you let the judge know that not only do you know it too, but you know exactly how to prove it to the appellate court. If your judge isn’t a complete moron or completely drunk on their illegal power, they will pay more attention to how they treat you, at the very least, be more cautious with the decisions that they make.

Our motions are designed to communicate this to the court in very precise legal terms. In many situations where parents have filed these motions, the courts have decided to restore that parent’s time with their child, have denied requests for psychiatric evaluations and custody evaluations, and have imposed fewer burdens on parents who show the ability to fight back effectively. Think of your judge as a classic bully. If you give in and don’t fight back they will see you as an easy target and they will just bully you more. If you fight back, even if you don’t win the fight, you have demonstrated that bullying is not going to be tolerated and will cause them pain. Bullies avoid people like this. (NOTE: These are peaceful tactics and we are not condoning anything illegal or violent. Keep your challenges peaceful and let your rights do the correcting for you.)

We want to give you the power to fight back. We make it easier for you to preserve your right to challenge your judge’s abuse of power. If you are going to be forced into a fight anyway you might as well know all of your options and be able to defend yourself. If you aren’t a person to strongly defend yourself, think of your child. What are you willing to do to protect your child?

If you are suffering from this illegal scheme, we can help if you just let us. Complete the contact form at fixfamilycourts.com/contact/ and be sure to check the box acknowledging that you know we are not attorneys and we can discuss the ways in which we may be able to help.

 

If you can think of more ways the courts use a GAL to come between you and your child, make a comment below. We appreciate it.

* As you can imagine, neither your judge nor any of the attorneys who are getting rich off of your misery are eager to allow you to get this information. As a result, they have attempted to attack us claiming unauthorized practice of law. We bloodied their proverbial noses in federal court, and now they leave us alone. However out of basic honesty and to protect ourselves from their attacks, we need to make sure that you know that we are not attorneys and do not practice law. The information we provide is NOT A SUBSTITUTE TO AN ATTORNEY, and you should always have an attorney look over anything you get from us before you use it and make sure that it is done with the proper legal technicalities required in your state.

**Any information from this blog, this website, and anything that you get from us is not a practice of law. You are advised to seek the advice of an attorney regarding how to implement the information from this website. Remember though, not all attorneys are the same. You need to find an attorney who is willing to fight for your rights against an entrenched political machine and one who isn’t too arrogant to learn from people who are dedicated to providing quality knowledge and tools to fight the machine.

** The ideas presented in this post are general and are not specific to any particular case. The authors of this post have no way of knowing the nuances in your case so you must seek the guidance of an attorney to apply these concepts with nuance appropriate to your case. We encourage you to validate everything we tell you because you are solely responsible for what you present to your court. We provide the legal theories and precedent that supports our arguments so that you can validate what we say. The authors are not responsible for any consequences or damages you may experience. You use information from this website at your own risk.

*** The laws in every state are different in substantial ways. Make sure that you find out if orders for an amicus or a GAL are interlocutory (temporary) or final orders. This determines the path you may or may  not follow to  challenge that order in the appellate courts. Interlocutory orders are not generally appealable, unless a statute specifically allows for it, but under certain conditions can be brought up through mandamus before you go to trial. Contact us at fixfamilycourts.com/contact/ if your attorney is running into barriers that they cannot overcome, or just to save some money by getting prepackeged arguments, and let us know the challenge that you are having.

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