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Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 739
Experience:  I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Family Law Attorney.
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The Gal in our case has recommended therapy but there are a

Customer Question

The Gal in our case has recommended therapy but there are a whole host or contentious complex issues. When does the GAL or the court suggest a custody evaluation be done. When is a child custody evaluator necessary and when can you just go and get therapy without the eval? I know that the evaluator needs to be a separate person from the person who does the therapy.

Tx
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.
The parents or parties to the case need to request a custody evaluation. What was the scope of responsibility assigned to the GAL? If the GAL is recommending therapy and the parents can agree on a therapist then have the therapy done which is a different subject than getting a custody or parenting evaluation. When a GAL is appointed in my custody cases, it is usually for the purpose of conducting an evaluation. Is your GAL qualified to do an evaluation and if so does either parent object to getting an evaluation??
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

A gal usually has no psychological training... it is my understanding that they take about a 30 hr course to become a gal. Anyway, maybe she does consider herself an evaluator. I personally have never heard of a gal being able to conduct an investigation of the family. With that said, she probably does consider herself an evaluator as she plays the role of psychiatrist, psychologist, judge and jury. She does not understand the issues in this case to say the least. False allegations by my own children have been made against me-- I am finding this out after 11 months of her being on the case. I don't know what the allegations are but I have done nothing inappropriate with my kids. I believe she believes that the allegations are true.


 


I don't know whether a psychologist can get to the bottom of it. And I think a custody evaluator might stand a chance but the GAL claims that an evaluator would be a waste of time.


 


 

Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.
Sounds like the GAL is doing a custody/parenting plan evaluation already and you don't like the GAL, so as you say, maybe a psychologist can get to the bottom of things. Do what you need to do to get the therapy started.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

What training do GAL's have in interviewing children or developmental psychology? What training do they have that would enable them to perform a custody eval?

Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 1 year ago.
It depends on the specific requirements of each court as to what qualifications or training a GAL needs. Usually when a GAL is appointed the court order says what the GAL's job is. What does the appointment order in your case say?

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