How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask socrateaser Your Own Question
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39039
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
Type Your Family Law Question Here...
socrateaser is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Can you please review the following document for advice on

This answer was rated:

Can you please review the following document for advice on what not to include?

What is the purpose of this document?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

To strongly oppose supervised visitation, to order temporary joint legal custody during the proceedings, and hopefully to demonstrate to the court that the mother does not have the child's best interest at heart and that my son would do better under my custody.


1. Who is requesting supervised visitation (other parent, custody evaluator, etc.)?

2. What do they allege (briefly) makes you unfit to exercise any parenting without supervision?

3. Has the court made any orders re custody or parenting/visitation -- and if so, (briefly) what are those orders, and what was the reason that the court used to make those orders (I understand that the court's rationale may be in error, but that's just de reguer for family court, so let's not get into a rabbit hole over any systemic defects, okay)?

Note: I know family law inside and out, and I can read between the lines of any case, so you don't need to provide lengthy explanations -- there's nothing you could recite that I haven't already experienced during my lifetime. Cool I just want to understand what's going on, before I discuss your argument.

Thanks in advance.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

1. Supervised visitation ordered in November 2012 per opposing counsel's request in November under claims that I was "suicidal" and "mentally unstable". Psych eval shows none of that and uses an ER report that I also showed to the court to verify the same conclusion.


Supervised visits were ordered initially per belief that I was suicidal, now continued because of what referee thought was too litigious behavior in calling child protective services and trying to describe what I felt to be mother's borderline personality disorder (including discussion of her sexual impulsivity as evidenced by her STD).


2. Allegation is that I am depressed and suicidal and "what happens if I go into a funk"?


3. There is a no contact temporary restraining order per mother's complaint that I am harassing her. There is supervised visitation, now for 3 more visits with a social worker so that they can get a different kind of report under different setting than the previous supervised visits. Opposing counsel argued that I have to pay for these and succeeded.


4. There is no other order in place.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Child's attorney also stated in court that he could not see how I could succeed with anything but supervised visits, given the crying of the child and my "odd behavior" in court, specifically with mentions of the mother's STD.


Your document suggests that you are a licensed physician. This means that you are extremely intelligent, and it may mean that you tend to obsess over details that others would not even see -- and this includes both opposing counsel, any custody evaluator or guardian ad litem, and the judge presiding over your case.

In my opinion, nothing that you write to the court will suffice. You need to hire an expert witness (i.e., a psychiatrist) who has examined you and found that there is nothing wrong with you -- other than perhaps that you are annoyed that you are being treated as if there is something wrong with you.

And, you need to hire a lawyer, because if you start talking and arguing in court, you will sabatoge your case.

The judge is looking for signs that you are hostile toward the other parent, to the custody evaluator, and to the system in general. Your document is riddled with language suggesting just that. You have to understand that the judge is a human, too, and he/she believes that he/she is smarter than you are (lawyers have egos just like physicians) -- and the judge is in a position to crush you, unless you start playing by the rules.

You must appear to be calm, your writings must appear objective, and only interested in the child's welfare, even if it means that supervised visitation should be contined. In short, you must show by your actions that you are not the person you are being claimed to be, or you will be found to be that person, and supervised visitation will continue.

I have been in your position, both as an attorney, and as a client. People who are in the second standard deviation of intelligence quotients as compared to the rest of the population, have no patience with those who don't immediately understand them. It seems inconceivable to us that when we explain things logically, that our audience doesn't get it. But, the fact is, and this is really important, the NY attorney bar exam cut off score for licensing attorneys is actually below the mean average for intelligence of the lawyer population pool.

I once did a comprehensive study of every bar exam in the USA, and I discovered that as a general proposition, the majority of licensed attorneys in NY could never pass the Delaware or California Bar, because they simply do not have the raw brain power to pass the much higher cut off scores.

What this means is that the judge presiding over your case, may well be no sharper than your hairstylist. But, make no mistake, that judge is in control of your life right now, and he/she believes he/she is as smart or smarter than you. So, if you try to show your brilliance in court, you will intimidate your audience, and that audience will treat you unfavorably in return. We're talking primal instincts here, not law, and I'm pretty sure you understand these evolutionary concepts (probably better than I do).

You have to hire a lawyer to represent you, and you definitely need an expert witness to testify to your mental health. And, whenever you write a declaration or other document that will be filed with the court or provided to a custody evaluator, etc., you must dumb it way down. Have someone who you know isn't all that smart read your writings before you permit the document to reach a court, because you need to observe the reaction of a disinterested person with an average intellect, or you are scr****.

I hope you don't find my comments so irritating that you decide to place me in the enemy's camp. I'm really trying to help you "see the light" about what's actually happening. It's really not about the law at all. Under our suits, we're all just a bunch of murderous chimps, and in family court, that primative creature is usually in full display -- everywhere you look.

Hope this helps.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the long answer. I understand and agree with everything you wrote. However, the court has a psych eval in front of them, so I'm not sure what hiring another psychiatrist would do.


How can I get an expert to testify if there is no trial in sight?


If you already have been subjected to temporary orders, and there is no new hearing set, then you would move to modify the temporary orders on grounds that new evidence exists, in the form of testimony by an expert that you are not suffering from any mental health issue.

If prior to the imposition of the current temporary orders, you attempted to use a written psych evaluation, and the court accepted that evaluation without any expert testimony in support thereof, and ruled against you anyway, then you would need a new evaluation by a different expert, because the court cannot consider evidence already in the record from a prior hearing. That's just due process, and there's no getting around it.

The goal of the new expert would be to counter any prior considerations of the court re your exhibtion of odd behavior or overly litigious conduct (which admittedly is an absurd ground upon which to determine custody orders -- but, the judge is playing games with the law so as to try to send a message to you that you're not in charge of the proceedings.

So, regrettably, you will have to yank out your wallet, unless you know a colleague willing to go to bat for you without charge.

Hope this helps.
socrateaser and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you