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How to address family report.

We have had the family report done. It is not in our favour, not that we were really expecting it to be. But I do have a few questions.

All the parties were interviewed individually EXCEPT for the father. I was asked to come into that interview. You may or may not be able to understand that I was already under stress through the report, then to have to sit through my husband giving a run down on his relationship with the mother was horrible. At not stage was I told to not make comment, I really wished they had. I was picked up on a comment about housework, and I was deemed to be very negative towards the mother. Thing is, the report writer and I, it would appear, have differing views on this topic. Now I did mention the mother in the first instance but after that it was a general discussion. And yet the report writer took it as a negative. I have strongly held views on parents who believe that having to care for a child is the only excuse that they need to not do any housework at all. I even said to the report writer, that yes, I can accept that excuse for a day here and there but not all the time. And now I am the one "flogged" for it.

We hadn't seen the child for over a month before the report session, and the mother had refused the father any extra contact on the day other than the actual interview. As a result, I let the father and child play together, because to me their relationship is paramount, not mine and the child. I was marked down for that. But while the report writer had the father inside for a few questions (before the mother came to pick the child up), the report writer did not get to see me and the child interacting. Aargh.

And then to top it off, the mother has told lies to the report writer, some of which we can disprove. Her partner alleges that I did something, which is just not true. If it did in fact happen, then if it had happened to me, then I would have either, asked the other parent about it or even involved the police. It is that sort of allegation, not abuse though.

And the report writer also said that the child had stated that the mother had told them that she didn't want the child living with the father. And yet I am the one who got berated about housework negativity.

So what can we do? And when should we do it? The next date, an interim, is just a couple of weeks away. Should we address this directly with the report writer? Or should we leave this until the trial date, which may be some time in November? Should we have the solicitor write a letter stating that the father does not agree with the contents of the report? If so, who should he adress it too.

Thank you in anticipation.

PS - her affidavit was also full of lies, which the father has gone some way to addressing in his affidavit. This just gives me a bit of a gut feeling that the report writer did not read any of the court documents.
My son had a report done which overall was not a complete disaster, but this individual also had glaring incorrect things written, when if documents were read these would have not been in the report. For example she had all records from a contact centre and yet she said there was contact twice a fortnight. Contact was at best twice a month with only 9 visits in 8 months. Yet this report writer said the mother was also facilitating a close bond for the child with the father. Absolute rubbish, but that is her opinion and we go to final with that report. Mother an angel again.
I did 1 of these recently

Mother told report writer lies which has already been disproved in another court advised report writer of this

mother claimed I was seeking contact with children as I am still inlove with her Report writer berated me for bringing my younger child from current partner.

Report writer continually asked about relationship with ex, when I refused to discuss past and wanted to discuss current issues report writer advised run out of time.

Report writer did not mention at all abuse I had advised of nor did report writer advise  the observation of myself with children lasted all of 20 mins in court childcare facility with mother looking in with this being first contact in 6 months as court has facilitated parental alienation by erring on the side of caution continuously.

report writer stated children had no interaction with younger sibling despite advising me  that children had a wonderful time with younger sibling whilst i was in father interview as reported by family court childcare worker.

report writer claimed only 1 issue for court to decide despite my telling her DHS closed investigation as mother advised court investigating. I had lodged a complaint with the DHS minister of that state as No investigations had taken place despite my calling DHS on 6 different occasions for 6 different cases of abuse and neglect inflicted apon my children and closed at initial contact with mother by her simply saying court is investigating and he is being vexatious to make me look bad in court.

it seems plainly obvious if I tell report writer I have proof of abuse and am happy to provide it to court despite noone  investigating that it must at least be mentioned in family report.



Hearing is set for couple of weeks prior to christmas as judge wants to wrap up case before end of year as he is working on a "project" to lessen time for cases.

You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cant fool all of the people all of  the time unless they work for CSA and youre a Payee:)
My experience a a Family Report was just one of a great many negative experiences in the Family Court. A private report by a child pyschologist costs more money but is always preferable as the assessor at least has some education. The Family Report is done by Family Court operatives who are inculcated with the prejudices of that Court and they are uniformly anti-men. I am sorry, this sounds like the rantings of the angry but this was three years ago, thus all history now, and is fact. Specifically, I had endured a horror separation with my wife adandoning us all summer holidays for her personal hobbies, and with me alone left with a toddler two summers running. I have no family in Australia. Then she took off with her toy boy as I held down a senior job and cared for our daughter. Incidentally, she got just over 50:50 care as a reward and the Family Report painted me as a recluse with insufficient social skills to form normal human relationships. The fact is that I manage a large team of creative people effectively, have friends all over the country and was simply buggered after being a more-or-less full time carer. The supercilious assessor had her mind made up and pandered to my wife's one-act play. She then engineered a 20-minute 'play session' in the court office during which she claimed to have the skills to appraise our individual relationships with our daughter. Curious that the same child that this single young woman judged as joined to her mother at the hip has been inseparable from me (metaphorically) all her life. So, the lesson: avoid the Family Court - they have a manual of man hatred. And avoid Family Reports generated by them at all costs - they'll crucify you. This is, even by the high standards of the court, especially heartbreaking because unlike the frenzy that surrounds it which is all about grabbing handfuls of cash (i.e. the lawyers and the wife in equal measure), the Family Report goes to heart of one's personal relationship with a child and thus one's soul. Like some of the less savoury regimes in history, one has to grudgingly admire their efficiency.

Right to Choose?

Hi there,

 In regard to having a Family Report done at the court - am I allowed to choose a psychologist to do a private report at my own cost? Is my ex allowed to say no if he just doesn't like the idea that "I've chosen". I'm expecting that if I did/do have the right a make a choice on psychologist, my ex would contest this simply because it's an idea of mine, in fact, I know that my ex would.
 The reason I'm asking is that there is a Doctor that all my children have been to see a few times and they love him - he's really funny and makes them feel very comfortable. My children are very shy and I think he would really make any conversation needed with just the children a lot easier for them. He is not my Doctor, I have a different Doctor of my own and have been told by the staff at his practice that he carries degrees in Medicine, Psychology and Law and is often involved in legal matters.
 I'm not even sure if he would do it at this stage but am just wondering if it's a right I have and if the other party is saying no to it, just because it's an idea I have but not based on any real complaint other than spite, can the decision still be made to change/use this Doctor?
 Surely if it's going to make it easier on the children then that would be a bonus and help to keep their anxiety down.

 Regards…..

Care when Family Reports are called for.

My husband's marriage break-up was a nightmare, and a large part of the decisions against him were documented in a Family Court report, which actually stated that he should not take offense at his children taunting him with racist names. The mother filled the children's head with massive untruths about their father and as he could not see them to dispute this, the court believed the mother. Alas, he has never seen or been in contact with his children for 15 years and the Mother's nacissistic personality destroyed the relationship he had with his children. He was (and is to my kids) an excellent Dad who did tireless community work and was a role model as a father. Basically, the Family Court sanctioned the children to never see their Father, and my husband did not want to put the kids throught the stress of having to choose between either parent. Even now he has accepted (now they are adults), he will never be a part of their lives again as the bonds and relationship between him and his kids had been permanently severed. He seems to understand this better than most because he was bought up in and Orphanage. My advice is to pay to obtain a private report that the court will acknowledge, and therefore the info this provides will not be bias against one of the father.
Family reports are only bias by who is a good liar and believable over the person telling the truth. I am the mother with 2 bad family reports under my belt, each time it was a new story despite my medical records being subpoenaed and a psych report on me ordered and clearing me the report writers still believed the ex that i had been diagnosed with a mental illness and required ongoing help.
Despite evidence to disprove his lies they still prefer to believe him than look at the truth. A independent psych report paid for by victims of crime on me and the children was ignored by everyone and even criticized by one reporter yet the psych had higher qualifications than the family report writer.
My children could reciet the nasty words my ex said about me and my partner but the report writer choose to say this was coaching from my end WTF!. so as i said i believe it is whoever is the best actor wins.
Yes, I think Kaz's story is heart-rending but sadly not likely to be hyperbole. That's about how the court works, aiding and abetting family breakup and all the time claiming to be acting in the child's best interest. How here husband's children have been served by total estrangement, not to mention THEIR children, can only be comprehended by a lawyer. The 'child's best interest' is a mindless mantra that does not extend beyond the court's own self-serving prejudices. As for the report, it will clearly only have impact if the assessment is by a mutually agreed professional. A family doctor sounds implausible to me but then, to be rather frank and brutal, if it were the wife's family doctor it woudl probably carry great weight. if it were the husband's it'd be laughed out of court.    
I feel obliged to say its a sad state of affairs when so so many feel aggrieved by family reports. I do understand they have a job to do and all that and I do understand they are just human and can be fooled by accomplished  compulsive liars and I do know mothers who feel they have been wronged by family reports.



I just think its disturbing that courts place such great emphasis on these reports specifically when judges are aware its ussually a once off  interview and observation.

I think this is foremost when it is done in the courts complex

In my instance the judge was walking around in the building so either he is terrifically stupid or he just doesnt give a rats about the fact observation is 20 minutes only and the other parent is no more than a room away whether that be the lives with parent or the non lives with parent.

Why is it so that every other human being on this entire planet can understand that 20 minutes is insufficient to make a life altering decision for someone who cannot make that decision for themselves.

If 1 of the parties were to pull out a weapon sure  1 minute is enough but otherwise how could  someone assess a relationship between parent and child in 20 minutes even moreso how can this be done when there has been court sanctioned denial of contact under the guise of erring on the side of caution.

eg: after first mention  allegations are made of sexual nature parent denied access erring on the side of caution …. family reporter observes for 20 mins a parent interacting with there 2 year old child who has not seen parent for 12 months . judge then makes decision heavily based on family report recommendations.

thats not my example just a hypothetical but i am certain has probably occured already anyway.

You can fool some of the people some of the time but you cant fool all of the people all of  the time unless they work for CSA and youre a Payee:)

Thanks

Thanks for all the responses to this. It's such a daunting prospect and I've had a talk with a lady who was a court reporter writer for years and she seems to think that it's best to stick with the court appointed person as a private one costs so much money and making changes would need to be okayed by all parties - which could be difficult.

It's quite a daunting prospect and while I didn't have any worries about a report being done to begin with, after reading the many threads/forums/replies - it's really beginning to hit home how important this short amount of time with a stranger essentially, can effect the final outcome of orders, especially when my ex can be so charming. I hope thought they see people for who they really are and are experienced enough to read between the lines because sometimes it really is hard to hide your true colours to someone who is trained in this area and has such experience.

It's nice to have faith and hope that all is fair and all are treated equally but I'm having doubts. Hmmm, a sad state of affairs really.

 Regards…..
Yes, this is a contrivance that is intolerable. People's lives hang on such flimsy processes. It is NOT a matter of the practitioners having 'normal human failings' or 'doing their best', there is simply no excuse for this standard of assessment when the future of children and decent people hang on the outcome.  
Read an interesting comment in a judgement once along the lines of the fact that family reports are nothing but "a happy snapshot of life", and even in my trial the judge admitted they are flawed in many ways, but it is at this point in time all they have to work with.

Best tip - go through the report and mark up incorrect or false throughout it. Think of what you have to support this, and discredit the report writer on the witness stand under cross examination. They tend to talk in hypotheticals on the stand, and you can get specific, and refer to articles etc.

My 2nd report writer was no better than the first, and didn't feel that a 2 year IVO protecting me and my son was a significant development since we'd last met….

They will not make you go back to someone you have no faith in or respect for - hence how I got a 2nd report writer, but they are all as bad as each other as far as I'm concerned. So, go the free one!!
Yes, probably good advice. The depth of the conspiracy to bring men to heel in the Family Court is hard to comprehend. One's entire sense of fairness and core values is what defines our day-to-day morality and for many, the court is the first encounter with quite foreign belief system. This is a shock to many ordinary citizens (it was to me). so you find yourself returning instinctively to the core values we got in childhood after each re-buff. The art is having your eyes open and expecting nothing resembling decency or fairness. Rather, as srlsurvivor says, it is a matter of adhering to evidence and logic and hoping for a tepid imitation of justice. This leaves many men crushed but until we have a system that is uncorrupted by phony justice and greed, it is all we have to hold on to. My experience is to gather evidence and documentation avidly as the slide towards a court case looks inevitable (years out if you can face it!). Evidence is only tested very loosely in the court and the more you have, the better off you might be. Volume counts. Affidavits can be 100-200 pages of fantasy and the judge will rarely question its veracity. Sad but true.  
In my humble opinion there is an incestuous relationship between the family court judiciary and their in house family reporters.  I refer to
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Mickey Mouse Justice Barry who did not even try to defend his ex-parte communication with his family reporter. In my view most in-house family reporters are underqualified BA social workers who will follow the judicial line for a safe cross-examination. One cant go wrong recommending lives with mum.

The family doctor suggestion is a joke. Seek and if necessary ask for a court order for a specialist forensic psychologist with PhD credentials and creditability in court. These people are well known within the industry. Ask for a MMPI-2 and PSI to be included in the evaluation. This cost for a private consultant is $2500-$3500. If the recommendations lead to a settlement before trial or prevent a trial screw-up/over  it is money well spent. The family report will always trump 200 pages of affidavit fantasy. Happy snapshot is the cliched rejection excuse for unconventional paternal recommendations.
Ben said
 Evidence is only tested very loosely in the court and the more you have, the better off you might be.
Affidavit Evidence is tested via cross examination and to imply it is tested loosely only indicates the skill level of the person doing the cross examination.  
Ben said
Volume counts.
On the contrary, excessive story book Affidavits can turn a Court off very quickly.
Ben said
Affidavits can be 100-200 pages of fantasy and the judge will rarely question its veracity.  
The Judge is there to determine the case. Determining the veracity of Affidavits is part of cross examination and then the Judge can decide how accurate or inaccurate are it contents.

SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
SRL-Resources. Your points about the size of affidavits and testing of evidence under cross-examination are well made but are only theoretically true. In other words, there is a mild admonishment for long-winded affidavits that come from women but they are largely taken at face value because it is deemed that a woman's insights into the life of a family are more credible than a man's. When cross examination occurs on such affidavits, it comes down to the wife's opinion vs the husband's and my observation is that the wife's prevails. Maybe with some protest from the husband's barrister, maybe with some call for independent evidence and maybe with some irritation towards the wife but in the end, her story will trump yours unless you have a killer piece of evidence to offer up. You might be right about long affidavits from men but in the absence of natural justice, size is often one all has to turn to. I could go into the outrageous claims I have read in affidavits, often brazen lies, but will desist.
Ben said
SRL-Resources. Your points about the size of affidavits and testing of evidence under cross-examination are well made but are only theoretically true.
Ben, SRL-R and its Execs have assisted with many hundreds of cases and we always point out that the theory and practice of Family Law are different issues.
Ben said
In other words, there is a mild admonishment for long-winded affidavits that come from women but they are largely taken at face value because it is deemed that a woman's insights into the life of a family are more credible than a man's. When cross examination occurs on such affidavits, it comes down to the wife's opinion vs the husband's and my observation is that the wife's prevails.
Your observation and participation in how many cases? With respect you should not be posting such so called fact comments in a forum unless you truly understand the processes and can write from experience of a broad range of cases. Opinion has NO place in an Affidavit - it can be challenged and struck out so it does NOT come down to wife vs husband OPINION it comes down to how the Judge perceives the reliability of facts in each parties Affidavit.
Ben said
Maybe with some protest from the husband's barrister, maybe with some call for independent evidence and maybe with some irritation towards the wife but in the end, her story will trump yours unless you have a killer piece of evidence to offer up.
Affidavits are NOT stories, they are fact documents, opinion and form are challengeable.
Ben said
You might be right about long affidavits from men but in the absence of natural justice, size is often one all has to turn to. I could go into the outrageous claims I have read in affidavits, often brazen lies, but will desist.
We are right about long Affidavits from either side, Each extra page gives the option of a greater range of challenges as more pages often equals contradiction to other paragraphs.

SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
Well it all swings on the first point - the divergence between theory and practice. The theory is exquisitely symmetrical - the practice quite something else. And your implication that I have not had any breadth of experience is based on the assumption that I have no connection with the practice of family law nor any intimate connection with cases other than my own.
Ben said
Well it all swings on the first point - the divergence between theory and practice. The theory is exquisitely symmetrical - the practice quite something else.
This is not the site to indulge in semantics. It deals with the application of Family Law.
Ben said
And your implication that I have not had any breadth of experience is based on the assumption that I have no connection with the practice of family law nor any intimate connection with cases other than my own.
With respect your postings so far indicate that. They have been inaccurate and misleading to site readers and so far show little knowledge of what actually occurs at the 'pointy end of the stick'.

SRL-Resources. the Family Law People on this site (look for the Avatars) www.srl-resources.org  Non gender Professional and peer support for SRLs. Closed site, no public forums, no search engines, no lurkers, guests or the other side and their Lawyer and Friends.
Ben every so often this site gets people with mysterious backgrounds who make out they know something special about family law only to become unstuck or revealed as one case wonders.
Going head to head with the SRLR people who also moderate the Family Law sections means you are up against some very very Court savvy people. They wont let you peddle incorrect information on this site.
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