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Conflict and Sole Parental Responsibility
(30-Aug-2015, 05:37 PM)TimWalters Wrote: Hi Dr Gee,

I am about to meet the family report writer next week, and I will be seeing him with my soon-to-be ex-wife and our child, apparently together in the same room.

Is this normal practice?

I am really paranoid that my ex will try and 'game' the session and try to get into an argument with me, to try and prove that we cannot negotiate on important matters relating to our kids.

She is asking for sole custody, and her argument is that we cannot stand being in the same room with each other.

And she is right to a degree, because she always blames me for everything, like a few weeks ago our eldest boy got a runny nose, and she went to great pains to calculate that he caught the bug while he was with me.

It is these relentlessly malicious comments that eventually get under my skin, and I would like to know that whether the Report Writer cares about right or wrong, or does he simply think "well, they can't get along so its best for the kids that the mother has sole parental responsibility".

if it is important that I just get along, then I will do that, because the last thing my kids need is for me to lose the little contact I do have, but I just need to know whether it is the existence of conflict on its that determine whether sole responsibility is given, or whether family report writers judge who is being malicious and for what reasons?

Hi, Tim,

Each FRW will approach the situation from a particular angle, based on what they've been provided with. I've recently heard of one where the father was denied an interview because "I've heard everything I need to know from the mother."  At least you're not being gagged.  

It is likely that the FRW wants to see if her claim about not being able to communicate is true, and if so, who is it that is refusing to communicate. Remember the old phrase "give someone enough rope to hang themself"?  You can play this as an opportunity to let the ex do the needling, trying to provoke you, and when you start getting angry, treat it as an opportunity to show your anger management skills.  As the FRW for a short break, because "you always need to calm down a bit when she tries to pick a fight this way."  Think of some 'canned phrases' you can use in response to what you predict her attempts to manipulate you will be, and repeat ad nauseuam. "Look, I'm not taking that bait, we're supposed to be here for the kids."  "Can you please stay on topic, which is how we're going to co-parent?"  The FRW will have to be pretty blind not to see you being the rational party while the other 'gaslights' you. And if you *do* need to go out for a short break because your temper is flaring, try some of these:
In particular, plan ahead, and make sure you get some sleep the night before. You can be 'off your game' if you're not well-rested, and that is where she might push you to make a slip-up. Keep in mind that YOU, not her, are in control of YOU, and that you won't play the game, and you should go well. 

Best of luck,  let us know how you go.



Messages In This Thread
RE: Conflict and Sole Parental Responsibility - Dr Travis Gee - 02-Sep-2015, 11:21 AM

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