Mediation between myex and I was a spectacular failure. He was not going to budge one inch. We tried to more or less to appease him without giving away the farm, but he was stubbornly steadfast. I was supremely disappointed that this custody battle was going to rage on.
It's one thing to know or think you're the better choice to have primary custody of the child, it's another thing entirely to prove it to the court. Custody battles are more or less she said, he said. Bringing in friends and family to testify on your behalf is not really going to help your case, because OF COURSE they're going to support your side. It's calling in daycare, doctors, teachers, and so forth. Thing is, in my case, the daycare is most likely INCREDIBLY reluctant to say anything at all. I don't blame her, if she says something negative it'll damage the relationship. Hell, the other person might even try to get a new daycare.
So, we are bringing in a guardian ad litem. This person knows truly nothing about either one of us, just what answers we wrote on the form sent out, and what the witnesses for our side said about us. Let's observe at this from the outside looking in: you're going to make yourself out to be Ward/June Cleaver. You have to list what concerns you have about your ex without sounding like you're bad mouthing them. You have to list your weaknesses but make them sound as if they're minimal. It's a very fine line you're walking.
You are basically in a competition to see who's the better parent. Who's more involved, who has the better environment, who "cares" for the child more- you or him? Not to mention practically every single thing you do is under a microscope. What do you feed the child? Hows' your driving record? What are your finances like? How reliable is your vehicle? The GAL report is the word of God to the judge. Yes, you can try to disprove the things s/he said in the report, but nonetheless, the judge will probably not give it much credence. The GAL has seen and heard it all, done this a hundred times. They know what to look for, and the judge knows that. You haven't done this before, so just because you think what they said isn't "fair" for lack of a better term, doesn't mean much. Of course you think you're the better parent, so if the GAL disagrees, you're going to refute whatever s/he said that made them come to that conclusion. Legally speaking, this makes absolute sense. It's a very sound idea. Of course, when it involves you personally, that's a whole different ball game, isn't it?
Waiting is the hardest part. Did the GAL get your answers on time? What did they think? What did they think of my exes answers? When are they going to come to my house and do the interview? What are they thinking? What's going to end up in the report? When will I see the report? All of these things swirl around in my brain constantly. I have nothing to hide in my house, I know I provide a clean, safe, fun and loving environment. But will she see it that way? I won't know until I see the report, and I don't know how long that will be. Until then I agonize over what s/he said, and what they determined. I go to trial in the spring. Until then I wait and wait and wait to see what the GAL says, what's our strategy? What do you think his attorney is going to use as a strategy? Again: waiting.
So, I wait. And I wait. And then I wait some more.