At the beginning of the divorce my first attorney went into court on an emergency motion (I did not go to court) as my husband had moved out of the marital residence and left me with a $1.00 in our joint account. I worked part time but mostly a stay at home mom after the birth of our second child. The judge granted me temporary residential custody of the children, exclusive possession of the marital residence and ordered temporary support. Court date set one month later.
Court date was approaching for hearing on emergency motion. My attorney informed me I had to be present. When I arrived for what was on court docket for “Hearing on defendants motion for temporary relief” I finally found my attorney in the sea of people and he introduced me to my husbands attorney (red flag #1). My attorney told me to have a seat on the bench and wait outside the courtroom. (Red flag #2) Everyone else was going inside the courtroom with their attorneys. (red flag #3) My husband was not present.
After what seems like eternity, my attorney comes out of courtroom. He proceeds to tell me no hearing was held and my husband through his attorney had filed a motion for a custody evaluation. I was dumbfounded – a zillion questions going through my mind. I was given no explanation but rather a piece of paper with the evaluators name and number and told to contact her within 7 days. I called the evaluator who I will refer to as Dr. E (Aka: Dr. Evil). Dr. E. told me to contact my attorney as he was given the packet that I needed and it contained all the answers to my questions. Dr. E. refused to let me make an appointment until I had the packet.
I immediately placed a call to my attorney and for a week was given run around by his secretary. When I finally was able to make contact with him he said he had the packet in my file and would have his assistant mail it. Two weeks later no packet.
I was beyond discouraged, fear was consuming me like no other along with a gut feeling that something was completely wrong with this picture. I did a complete 360 and took it upon myself to find answers. I contacted friends, read every law book I could get my hands on, anybody I knew who could help me navigate through this process. A resource referred me to the local circuit rules for my county. The findings: Rule 8.17 (A) (2) Pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 905 (b) IV, mediation is mandatory for all child custody and visitation issues. I sat their in my chair with tears streaming down my face and fueled with more questions than ever. “Why did we bypass mediation?” “How did this happen?”, “Why didn’t my attorney tell me I had the choice to request mediation?”
I called my attorney immediately – he had a lot of explaining to do. I remember placing the call and my attorney getting on the phone and providing me with some BS answer. I wanted to SCREAM! ” I might be naive, but I’m certainly not dumb.” At that point, I knew he did not have my best interest at heart. I fired him, filed a complaint with the ARDC and interviewed numerous attorneys and finally retained new counsel. Of course, this was a two month process in the courtroom of filing motions for substitution of attorneys. Then another month to get my file. Meanwhile the custody evaluator still lingering in limbo.
After receiving and reviewing my little file (I’m still wondering where the volomous amounts of discovery I had to turn in went) my new counsel (attorney #2) told me to call the custody evaluator back and make an appointment as we were way past the 30 day mark to do anything about going to mediation. My 3rd call to Dr. E., I gave her my name and told her I needed to make an appointment. Dr. E. responded with this “You realize I’m going to be making decisions for the best interest of the children and you can’t even make a simple appointment.” I was like, WOW this lady has just formed an opinion of me without ever meeting me. I did everything by the book and by what my attorneys told me to do.
At that moment, after my brief conservation with Dr. E. I realized she had already sided with my soon to be ex. I had to meet with her four times (one of those times with the children and I) over the course of several months with my soon to be ex alternating his appointments between mine. On my first meeting with Dr. E. she was not pleasant in fact her demeanor was of an angered woman. She had me come inside her office which was a cluttered mess. I sat in chair opposite her and she shoved a clipboard of papers at me. One of those papers was the packet I had in my bag – the same packet she said I needed before I could make my appt. (red flag #1) she then proceeded to talk for the next 90 minutes. The last 30 minutes she handed me a psychological test the MMPI (I’ve taken a similar test before as part of employment screening in the medical field) the test was copied so many times the words were faded and then a scantron to put my answers on. (red flag #2). At the end of session she said “Time is up I need your test and scantron sheet” I handed it over and she gives me this evil grin and said “You can complete this at your next appointment” I got in the car and was thinking something is very wrong here. Later, I find out that the MMPI is to be completed in one setting and you have 90 minutes to complete the test. This is a requirement of Pearson who administers and controls the MMPI this ensures a valid score/result. (red flag #3)
The following three appointments with Dr. E. were horrific, she was rehashing information and twisting the facts. I had to repeat the same information two or three times, she appeared to be confused or later did I find out this is the way she plays games with the non favored parent. The appointment with the kids and I was a utter disaster. We arrived 5 mins early and sat in the waiting room my son found a small toy in her waiting room on the shelf and was playing with it quietly. Upon her arrival to the waiting room she said to my son. You can’t bring your own toys inside, I politely explained that it belonged in the waiting room. Dr. E. demeanor was again unwelcoming even to children, the games and toys she had were not age appropriate and the select few that were, had pieces missing. Note – Dr. E. would not let you bring outside toys or games into the parent child observation) My son, needed to use the bathroom after about an hour – he raised his hand to ask me, as I was speaking to my daughter. I asked Dr. E if we could use the restroom she pointed where it was. All three of us got up and went. We came back to the room and finished out the session.
The last appointment was heading off the slew of false allegations that my husband had submitted to her which she believed and wouldn’t even listen to me rebut them. I turned over my binder (my parent intake form, my collateral intake sheets from friends and family members had been mailed to Dr. E. by the people who completed them). The last of the appointments with Dr. E. were over. Now the wait for the written report.
I’ll back up for a second and explain that during the tenure of this custody evaluation with Dr. E. my 2nd attorney withdrew from my case because he stated “My case needed a level of support his firm didn’t have the resources to provide.” WHAT!!! I’m thinking. (Later, I’ll explain why he did this)..Through the help of a coworker I found and hired a large reputable firm that could provide the level of support and services I needed (attorney, a paralegal. A law clerk, another attorney ) This third law firm came into play at the end of the custody evaluation. Note – I’m still with this firm four years later.
My third attorney is a young renound guy that came out of the gates fighting like a tiger. He also did some checking on my custody evaluator and told me that she had a reputation of picking a favorite, and it was usually the party that paid her. Great, I was thinking my husband paid her over $10,000. My new attorney said don’t be surprised if the report doesn’t come back in your favor. He then proceeded to explain the next steps if that should happen. A second custody evaluation called a 604.5 who would investigate and do the evaluation over again. Means more paperwork, more psychological tests, more appointments and even then it wasn’t a guarantee it would come out in my favor. Last, but not least, I would have to pay for this report myself. The wait begins for Dr. E. report.
In the meantime I searched all over the internet trying to find cases she had done and her outcome. What I found is the following reviews people left about Dr. E.
REVIEWS on Dr. E. take from vitals.vom, webmd.com: NOTE: over 100 negative reviews on this Dr.
1) I am rating this person on her for the participation in a child custody evaluation.
Dr. performed an evaluation so poorly and so deplorably that it is with much sadness that I have to give this poor review. I would like to be able to write something different, but sadly that is not the case. She was hired by the other party to perform the evaluation and she is not unbiased. She only sides with the person who is paying her and she is also referred to do this work by another completely corrupt supposedly “child advocate” in the family court system. I have never been so disturbed by anything as I have been until I was involved with the family courts. This is nothing more than a money making business and the people involved have no concern at all for CHILDREN. I have done a lot of research in the field and sadly this is an epidemic and she is heavily involved with this rampant corruption. She needs to have her license revoked for her shoddy and unprofessional behavior as well as her colleagues that are also involved. –
2) Horrible individual. Needs to have her license revoked. She threatened me in her office. She intimidated my child in an interview for 40 minutes into giving her information. Made the child draw pictures and told the child what to draw so as to say she made a determination of the child’s feelings from the drawings. Is only interested in the person who pays for the service in a custody evaluation. Was given two contact people by me three times and never once bothered to call the people. She should never be allowed to do another evaluation again in her life and is going to reported to the medical board for her conduct. Her intimidation tactics used on my child will not go unpunished.
3) No idea who decided this woman deserves a professional license; she couldn’t observe her way out of a bag. In addition to possessing very poor communication and research skills, she presents as vapid, shallow and extremely petty. Her general life knowledge seems limited, and she projects her own issues on others. It’s doubtful she’s spent any significant time with children. Stay FAR away…
4) I have read most of the reviews on this website and it saddens me to know that other families have been ruined by this “Dr.”. It terrifies me to think how many evaluations have been screwed up due to her incompetence and laziness. Although she uses the term frequently she does not “investigate” anything. In my honest opinion Dr. was very confused on the circumstance presented to her and instead of actually looking into the situation or using any common sense or psychology she would pick a side and write her report to support her coin flip. Her report on my case had so many contradictions as well as things that were just blatantly left out. I know a lot of the reviews have said they have reported her to different agencies. If anyone has had any luck please let me know. I would definitely like to share my experiences and hopefully this person can never decide a child’s fate again. Im reporting her to the Division of Professional Regulation. I am genuinely sorry to hear that other people have had a similar experience as me and that innocent children are getting raised by unhealthy parents because one person is in a field that she has no business being in. If anyone is reading these reviews because their attorney wants to appoint Dr. to their case please ask for another option.
5) I brought in my 7 yr old foster daughter, who has a chronic history of severe emotional, behavioral & learning disabilities due to a history of extensive abuse, for a psychological evaluation with Dr. . Dr. was condescending, rigid & lacked compassion throughout the evaluation, and failed to provide positive reinforcement or encouragement. Her office was welcoming & cozy and we were able to get an appointment quickly, but her approach is not effective with kids from severe trauma.
6) Dr. is known in family court circles as being corrupt. Video tape all your sessions and make her sign for all the documents you give her, she will deny receiving them. Vitals.com frequently takes down reviews, so go to ratemds.com for a full review of this child predator.
7) Dr. was court appointed to perform my child custody evaluation in 2007 and her name still haunts me to this day. Occasionally I will search her name in hopes that she is out of business. Unfortunately, by the looks of the reviews below Dr. is still allowed to practice. Sadly, my experiences with Dr. mirror much of what I have read in the reviews below. During the “couple” of sessions I had with her, she did not talk or ask very many questions. Rather, she set me up with a chewed up pencil and written tests that were recopied so many times they didn’t line up on the sheet of paper anymore. Dr. always accepted paperwork from me, but used little to NONE of my information in her evaluation? Ironically, Dr. used a lot of information from my ex-husband AND his FAMILY MEMBERS which included a lot of bashing and unjustified claims from a father and family proven not involved with my child physically or financially? Dr.’s final recommendation was “in favor of my ex-husband, though not a strong recommendation.” Yes, this is how Dr. worded her recommendation. Needless to say, due to Dr.’s inability to do her job and provide a proper recommendation a 2nd evaluation was needed $10,000 later. Fortunately, the second evaluation was prepared by an honest evaluator, who provided a solid recommendation in my favor. Sadly I had to go through the abuse of Dr. first. In addition to the nonsense I dealt with above, Dr. would leave during our EXPENSIVE sessions to put money in her parking meter. One appointment she left me outside in the rain for 20 minutes before buzzing me in, all while I continued to ring the bell and call her office for 20 minutes straight. You would think that a professional would be concerned with a client’s whereabouts when they are 20 minutes late for a very expensive appointment? Nope, she buzzed me in and offered no explanation or apology. Also, Dr. would not provide me with a statement for her services after 3 email requests. Rather, she had her lawyer send me a Cease & Desist letter. I filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General, Fraud Bureau and they were able to obtain a statement from Dr. I also filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and my complaint remained posted online for quite some time. I’m truly sorry for anyone that has had to deal with This Dr. and her destructive work ethic. I promise to stay vigilant and continue to post my experience in hopes that more people will do the same.
Stay tuned –