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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-19-2010, 03:53 PM
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Default Access & Distance / Child Support Problems

After more than a year in litigation trying to argue my motion and then failing to settle our dispute. Now I am going to Trial to fight for what I feel is right.

I am a Father who divorced, moved nearby so the transition to our children would be lessened, near the same friends, school and family.

My ex-spouse moved 100km away about a year ago to live with boyfriend claiming severe financial distress. I do not agree with my one child, who still shares equal time with us both, having to drive back and forth for the school year during her parenting time which is currently every 2 and 3 days at a time. I do wish to keep a one week with each parent for the summer and split holidays up because I feel it important, my son has chosen to stay solely with me for his own reasons.

My ex-spouse is paying me child support, not because I want it but because I currently need it. My wife is moving here from the US and is currently not able to work in Canada until her work visa is approved as I am also Sponsoring her, and she has applied for Permanent Residency as well. Once she is working I don't want a dime from my ex-spouse for our children.

The problem is, my ex-spouse has forced me to take legal action for both access as well as Child Support. She continually states I should "be a man and not take support", "live within my means", "reduce child support to what is fair for her". Meanwhile, she lowered her yearly income by over $30,000 but claimed severe financial distress as her reason to move in with her boyfriend and now claims me to blame for her having to change jobs and lowering her income as well as mental stress. We're both under a lot of stress because of this, both our children are also under a great deal because of this...I have had to maintain my full position.

In my opinion, this has always been about the money to her and little concern of what a 100km move has done to our children. I wish I did not have to accept Child Support but it is fact. She should also be concerned for the financial well-being of our children instead of continually looking for a way to lower child support. I heard that some dead beat parents have gone as far as cease employment to go on welfare just to spite the ex-spouse and not have to pay child support, and that disgusts me greatly.

I am waiting for my Trial Court date and my lawyer (who is only appears partially helpful) said it should only take a single day. But being a guy I find it just a bit harder to fight for what is right. The moment she turns on the waterworks and says anything true or not, she is heard but when I make any objection to a false statement or make any point I feel shunned by the Judge.

I'm so scared of losing my children, wanting to give them what I feel is a more stable environment in the comfort of their familiar environment near friends and family.

Any advice or things to keep in mind or what I should be focusing on. I have no idea what to expect in a Trial, if it is a private Courtroom or anything.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-19-2010, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
"reduce child support to what is fair for her".
Table Guidelines exist for a reason. Child support is the right of the child, not the parent. Even if you do not NEED the money, she should still be contributing to the care and upkeep of the child. If you don't need it once your wife begins working, then stuff it into an RESP or something.

Quote:
Meanwhile, she lowered her yearly income by over $30,000
Financial disclosure, 3 years of tax returns, and she needs a damn good reason why she shouldn't be assessed an income she is clearly capable of making...you push that and you have a good chance of having it inputted.

Yes, as a father you face an uphill battle, but you have status quo on your side, and judges will be loath to break that. SHE made the decision to move 100km away, and you son chose to stay with you.

How hold is your son? Depending on his age, his wishes may be given some weight in court. Having the child being subjected to a 100km drive is clearly not in their best interests during the school year, I would hope that now that it is currently summer you are being reasonable, flexible and generous with access for her, with the understanding that once school begins it's not going to be as feasible.

By the sounds of things, you are in a very good position to maintain what you have.
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Old 08-19-2010, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ConcernedDad71 View Post
She continually states I should "be a man and not take support", "live within my means", "reduce child support to what is fair for her".
If she wants to spout that drivel, remind her that the term deadbeat doesn't have to be only about dads.

Seriously though, those statements are rationalizations and she would be a fool to make them in court.
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:08 PM
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Thank you for your response. I was told by a couple of lawyers to go forward with Child Support for the children even if I don't need it and bank it for their future needs.

My son is 14 years old, daughter is 8. He does not like where his mother lives, does not like her boyfriend, a bit envious that his little sister continually receives gifts by his mother but told if he does not go out to visit he won't get anything. So, animosity continues to grow and he is feeling a lot of anger toward his mother.

The worst part is the level of bribery and brainwashing she does to my daughter. Things like "you cannot really love your new stepmother, she will never be a part of you", "you are not allowed to call her mom", "if you live with me I will put you in ballet", "don't you want to ride a school bus to school, you can if you live here". And then there is the continual gifts and financial love instead of quality love and a structured and stable environment that I feel important.

I have tried to make my stand in court a number of time arguing motion after motion but the Judge cock's his head toward me and focuses on her waterworks and stories of her hurt and out of work boyfriend.

She is not the person I met, clearly. 17 years of marriage and wow, not to be able to say "we don't seem to be able to make this work anymore, but we should try to be friendly toward each other divorced, at least for the kids". ...she loves to fight and will go until she gets a win, at all costs. (kids)
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Old 08-20-2010, 12:27 PM
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Your son is old enough where his wishes will basically be ratified by the court. He can make his own decisions on whether he wants to visit or not.

Your daughter is NOT. At 8, she cannot make those decisions and thus you will need to ensure that you lay out access very clearly.
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Old 08-23-2010, 03:24 PM
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I feel confident about my situation. Some other questions are things like, why did my lawyer and the judge speak of setting up a one day trial, my lawyer said it would only take a day?

What are some things I should be prepared to prove or show the court?
Her stability with her residence and strange relationship situation?
I do not want to make this a circus but I do not wish this to go on and on either.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:22 PM
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You want to ask for status quo of you having sole custody with residential care and control (THAT is important, it means YOU have final say on any major decisions respective to the kids, barring a court order), table amounts of CS, for her to pay a proportional share of the children's special expenses, for her to do the transportation one way to begin her access (and you or your designate will pick them up to end it) and for her to keep whatever the access she currently enjoys.

You want to make a formal offer to settle as per the above prior to your hearing date. IF she refuses, then you want to also ask for costs.

Stick with the facts. If you have school registration forms showing YOUR home as the primary residence, include them. Ditto any kind of email communication that lays out the existing status quo (regardless of whether she responded or not).

If her living arrangements are unstable, by all means make small mention of them. It's important, but not terribly so if she's only going to have EOW access or similar. It should be a bullet point, but I wouldn't dwell overmuch on it.

You want to focus primarily on the fact that the kids are well settled with you (affidavits from teacher's, pastor's, doctor's, dentists, etc are all helpful with this), that what you are asking is the status quo and has been for X amount of time. Basically whatever you call pull out that will back that up.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:37 PM
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We have a recent Order to 1 week with each for the Summer, the Judge said he has no idea what we are going to do for the school year.

She lives 100km away from me, from their school and everything they have known their entire life.

She has been exercising her access 50% of the time at this residence 100km away, she has been doing all the driving for pick up and drop offs.

It was almost a year ago that the Clerk at the Case Conference Brief told her that status quo stands, the kids stay here, but she didn't listen and Judge has not ruled it either.

I have tried to settle with her for a very long time, but she wants what she wants and I guess she can say the same about me, except I did not move away from my children and want to keep things the same, she did.

So, how come it seems I am having a single day for a trial, no mention of a pre trial hearing.
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:39 PM
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Looks like you are proceeding right to trial as your ex is being unreasonable. Have you asked your lawyer what information you are going to need to bring with you?
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Old 08-23-2010, 04:53 PM
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He said he will call me with a date to go in and talk to him. No idea when that will be, could end up being the day of trial and not know until that morning. lol

I'm not saying he is not good at what he does as he has been doing this for many years and has a very good track record, but I feel left in the dark and stressed out a lot not knowing what to expect or when dates are set.
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