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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 10-28-2009, 06:52 PM
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Default Advice for a First Appearance? Wife claiming abuse...refuses access! Help please???

Considering many of us have been through court, we've all had a First Appearance....

My best guy friend asked me to post a list of questions on here and get as many opinions/advice/direction from anyone he could...

(He doesn't trust my opinion 100% because I am a woman ). He thinks his experiences will be different from mine, because he is a man!

We all know that the Family Court Process is unpredictable, and he is hoping that with enough information, he may have some clue as to what to expect.... everyone's experiences are different!!!

3 months ago, his wife of 6 years changed the locks and installed a security system while he was at work... and left his clothes on the front lawn. She is claiming spousal abuse and wont let him see his 5 year old son.

She has threatened that if he even steps foot on the property, she'll have him charged.

She did this before with her 1st child's father and won sole custody, CS, SS, and the guy sees the child once a month under his mothers supervision!... So I guess she thinks she'll get the same result this time.

I know she has no proof of abuse, (he'd never hit her...), but Police sometimes lay charges first and ask questions later. He can't afford a Family Law Lawyer AND a Criminal Lawyer at the same time.

Please.... any help with the questions and any insight from ANYONE would be appreciated....

At his first appearance he will see a Clerk and not a Judge, correct?

And that the Clerk checks to make sure everything is filed properly?

If both of the parties haven't filed the required financial disclosure, or other papers what happens?

Does he have to qualify for Legal Aid to speak to Duty Counsel?

Can he ask for an Interim Order for Access at the First Appearance, or does he have to wait until after the Case Conference?

Can she ask for an Interim Order for CS? Or does she have to wait? He's been mailing her cheques so far to have a record of his payments.

Can both of the parties agree to a partial settlement? And if they do, does he draft it onto a Form 25 - General Order (Temporary)?

Can he give her an offer to settle at this stage?

Or does absolutely nothing happen until the Case Conference?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:32 PM
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Duty Counsel is free to anyone - but I have found in the past not particualrily helpful either.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by representingself View Post
He thinks his experiences will be different from mine, because he is a man!

I would agree with that. On several different levels
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:37 PM
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At his first appearance he will see a Clerk and not a Judge, correct?
Correct.

And that the Clerk checks to make sure everything is filed properly?
Correct. And the Clerk sets a Case Conference date.

If both of the parties haven't filed the required financial disclosure, or other papers what happens?
They are ordered to file the paperwork within the time frames outlined for Case Conferences. (Usually a week before the conference.)

Does he have to qualify for Legal Aid to speak to Duty Counsel?
No. He MUST speak with Duty Counsel if he's self-representing. If he qualifies for Legal Aid, Duty Counsel may representing. Otherwise, Duty Counsel can advise him on what to do.

Can he ask for an Interim Order for Access at the First Appearance, or does he have to wait until after the Case Conference?
He can request one... it certainly won't hurt. But since the First Appearance is not in front of a Judge, he may not get one until the Case Conference (which is usually a month or two after the First Appearance).

Can she ask for an Interim Order for CS? Or does she have to wait? He's been mailing her cheques so far to have a record of his payments.
She can if she wants... but once again, it's the Clerk - not a judge - so you never know whether the request will be granted or not.

Can both of the parties agree to a partial settlement? And if they do, does he draft it onto a Form 25 - General Order (Temporary)?

Can he give her an offer to settle at this stage?

I would advise him to wait until after the Case Conference. But he should check with someone from the FLIC (Family Law Info Clinic) to see what his options are.

Or does absolutely nothing happen until the Case Conference?
Very rarely does something happen before a Case Conference. But givent he severity of the situation, I advise him to speak with a lawyer at FLIC, who will be able to answer his questions and guide him in the right direction.


Hope this helps! :-)

And if your friend asks.... this info comes from the wife of an amazing Father who has been screwed by the courts time and time again. (Sad, but true.)
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Old 10-29-2009, 01:29 AM
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Red face Some suggestions

I would recommend the following:

1. Definitely find a lawyer who can help you with this.
2. Most importantly you want to see your child - especially if she is denying you access - claiming that you have been abusive to the spouse / child. But she would definitely need to prove this at the court.

3. Never try to go down inside the house or place where she is living. This will give your ex- the ground to call the police for any reason.

4. Try to keep an account of each and every encounter you have with her - including phone conversations - what was said in the conversations. Even if you have emails etc of her.

5. Try always to talk reason - and make sure that you have can prove that you have tried to talk through reason with your ex. The judge would eventually like to see how you were trying to communicate and resolve the issues and how your spouse/ex was trying to communicate back.

6. Why i would suggest a lawyer? So that he can get you access to your child right away. If your ex is claiming that you have been abusive to the child, she would have to prove that - by police or medical reports. In case of no such claims or proof, she cannot keep your child away from you.

7. In the first case conference, you do not have to say anything if you have the lawyer. Just let the lawyer know that:

a. you want interim access to the child. Make sure that you can provide a long list of details of how you have been involved with the development of your child prior to being thrown out. For example, taking the child for swimming, school, how you have been involved with the child's homework, taking the children out for shopping, groceries, etc.

b. In the first case conference, ideally try to set a spousal support and child support. It would be good for the long run. Ofcourse the SS amount depends on how much you earn and how much she earns. Child Support is independent of what your ex earns but depends on what you earn.

c. Take one day at a time. The most important thing for you is to have access to your child. Money comes and goes and eventually the court would be able to decide that - but i think a child's life kind of depend on how the two parents cope with the situation.

Hope this helps.

Any specific questions.. write to me to torontofotographer@gmail.com
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