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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 06-22-2015, 03:16 PM
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Default Amending My Application to Sole Custody & Trial Management Conference

Advice needed please,

TMC scheduled late this summer (August) and so far my ex GF has not responded to the OTS (joint custody) I made a several weeks ago.

I know I need to make sure I get my original Application amended properly to include my seeking Sole Custody of Toddler Son as an alternative to Joint Custody before we go to trial to make sure I have my bases covered but also don't want to stir things up before I need to.

Should I file a motion to amend my application now or can I wait until TMC in August to ask our case management judge for leave to file the motion at that time?

One of the reasons I would like to wait until the TMC to escalate things is that my parenting time w overnights has been rolling along since our late April SC without any problems and we communicate regularly about toddler sons needs by text and in person at pickups and drop offs without any conflict.

Ex's last affidavit focussed on how we are unable to communicate and that there is no "reasonable prospect" of that happening. This is all she has left to try to use against me since all the false allegations to CAS, police and the courts made last year didn't get her anywhere in the end and her credibility is zilch with our case management judge.

I am in no hurry to have a trial date set while our son gets even more comfortable going back and forth between us and feel like the lack of conflict of any kind between us works in my favour.

Thoughts??

Thx in advance.
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Old 06-22-2015, 09:08 PM
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Thanks for the reply, OntarioDaddy. I am looking to add sole custody to my application as the second (alternative) option to joint custody.

Ex has been lying and high conflict since before our son was born and coming up on two years in the court system, she won't even discuss joint custody.

Her actions have proven that she can't put our son's interests first and her having sole custody would be permission for her to kick me out of our son's life if she gets upset or finds a new guy to take my place.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:37 PM
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I amended my application at my TMC. The judge wrote his permission in the endorsement and gave me 7 days. I took the original application and struck out the part I wanted removed and then wrote the new part in. At the side of the application I wrote "amended as per order of Justice *** on date***." I then had to serve the amended application and file it with the courthouse. You need the endorsement as the court clerks will check for it before filing. My understanding is that amendments should be done before trial and are looked upon poorly if the applicant/respondent waits until opening statements to make a change. You can do this at your TMC, although it may potentially push the timing of trial as your ex needs to be given the proper time to respond. The time between my TMC and my actual trial was about 6 weeks....so it was okay.
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Old 06-27-2015, 04:09 PM
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Thanks so much Annapurna for the info on the procedural aspects of amending my application to add sole.

I will definitely be asking our case management judge for this at TMC.

We don't have a trial date set yet so a delay is not a problem.
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Old 08-06-2015, 06:42 PM
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Default Self Repping at a LAO Settlement Conference

UPDATE and need advice on today's developments:

TMC held today in preparation for going ahead to trial for custody of toddler son (I want joint, ex wants sole). I got my application amended for sole custody as an alternative to joint and a few other procedural matters got taken care of but then ex's LAO lawyer started making noise about having an LAO Settlement Conference.

I'm confused and the judge was very ticked off that LAO lawyer wasted the last four months between our SC and TMC doing nothing to move the case forward. She got reamed in the judges endorsement and we were adjourned to November so she can get her s*** together.

Apparently prior to requesting approval for LAO funding for trial, LAO lawyers are required to have held a Legal Aid Ontario Settlement Conference.

The text pasted below from the LAO website says both of us have to be approved for a legal aid certificate to be able to participate and I don't qualify.

I tried searching the forum and online but found very few references to this type of conference except in relation to child protection cases (which mine is not).

Does anyone know if I can attend an LAO SC as a Self Rep Litigant and whether I would be wise to do so?

Thx in advance for any suggestions and info!

Settlement conferences | Legal Aid Ontario

Legal Aid Ontario settlement conferences are not the same as the ones that are part of the family court process, where the conferences are conducted by a judge and require a court appearance.

Unlike mediation sessions, you and the other person must already have legal aid certificates to use the settlement conference service. You will need to ask your lawyers to schedule the appointment. Each session may last up to three hours. When they end:


•if you have entered into an agreement, your lawyer may file the minutes of settlement with the court

•if you have not reached an agreement, your lawyer may request an additional settlement conference or proceed with litigation.
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Old 08-07-2015, 12:54 PM
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Dug around and found some info on Legal Aid Settlement Conferences. Will post as a new thread for easy reference under "Legal Aid Settlement Conference Program"
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungDad23 View Post
Her actions have proven that she can't put our son's interests first and her having sole custody would be permission for her to kick me out of our son's life if she gets upset or finds a new guy to take my place.
Young Dad....What are her proven actions that she doesn't put the kid as her #! priority?

Do you have any grounds that she might lose custody completely? If she is NOT unfit then how do you think you might get full custody?

I ask this because due to her claims of high conflict, one of you might get sole. Why you?
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Old 08-08-2015, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Iceberg View Post
Young Dad....What are her proven actions that she doesn't put the kid as her #! priority?

Do you have any grounds that she might lose custody completely? If she is NOT unfit then how do you think you might get full custody?

I ask this because due to her claims of high conflict, one of you might get sole. Why you?
Good point Iceberg!

I'm pretty confident that it will come down to joint custody w parallel parenting and each of us having final say in different areas of care.

Especially after ex's LAO lawyer brought up parallel parenting during the recent TMC and our case management judge gave an opinion that it was the best option in our case.

I am seeking sole in the alternative to joint. I do have grounds to question her fitness based on suicidal ideation in texts to me and on social media before during and since toddler son was born. Her own mother made mention to the police that there was a suicide attempt during her pregnancy.

My ex and her mother live a very reclusive life and have black fabric on the windows of their home on the ground floor. Last summer, our little guy wasn't even allowed to play outside in the yard. His little swing/slide climber was kept inside the house. No one in the home goes to school, work or any social activities. My ex didn't even go to prenatal classes and despite being in her 20s has never held any kind of paid employment (not even a mcjob) and quit school after grade 9. (it is a generational welfare family)

Since my access visits started in spring 2014, I have focused on outdoor play, taking toddler son to the local early years centre every week to socialize with other children. Little guy and I have participated in three different 8 wk sessions of music and movement classes. I also completed an accredited parenting young children course and provided documentation to the court.

Last year in my reply to ex's cross motion for sole custody, I did seek sole custody with a detailed parenting plan of 2-2-3 time sharing showing that my goal is and will always be maximum contact with both parents in contrast to her making false allegations to every agency she could think of to stop my access after it was ordered by the court. She wasn't even prepared to go along with me having supervised access visits in her home to start off with if she could help it.

Rather than focusing on her unfitness, I have been and will continue to focus on that nothing has happened between us that would rule joint custody out other than her false allegations.

I found this recent case on CanLII, Hoffman v. Hoffman, 2013 ONSC 395 (CanLII) that deals with one parent creating conflict to try and push their agenda for sole custody forward that applies in my case.

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/do...&resultIndex=5

[67] In the present case, an order giving Ms. H sole custody of the children would create a real risk that Mr. H involvement with them would be minimized. Courts have recognized that in such situations, parallel parenting may be the appropriate regime, in spite of the conflict between the parents. As the Court of Appeal for Ontario pointed out in Ursic v. Ursic[16] (2006), a parent cannot be the instigator of high conflict and then argue in favour of sole custody, based on the conflict.
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