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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-02-2014, 07:27 PM
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Default Case conference brief - completing form 17 A

I had my first appearance and a case conference is now scheduled.

I am waiting for the applicant to respond to my response and counter proposal before I complete my case conference brief. I have 2 months to prepare.

I am reading ahead to the brief (form 17A) and there are some questions I don't know how to answer.

On the form I am asked:

1 .Do you want the court to make a temporary or final order at the case conference about any of these issues?

I thought nothing was decided at a case conference. I don't know what to say here. There is no pressing urgent decision to be made.

2. If custody or access issues are not yet settled:
(a) Is a custody or access assessment needed?


What is this? Is this an OCL assessment? How do I know if it is needed or if I should get one?

3.Does a child or a parent under 18 years of age need legal representation from the Office of the Children’s Lawyer?

How do I know if my children require legal representation? Do I say yes simply because we disagree on access schedule?

4.Does any party need an order for the disclosure of documents, the questioning of witnesses, a property valuation or any other matter in this case?


My ex already provided me with his financial statements. He denied living with someone and I dispute this. The only thing I can think of is that I want to ask him to provide details of her income since he is claiming undue hardship.

The applicant mentions he has letters of reference re: his parenting. I presume this is where I ask for copies?

The applicant claims debts/hardship paying support. Is this where I would ask for more details of his credit card debts. Can I ask to see statements showing all purchases made? Since he never had the children in his care I know the expenses are not relating to caring for the children. I would like to see all his restaurant tabs and his clothing store expenses etc.

What is this witness thing about? Do I need to say now that I intend to call witness' at future Court dates? How could I possibly know what witness' I may need. i.e. if there is no question about my ability to parent I won't waste time getting witness' to attest to this.


5. Are any other procedural ordures needed?

What is a procedural order? The only thing I can think of is the Applicant used the wrong form (a form 8) when he should have used a form 15 and he never bothered to check on the form that he is making a property claim (nor did he pay the fee to make a property claim). I want to move to Ontario Court and not superior Court because he never selected "property claim' on his forms. Is there where I address on this?


Thank you,

twokids
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-02-2014, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
1 .Do you want the court to make a temporary or final order at the case conference about any of these issues?
If you don't want a decision to be made (aka an Order whether it be temporary or final) - Why are you going to court?

3.Does a child or a parent under 18 years of age need legal representation from the Office of the Children’s Lawyer?

How do I know if my children require legal representation? Do I say yes simply because we disagree on access schedule?


Quote:
2. If custody or access issues are not yet settled:
(a) Is a custody or access assessment needed?
Do you have legitimate concerns that your child's bests interests are not being met? Note: a custody assessment is invasive by nature, don't put your kid through this if you don't need to.

Quote:
3.Does a child or a parent under 18 years of age need legal representation from the Office of the Children’s Lawyer?

How do I know if my children require legal representation? Do I say yes simply because we disagree on access schedule?
NO. Because you don't agree on an access schedule is not in itself reason enough to get OCL involved. Typically OCL involvement is when there are clinical issues.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
4.Does any party need an order for the disclosure of documents, the questioning of witnesses, a property valuation or any other matter in this case?


My ex already provided me with his financial statements. He denied living with someone and I dispute this. The only thing I can think of is that I want to ask him to provide details of her income since he is claiming undue hardship.
If he is claiming undue hardship he must provide the income of all income earners in the home.

Quote:
The applicant mentions he has letters of reference re: his parenting. I presume this is where I ask for copies?
I don't even know what to say about this. This sounds very controlling. I note above you provide that you don't agree on an access schedule but do not provide much else for "concerns" with him/parenting.

In any event, I'm certain he is not going to provide bad parenting references. Leave this alone in my opinion (and so a judge won't laugh at you).

Quote:
The applicant claims debts/hardship paying support. Is this where I would ask for more details of his credit card debts.
You are getting deep in the weeds. Credit card debt or not, I don't see where you are going with this and what purpose it would serve.

Quote:
Can I ask to see statements showing all purchases made?
This is petty and overbearing. Sure ask all you want. Be prepared to have this not go over so well. You are also buying yourself into paying his costs by behaving this way. What are you going to do with this information anyways? And why do you think you are entitled to a statement of all his purchases? Oh dear, this is rather silly.

Quote:
Since he never had the children in his care I know the expenses are not relating to caring for the children. I would like to see all his restaurant tabs and his clothing store expenses etc.
More controlling and useless inquiries that won't be very productive. He is allowed to spend some of his money on himself - you know that right? Like, he has to eat and buy toilet paper and toothpaste too? I assume if he is not a nude dancer, he also must put clothes on his bag to go out in public and work?

Quote:
What is this witness thing about? Do I need to say now that I intend to call witness' at future Court dates? How could I possibly know what witness' I may need. i.e. if there is no question about my ability to parent I won't waste time getting witness' to attest to this.
By the same token, don't waste time on his statements of purchases either. I'm sure you have a few flaws are two... one being you are unusually preoccupied with where every one of his dollars goes...

My suggestion would be to take a step back. Your stance seems a bit firm and the level of detail you expect is too much. He has a right to live even if he isn't with you. Do you even have any issues with him as a parent? You state that your only concern is we don't agree on a schedule. If that's your worst issue, you aren't doing that badly in my opinion. My next suggestion would be to not throw fuel on the fire and ask for all this stuff unnecessarily. To put if simply: it pisses people off.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:12 AM
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I heard is a parent is claiming undue hardship they have to prove that they are basically destitute. I disagree that it is controlling to ask where he spent $80,000 in last 21 mos. If he can't afford yo provide for the children (and he earns a 6 figure salary) i wpuld thimk that if i don't ask where the debt comes from that the Judge will want to know.

Re: patentimg concerns. I disclosed in my affadavit domestic violence and twice he left the children alone at home. Other than those incidents i am not concerned about how he parents. I shall have to think on this.

I can see how there isn't much point in seeing a reference letter. The lawyer at the FLIC told me i need to be provided with a copy so that is why i was going to ask. If he has provided them to Court i should get a copy. For all I know there could be something important in there - i doubt it.
I am really confused why you think all this is controlling. I haven't been to family Court before but it seems standard to share information especially in an undue hardship claim because there are legal standards to meet in terms of why you can't afford support.
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Old 10-03-2014, 07:25 AM
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Quote:
I heard is a parent is claiming undue hardship they have to prove that they are basically destitute. I disagree that it is controlling to ask where he spent $80,000 in last 21 mos. If he can't afford yo provide for the children (and he earns a 6 figure salary) i wpuld thimk that if i don't ask where the debt comes from that the Judge will want to know.
If he earns a six figure salary he isn't going to be able to not pay child support to you. However, my initial advice/opinion still stands. Its not your business where he spends his money. Its income that is relevant, not where he spends it. The only time spending might become relevant is lets say if he were recently disabled and had to refit his home to make it accessible and had unusually high costs as a result (this is the only example I could think of off top of my head). Again, his spending is not relevant.

Quote:
Re: patentimg concerns. I disclosed in my affadavit domestic violence and twice he left the children alone at home. Other than those incidents i am not concerned about how he parents. I shall have to think on this.
I caution you on this. Many people leave children home alone. The issue is: were the children put in harms way as a result? Every parent has to ensure a child's safety. Being home alone is not necessarily "not safe". If you felt the kids weren't safe, then what did you do about it?

Just because you were a victim of domestic violence, this in itself does not mean he is not a fit parent.
Quote:
I can see how there isn't much point in seeing a reference letter. The lawyer at the FLIC told me i need to be provided with a copy so that is why i was going to ask. If he has provided them to Court i should get a copy. For all I know there could be something important in there - i doubt it.
If he provided them to the court they will be in your continuing record. Get a copy from there.

Quote:
I am really confused why you think all this is controlling. I haven't been to family Court before but it seems standard to share information especially in an undue hardship claim because there are legal standards to meet in terms of why you can't afford support.
Hey its just my opinion. In the big scheme of things, my opinion means nothing. I won't repeat why I think you are being controlling by asking for some of this information because my opinion hasn't changed from above. Start a new thread and ask others if you should be asking for all this information and see what they say. Sometimes you get more responses if you post only one question in a thread.
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Old 10-03-2014, 09:06 AM
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I don't think asking for detailed spending information is controlling. Rather I think the OP just needs some guidance on how to proceed to defend an undue hardship claim. Going 'fishing' with spending records is not the way to go, and will just make a judge roll their eyes.

Your ex is going to have to justify his claim by coming up with some justifiable, specific reasons why he cannot manage on a 6 figure salary. And they will be ludicrous. Or he can't (because he realizes they are ludicrous). THEN you can defend. On the other hand, if you have specific examples (hard proof not necessary in family court) that his lifestyle is not consistent with a state of undue hardship, then use them.

Also, search for' undue hardship' on CanLII to get some more real world ideas of which way the wind blows on this.

Re access: assuming you live relatively close, I'm not sure why there would be a problem settling on some variation of 50-50 access.

If he has letters of reference re parenting, then just wait for him to produce them. The court will require them to be affidavits i.e. the author must swear an oath of truth/authenticity in the presence of a commissioner of oaths/notary public.

Last edited by dinkyface; 10-03-2014 at 09:11 AM.
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