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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 02-21-2006, 06:28 PM
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Default Ex is ignoring my calls to talk to my son

I've been separated for almost a year and a half. Things with my ex are very volatile. She has always interfered with my contact with my 6 year old son. So much so that I contacted family services and tried to set up mediation so that we could work out an arrangement so that I could spend time with him. My ex refused this mediation.

I tried calling my child for months but to no avail. She wouldn't allow me to speak to him. The ONLY time I actually talked to my son was when he was visiting his grandparents ( my folks ) and that was rare.

About 2 months ago I tried calling her house again to speak to my child. This was after I received court papers where she was declaring that she had no problem with me talking to him and she encouraged it. With her words in mind I started calling and that worked for about 2 weeks. Then, suddenly, every evening when I would call my child ( always a half hour before his bedtime) she wasn't answering the phone. I got lucky once when I decided to call at a different time than I usually would...and my son answered the phone. Even then she took the phone from him after 5 minutes and said that " he's done talking to you" and then she hung up. Since then I've called my parents on the days I know he's going to be there. The past two times my little boy is saying " I'm not interested " and he won't come to the phone. This is a new thing and he's never said anything like this before. I know she's telling him to say this. It breaks my heart to hear him say this....

In the affadavits she is saying that she encourages my contact with my son yet this is what I am getting. How do I show the judge that what she is saying is simply not true? Do you think it helps that I tried to set up mediatioin yet she refused?

I feel so lost and I am terrified that with time, she will turn my son completely against me! How do I get someone to make her stop this before it's too late!
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Old 02-21-2006, 08:49 PM
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gooddadgoingmad,

Access is the child rights and your ex is in no legal position to dictate the terms of same.

I would bring the access issue back to court through a motion procedure and have the courts order the telephone access. It appears that she may attempting to marginalize yourself out of the life of the child. To me its not very child centred and she is not acting in the child's best interest.

She could be doing this to push your buttons. Don't fall for this trap.

LV
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Old 02-21-2006, 09:55 PM
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Thanks Lv

I have a court date for march 13th for an interim order for spousal support. I contacted my lawyer today and told her about what the ex is doing and I believe we are including the access issue during this court date.

Do you know if it would be a good idea for my lawyer to show that she refused mediation for access to my son? Should I start to put some proof together?
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:04 PM
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gooddadgoingmad,

Not sure about your jurisdiction but in Ontario, mediation is not mandatory. A Judge may ask if the parties are open for mediation and perhaps may suggest mediation. They cannot order mediation. What they are looking for is the reasonableness of the parties when this is asked. Percepetion is everything. Continue to offer mediation process as a possible tool to use to come to an equitable resolution to the issues for all concerned.

If you state in your pleadings that you are open for the mediation process, this shows you are reasonable. The Judge will see this also. Your ex may cite that she refuses to go to mediation such as she may say that your controlling etc. This is just an excuse to refrain from mediation as her lawyer would be present during the mediation process.

In all, it appears that she has dug in her heels. She is holding all the cards right now. I am thinking that you must of asked for Joint custody and she has asked for sole custody in her claim. Just a guess.

It seems to me if this is the circumstance, this is their strategy not to have a joint custody regime ordered. Judges and courts are aware of this tactic especially if she is holding all the cards right now.

Regardless, it appears that she has defacto custody of the child. Courts generally will not disturb the status quo if everything is working out for the child. This however does not exclude a joint custody regime claim from being ordered if it is determined to be in the child's best interest.

If she is refusing reasonable phone access for the child to sustain a relationship to you, this will not look good on her as a primary parent.

Document the incidents and be sure to bring them up in your pleadings with her on again off again- depending on the day of the week attitude when it comes to telephone access between you and your child.

The courts have an obligation under the divorce act (Canada) to maximize contact between the child and the parents. and is common sense, especially if there is no concerns of harm to the child. This claus is subject to the child's best interest.

Just wanted to add please read this post - the jurisprudence attached to same Steeves v. Lee -"good news to have a dad"

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f4/hague-convention-custody-369/

LV
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Old 02-21-2006, 11:58 PM
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This is great information...thank you. I have gone through all of my phone bills and they document a clear pattern of my calling her phone number every day at the same time, but only show one minute each because she lets the answering machine pick up. These are the times I previously referred to when I mentioned that she has stopped answering the phone just before my sons bedtime. There are literally hundreds of one minute calls on my phone which show that the answering maching picked up....it also shows the time of day which is always an hour to a half hour before my sons bedtime.

I think I will fax these to my lawyer!
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Old 02-22-2006, 09:59 AM
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Anything you can provide as back up for your affidavit will only strengthen your position. Will you be able to travel back home for the motion?
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:17 PM
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keep in mind that 6 year old boys are not generally known for their conversational skill on the phone. My 3 nephews are rotten on the phone - my one neices of the same age is amazing. Can't get her off the phone.....
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Old 02-22-2006, 12:29 PM
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Grace
Unfortunatly I won't be getting back for the hearing. My lawyer says it isn't necessary and I also cannot afford to fly back. I checked into a ticket and due to the fact that I am living in one of the most isolated communities in the arctic, a ticket would cost me $3300 plus it would take two days to get back.

How necessary is it to attend an interim order hearing?
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Old 02-22-2006, 05:39 PM
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I wouldn't worry about not attending, a judge would certainly understand the circumstances especially regarding the cost involved. Often hearings get postponed or adjourned and that would be a complete waste of your time and money. I do hope you have a chance to get home soon to visit your son. I'm sure the distance between you and your son is killing you inside.
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