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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 09-10-2015, 09:47 AM
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Without getting into too many details, I have full custody of my children. My ex sees the kids every other weekend and I don't want to change the visitation arrangement but I parent my children with my current spouse, he has been a big part of the kids live since they were a year old and I would like him to have some legal rights over the kids. As well as if something should happen to me I would like for him to have a legal right to stay in the kids lives, if not care for them.
Has anyone applied for guardianship and is it hard?
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Old 09-10-2015, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaMouse View Post
Without getting into too many details, I have full custody of my children. My ex sees the kids every other weekend and I don't want to change the visitation arrangement but I parent my children with my current spouse, he has been a big part of the kids live since they were a year old and I would like him to have some legal rights over the kids. As well as if something should happen to me I would like for him to have a legal right to stay in the kids lives, if not care for them.
Has anyone applied for guardianship and is it hard?
If the other parent of the children is involved in the children's lives, your new spouse has about snowballs chance in hell of retaining custody of your kids should you die. My ex mentioned she wanted to do something similar years ago in the bad old days, and my lawyer told me that the ex's wishes wouldn't be worth the paper they are printed on.

As for access/parenting time, he may get something along those lines. It is more likely if you have children together so the kids can maintain the relationship.

It is a tough situation as you are attempting to give parenting rights to someone who is a legal stranger, which essentially is someone who is not party to your order/agreement.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:10 AM
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There are mental health challenges and no support system for my ex which is why he doesn't have custody. He signed off his custody rights because of this. Normally I would agree with you but in my situation I feel it's in my kids best interest to have a legal guardian who is stable and grounded all the time.
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Old 09-10-2015, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MommaMouse View Post
My ex sees the kids every other weekend and I don't want to change the visitation arrangement
The comment above contradicts your suggestion that your ex is incapable of parenting due to mental health issues. You have no concerns with the ex parenting for weekends at a time, ergo, your fears of their mental health issues must not be significant.

The only way your husband gets custody of the kids is if your ex agrees to it. Otherwise, the kids like most likely end up with your ex unless your husband is successful in court, which I don't like his odds because your ex has been involved and has continued to parent the children, notwithstanding any mental health issues.

Edit - I get that you "feel" it is best, because that is what you want. But know that your husband will being fighting an uphill battle should your ex choose challenge your Will.

Last edited by HammerDad; 09-10-2015 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:09 PM
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My question was more about the process for guardianship rather than the merits of my case. My ex had 48 hrs with both kids ever other weekend and was unable to handle them for that length of time, and ended up being hospitalized because of panic attacks the one and only time I wasn't home to take them when he was overwhelmed. We have since reduced his time to 36 hours for his health and the children's safety, though my children are at his house I live only a few blocks away and I stay near a phone every weekend he has them so that I might take them if he becomes overwhelmed and yes this happens often. The kids also have 2 of his neighbors for emergency situations, which happen several times a year.

Your response is based on a normal relationship between parent and child. My position is unique where if I'm not around the children will end up in foster care rather than with my ex because he is not a fit parent full time. This isn't an opinion this is fact and documented with CAS, Police and Psychiatrists. And yes, CAS has been heavily involved in our lives for years to set up what we all feel is a reasonable

My Husband understands the uphill battle should something happen to me and is and has always been willing to fight that should my ex challenge him. But that's all what ifs and maybes.

For right now I'm asking if anyone has applied for legal guardianship for a step parent?
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:11 PM
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I am not here to argue about the facts about your case. Yes, the facts in your case are unique. The fact also is there aren't many cases on this, as most aren't successful.

I would suggest searching Canlii to see what you can find.
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Old 09-10-2015, 05:36 PM
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Because your case is unique, you should seek out a lawyer. I am certain no one here has dealt with what you are suggesting.
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Old 09-10-2015, 07:08 PM
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You would likely have to convince the ex to terminate his parental rights and allow someone else to legally adopt them. Which is a permanent solution to what could well be a short term problem, not one to be taken lightly nor easily achieved.
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