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-   -   Here's my story...help please (http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f3/heres-my-story-help-please-17417/)

joblo 04-15-2014 10:55 AM

Here's my story...help please
 
Started cohabiting in in November 2002
Married in January 2004
Separated in March 2011
Divorced in 2012

We have a separation agreement that we signed in 2011.

We have two children in elementary school and have joint custody. The SA says I shall not have the children in my care more than 40%.

I pay full table CS support and mid/high SP. I take them as much as possible depending on my varying work schedule and often exceed 40%.

We share special/extraordinary expenses 70-30, I pay 70%.

Here are the big issues:

My work schedule varies month to month and it is impossible to have fixed days and times when the children come to my house. Every month I produce a schedule and hand it to my ex, usually by the 26th for the following month. There are days when I am not working and that I don't take the children and my ex insists I need to consult with her before handing over the schedule, I do not. My work takes me out of town for 1-6 days at a time so I need days to recharge and have a life and I don't want to negotiate those days with her.

Both support payments are hefty and she also works varying from part time to full time as a teacher. Support payments do not vary based on her income so she does very well. She insists I pay for clothes the children wear when at my house and 70% of the footwear and extracurricular activities and recreational sports, take them for haircuts and to most of the appointments since she schedules or changes them on/to my days. I've told her most of her section 7 claims are bogus but she insist they aren't.

I am in a new relationship and my ex has told the children that they already have enough family members and do not need more and interferes as much as possible in my new life. She has inappropriate conversations with the children about our financial differences and their new extended family. I have asked her to stop many times but she insists she is only protecting her children.

We are going to mediation soon and I have been looking for case law to help me out. If you have any good cases bookmarked that you think could help me out please post them in this thread.

Looking for cases on scheduling, section 7 expenses and inappropriate parenting when it comes to the other parent being in a relationship.

Thanks in advance.

stripes 04-15-2014 02:07 PM

I'm not sure case law is going to help you out here. You can't get a court order requiring your ex to stop talking trash about your home life with your kids (and if you could, it would be unenforceable). Going to court on the issues you describe would just cost lots of time and money.

It sounds like you are doing the right thing with mediation. Based on what you've said, I would focus on resolving a couple of issues:

1. Agreement on a date each month by which you will give your ex your schedule for next month. (I have some sympathy with her on this one. Being given a schedule on April 26th and being told "here's when I'm taking the kids in May" means that she can't plan her own life either. She needs time to "recharge and have a life" at least as much as you do, if not more, because she has the kids most of the time. You may need to push things at your workplace and insist that you need more predictability in your schedule. I've had to cut way back on work travel because of parenting - didn't always make my colleagues happy, but it had to be done. Greater predictability is also best for the kids).

2. Agreement on a list of S7 expenses. The FCSG definition is notoriously vague. It sounds like you and your ex need a list of exactly what you will consider S7 - running shoes yes; haircuts no, that sort of thing.


In theory, if you have them more than 40% over the course of a year, you could ask to vary your parenting arrangement to reflect this reality and become shared parenting - but as long as your travel schedule is so unpredictable and varying from month to month, and your ex is the one who has to accommodate it, I don't think you could make a good case that you should have shared parenting (and pay offset CS).

Berner_Faith 04-15-2014 05:19 PM

I don't understand why you are not already paying off set... if you have 40% you should be paying offset. The agreement states you can't have more than 40%, but that wouldn't matter anyways because once you hit the 40% mark, that is when offset support usually kicks in... why did you agree to something like that? It is going to be hard to change now, as you can obviously afford to pay full table amount, even when you have over 40%.

I do agree with Stripes, that giving your ex a schedule on the 26th of the month and basically saying in 4 days this is when I am going to have the kids it not an ideal situation and she shouldn't have to cater to your every move. What if she makes plans for the kids and then all the sudden your schedule dictates that you get the kids... do you reimburse her for any lost money?

Honestly from your post it is hard to see what you are even asking for help about... is it the schedule and her wanting you to take the kids when you need down time, is it S7 expenses or is it her talking smack about your new partner?

Links17 04-15-2014 06:47 PM

Your agreement makes no sense - its a clear money grab.
Reality > Agreement
Get your CS back

joblo 04-17-2014 12:13 AM

Unfortunately my schedule is handed to me on the 23rd of each month at 5pm and I can't change that. Work takes me away from 1 to 6 days at a time. My ex is home every night and 10-15 days with no kids every month. I am either away at work on the road or at home with the kids, I think that if I want to take a few days without kids at home is reasonable and since we can't agree on anything I prefer not negotiating which ones with her. The wording in our SA states that flexibility is required considering my varying work schedule and that I am not to have the kids more that 39%. I'm not delusional and understand it's not ideal for her but it was that way before we separated and that job provides a good income and in therefore generous support payments. Would a judge force me to work out a schedule with her if we can't cooperate?

Our agreement is financially generous for her and I was fine with that when I signed it but now with her insisting I pay for expenses that are not true S7 and all the other things she expects from me financially I am asking to review the agreement. I pay for the extended health care premiums that cover the kids, life insurance to cover living expenses for them if I was not around anymore before they are independent, an RESP...it all adds up on top of support payments and eats up more than 50% of my net. With me paying full table CS and mid/high spousal, do I have to pay for kids clothes, extracurricular activities and things like haircuts...?

I can't take the kids more than 40% consistently, it truly depends on my work schedule but I do when I can. Will a judge look at my percentage on a yearly basis or month by month?

Really all I want is to live my life and enjoy quality time with my kids and GF and not have the constant BS my ex injects into my life. I'm looking for some cases that support my case, seems to be the best when rulings have already been made to support your own requests.

Rioe 04-17-2014 10:07 AM

My advice would be to convince your ex, or a judge if it comes to that, to switch to 50-50 parenting with a predictable schedule and offset CS.

Look at your history of work schedules. Is there any pattern to your travel days at all? Is there any possibility of getting accommodated by your employer to have a more predictable schedule? Can you trade travel times with co-workers? Can you find a set schedule where it is likely to work out well for your access time to be equal? Do the best you can to have a predictable schedule for your kids. This is better for them because they won't feel like they are jumping around from home to home randomly, or that your work is more important than your time with them. It is better for you because you set up expectations that parenting is your priority and it is better for your ex because maybe if her schedule was more predictable, she could work more hours.

Then, if you must travel when it is your time with the children, you make alternate arrangements for their care. Can your girlfriend or a family member look after them? If they cannot, then ask if your ex would like to take them for extra time, without implications on the regular schedule. If she is unwilling, find daycare.

You really can't just dictate to your ex, month after month, that she randomly pick up your slack the way she did when you were married. Only taking the children when it is convenient to you, and expecting her to do the rest, in a schedule that cannot be predicted, is ridiculously unfair. No wonder she insisted on that 40% clause, and gouges you for section 7 money, to try to make up for the chaos you instill in her life, and that of the children.

Think of it this way: what would you do if, instead of divorcing, your wife had died? How would you look after the children and keep traveling for your job?

HammerDad 04-17-2014 11:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joblo (Post 168969)
I think that if I want to take a few days without kids at home is reasonable

No, it's not. There is more to being a parent than parenting when it is convenient to you.

Quote:

and since we can't agree on anything I prefer not negotiating which ones with her.
Should you end up in court, this will not look good on you. Courts don't like people who dictate or are unreasonable. By telling your ex what days will you take the kids may be seen as being unreasonable. I would provide the ex with a copy of your schedule as soon as it is received in order to work out a parenting time arrangement. Try and keep it consistent to prior months as that should mitigate arguments.

Quote:

do I have to pay for kids clothes, extracurricular activities and things like haircuts...?
Clothes are covered in c/s. Back to school clothes at times are found to be s7 expenses, but generally if the payer is paying a miniscule amount, which it doesn't sound like you do. So you are not obligated to pay for clothes and the ex is obligated to provide with clothes for your parenting time.

Extracurricular activities MAY be s7. But they need to be agreed to prior to registration AND the cost must be "extraordinary". Extraordinary will vary family to family based off of household incomes and support paid. But you are talking $50 for a school trip, and you pay $700 a month in C/S, no you don't have to pay.

Haircuts are covered by c/s, plain and simple.

Beachnana 04-17-2014 12:25 PM

Then again, as the father I am sure you would want to take your children out and treat them to a new outfit, Enjoy some RR time with them watching them play sports etc. Buying a new soccer ball or shoes for a son or treating your daughter to a new hairdo or a new outfit (not being gender biased here) should be a natural parenting gesture and you get the joy from the giving. Of course you 'give' Mom plenty of CS so she should cover all these incidental expenses But as their Father would you not want to see the joy of them receiving from your during your parenting time.

Actions speak louder than words and money. Be their parent with time and love being your main driving reasons.

joblo 04-18-2014 11:24 PM

I don't control when my schedule is given to me and I have very little control on my trips, I work for an airline btw. I agree that a regular schedule would be best for the kids but at the same time they are quite used to it. I've tried to work with my ex on the scheduling, handed her my work schedule in the past but in the end it was still nearly impossible to agree or she would agree then complain the whole month after. I'm looking for cases that are similar, I haven't come across any yet.

I do enjoy treating the kids when I can but our agreement is so skewed towards her financially that I can't, that's very frustrating. I'm looking for cases that specifically rework the SA to better balance the finances of both parties.

Her constant grilling of the kids and interfering with my access and disparaging remarks towards my GF and her family are tiring. I'm looking for cases where these issues were addressed.

Thanks for all of the input and comments so far.

Links17 04-18-2014 11:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Beachnana (Post 168998)
Then again, as the father I am sure you would want to take your children out and treat them to a new outfit, Enjoy some RR time with them watching them play sports etc. Buying a new soccer ball or shoes for a son or treating your daughter to a new hairdo or a new outfit (not being gender biased here) should be a natural parenting gesture and you get the joy from the giving. Of course you 'give' Mom plenty of CS so she should cover all these incidental expenses But as their Father would you not want to see the joy of them receiving from your during your parenting time.

Actions speak louder than words and money. Be their parent with time and love being your main driving reasons.

^ I don't like this at all.
A. His Ex is now getting CS to pay for these things ONCE
B. He Now has to RESPEND for the samethings
This is completely out of touch with the expenses of being an NCP.
15% of your net wage per child + S7 + no more child benefits and in the case of this guy, he has to have all the fixed expenses for his kids because they actually live with him a lot of the time.


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