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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 11-20-2014, 04:29 PM
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Default How the case conference went

Case conference was a total waste of time.

Main issue is access time. There are a few other minor issues.

I've had 99% access with our two kids for the past several years.

Past few months the ex decided he wanted the kids more. We worked up to what is in our separation agreement and that is 70/30 split on the time.

All is going well so far with the kids.

He wants 50%.

I'm not going for it. I don't think it's good for the kids. Lots of reasons - all valid in my opinion.

The judge would not tell his opinion on any of our issues today because he may be our trial judge.

He didn't push us to resolve anything. I was the one that repeatedly asked for mediation. He said we can book it if we want and my ex never commented. The judge kept talking about when they have trials and how trials go etc.

I was expecting him to discourage trial but I got the impression he is banking on it for our case.

He told us we can file paperwork and make request for settlement conference if we want it. He noted that if we both do nothing the case will not proceed any further.

Judge suggested OCL involvement to assist him at the trial re: what to do with two capable parents who both want more time with their kids.

I said I wasn't in agreement because I don't think we are a high needs case and I worry it will delay our case.

Judge said he wasn't accusing me of anything but he said it is a red flag to him that I don't want the assessment and I may have something to hide. (that offended me but I just said 'yes your Honour')

Judge said he won't order the OCL involvement at this time and my ex said nothing about it.

Now I wait to be served re: the SC.

Question - should I send a letter to the ex's lawyer asking if they want to schedule mediation? I suspect they will say no but I am hoping we can negotiate (i.e. I'll take less money to keep the time I have?). I also think I need a paper trail to show I'm trying in case there is a trial.

Good luck out there people.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:07 PM
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Offering to trade money for time with your kids is NEVER a good idea amd going that route will bite you in the ass HARD. I would suggest you reconsider your position on 50-50 and whether your reasons are actually valid, the judge clearly did not agree with you. I don't know OW the details of your case but this would be my suggestion.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:17 PM
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Sorry to hear it didn't go as you had hoped.

My case conference was very settlement-oriented, the judge really pushed us. I thought that's how they all were.

I agree with Blink, a straight up trade access for money wouldn't make you look very good.

But, you can offer different options in an Offer to Settle at anytime and see if any interest your ex.

Send one, give ex an opportunity to reply/make changes/counter, and if its ignored, offer another a few weeks later. I've sent 2 so far, both were completely ignored. But at least I'm showing I'm trying to find a settlement.

Just make sure they are offers that are fair to both parties, they can be used in trial, if you make it that far.

I also offered mediation to my ex and his lawyer, and offers for that have been ignored as well. It wouldn't hurt anything for you to offer that again as well.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twokids View Post
He wants 50%.

I'm not going for it. I don't think it's good for the kids. Lots of reasons - all valid in my opinion.
Why? Sounds like he's a guy who wants to maximize his presence in his children's lives. No abuse mentioned. You said no to OCL. Sounds like an open and shut case.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:38 PM
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So The sticking point to settle is you feel,you have valid reasons why a 70/30 split is better than a 50/50 split. Money is not an issue, as you clearly stated you would take less money to keep the time. If 50/50 split is determine by a judge to be in the best interests of the children then you will be also settling for less money.

So really your ex has nothing to loose by going to court. He will not come out of this with less time and he will not pay more money. But if he wins he could ask for costs.

I understand you feel you have a solid reason for not agreeing to 50/50 but have you sounded these reasons out with anyone else? The judge does not appear to have found them too valid.

I know from my own experience is hard to walk in the shoes of the other parent and fully understand their validity as a parent. Especially if from your view you see all the things they are not doing according to your point of view.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:47 PM
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If you give him 39% access you still get full child support and all the family benefits, you should offer that. It makes complete sense 70/30 is ok but 50/50 isnt because he is a bad parent. Also dont agree to 3rd party neutral assessmentsassessments because that never helps shed light on issues when there are adversaries.

Good Luck
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Links17 View Post
If you give him 39% access you still get full child support and all the family benefits, you should offer that. It makes complete sense 70/30 is ok but 50/50 isnt because he is a bad parent. Also dont agree to 3rd party neutral assessmentsassessments because that never helps shed light on issues when there are adversaries.

Good Luck
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Case conference was a total waste of time.
Case conferences are almost like a touch-point meeting to open your case file, do an initial determination on how far apart you are on issues and for the judge to give you an initial feel on your stance. Based on your post, you should be concerned.


Quote:
I've had 99% access with our two kids for the past several years.
I doubt this number. I'd be very interested in the math you used to figure out 1% access but regardless...so what?

You need to realize that once separations happens, parenting division happens and the way you parented your kids in the past is really no longer relevant to how things should or will be going forward. There is a new reality that you need to wrap your head around.

Quote:
He wants 50%.
Excellent for the kids.

Quote:
I'm not going for it. I don't think it's good for the kids. Lots of reasons - all valid in my opinion.
Your opinion probably is pretty worthless. You need evidence to show why your feelings are justified. What evidence do you have to show why this dad is ok to have his kid 30% of the time and not 50% of the time.

If he is a danger to the kids, what action have you taken?
Quote:

Judge suggested OCL involvement to assist him at the trial re: what to do with two capable parents who both want more time with their kids.

I said I wasn't in agreement because I don't think we are a high needs case and I worry it will delay our case.
Not smart on your part. You voice all these apparent legitimate concern about this father's ability to parent yet don't want OCL involvement?!? Very, very suspicious.

If you're not a high-needs case, why can't this father have fair access?

Who cares how long it takes? On your part, If this father is a risk for 50% access, then it takes as long as it takes. On his part, he wants fair access to his children...and that takes as long as it takes. And most importantly, on the kid's part, they have a right to a relationship with their father barring some serious findings on OCLs part...if you have their best interest at heart, who cares how long that takes?

Quote:
I was expecting him to discourage trial but I got the impression he is banking on it for our case.
Good judges at CC explain how the process works. And they often tell you this to encourage you to reconsider your position. If the judge sees that you aren't prepared to compromise, he may stress the court system so that you understand what you're setting yourself up for.

Personally, if I was your ex, I wouldn't bother with mediation....sounds like a waste of money because you aren't willing to be reasonable on access time. In addition, without OCL or a private assessor, you have zero expert evidence with which to deny him access. I'd take you to court and ask for costs...he's probably in a pretty good position.

Quote:
Judge said he wasn't accusing me of anything but he said it is a red flag to him that I don't want the assessment and I may have something to hide. (that offended me but I just said 'yes your Honour')

Judge said he won't order the OCL involvement at this time and my ex said nothing about it.
Judges work on evidence...not opinions. If you have no evidence to deny access and refuse to comply with OCL, is it any wonder that the judge questions your credibility?

Quote:
Question - should I send a letter to the ex's lawyer asking if they want to schedule mediation? I suspect they will say no but I am hoping we can negotiate (i.e. I'll take less money to keep the time I have?). I also think I need a paper trail to show I'm trying in case there is a trial.
You can certainly do this. But if you're not willing to budge on access percentage, I would understand why he wasn't willing to bother.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:46 PM
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Just an aside...

Do people not realize how serious it is to not offer fair access to the other parent?

Do they not understand that you need valid reasons substantiated with actual evidence to deny fair access to the other parent?

Do people that deny fair access every consider how they'd feel if the same thing was done to them?

I'm always surprised how nonchalant people who do this seem to be. They just expect the judge to believe their biased opinion on why the other parent can't have equal access to the children. I often think they're surprised when everyone doesn't just automatically agree with them.

Also, almost every time I read their reasoning to deny access, its completely irrelevant and petty and often more related to the past relationship between the two adults than having anything to do with the children.

Bizarre...
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Old 11-20-2014, 07:03 PM
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I'm starting to really enjoy "Pursuing Happiness'" posts.
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