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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 11-25-2005, 09:00 AM
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Default If She Leaves!!!! What Do I Do To Protect My Rights As A Father???

My wife has reciently told me she was leaving on Dec 1st. She said she will be taking the kids. What do I need to do to protect my rights as a father to prevent anything from not going in my favor in the future in regards to custody rights?
She has agreed to right something up.
We have discussed visitation and holidays.
Do i just let her leave and hope I get to see them as originally agreed upon?
What if I wish to persue more time then agreed upon down the road?

She's saying on day a week and I can keep them over night.
One weekend every two weeks from Fri to Sun.
Three full weeks vacation and If they are in sports or beavers I can go no problem.
Shared holidays.

How do I protect my future with this and what if I change my mind and want more time with them?
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Old 11-25-2005, 06:47 PM
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It would be best to decide now. It can be very difficult to change the "status quo" later on. You should speak with a lawyer ASAP. Why not go for joint custody with 50% access, then you would equally be in their lives.
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Old 11-25-2005, 10:33 PM
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I agree with Grace,

Go for Joint custody (Parallel Parenting). Your spouse is in no position to determine incidents of contact and access you will have with your child. A lot of people just assume that the mother automaticaly gets custody. This isn't so anymore. If you agree to your spouse's proposal; Think about this further; why would you want to go to a limited regime where you see your child once a week or alternate weekends.

A child benefits when both parents are actively involved in their life in a meaningful way. Joint custody only promotes this. A relationship breakup is always difficult on a child. If both parents are there for the child and actively involved, the child will cope with the situation better.

Don't waste anytime if she leaves with the child, Seek immediate action such as retaining a lawyer and start an application with the courts. If you do nothing and let a defacto situation to develop, it will be hard to change the status quo after a period of time and the courts will be reluctant to change the status quo of significant duration especially if everything is working out fine for the child.

As it stands now, you are both on level playing field in regards to custody of your child. Keep it that way!
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Old 11-27-2005, 06:30 AM
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What if I don't have enough time to do this before she leaves???
Also can she agree to leave me with joint custody if her and I make up our own agreement? Can we make our our sorta contract to keep lawyers out of the picture for money's sake?
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Old 11-28-2005, 11:45 AM
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Get moving. You have a few days right now. You need to consult with an attorney today or tomorrow and have them advise you on what you should do in that short period of time.

You can not waste another second.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:31 PM
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I agree, retain a lawyer. Do not let a staus quo situation to develop. Time is of the essence in your case. I would ask for sole custody and subsequent failing that a joint custody regime.
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:47 PM
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Logicalvelocity,

Why go for sole custody, not joint?
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Old 11-28-2005, 10:42 PM
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"sole custody and subsequent failing that a joint custody regime"

Grace,

I suggest that to keep the options open. It will be most likely him starting the case. I bet once the case is started she will be asking for sole..they always do. It keeps the field level for litigation. And both would submit competing parenting plans.

The resulting outcome will be most likely joint custody with 50% time shared.
If you just ask for joint upfront, some judges endorse this others don't. It is the luck of the draw.

The only way to change your pleadings once the case is started is on motion. It may not be allowed.

Also, I suspect they would have a faster resolution maybe a consent order to get what he wants - equal sharing of time 50-50 rather than alternate weekend parent.
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Old 12-04-2005, 09:48 PM
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What would you do if she agree's to joint custody 60-40. My wife has always been the primary care giver and I could handle 40% because I know she will giev me additional time with the kids if I want them. Also when it comes time for lacrosse and sports seasons I will be doing all the running and will see them for more then 40% of the time.

This is what my wife will agree to:

Joint custody her being primary care giver.
One night a week and they can stay over for that night.
Every other weekend from Friday to Monday morning allowing the kids to stay over on Sunday night.
Three weeks vacation per year.
Shared holidays.

Do you think there is anything else I am over looking?

If I add all this up I will see them for over 40% of the year. Is this correct?

My wife and I are getting along very well. We would like to keep the lawyers out of it. In fact I still love her with all my heart. I rented a truck and helped her move......yes I'm an idiot but thats what I did. When I left her apartment for the last time on Thursday night I told her that I love her.....she told me she loves me too.........I don't get it. I'm very hurt and broken right now...don't really know what to do but I need to secure some type of agreement with her regarding the children don't I?

I am going to use this child access for now and she seems very supportive of it. She is a good mother and I believe that I am a good father. We don't want to throw money away on lawyers. I'm confused as to what I should do and I don't want to hurt her finantially or upset our relationship by dragging her to court.
Child support has still not been agreed upon and she told me she would not expect me to pay the maximum because I can't afford it. Is their different support payment scales based on how much time I spend with the children?

Thank you for all your help and advise so far.

One more question......are you local to the Oshawa area?....just wondering!
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:30 PM
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Chopper,

Must have been a heart breaking weekend for you. And your not an idiot for helping her move, just a good guy.

Every other weekend and one night a week, doesn't sound like a 40-60 split, at least to me. I know your are very upset and emotional right now, but I still think you need some legal advice. This does not mean dragging her to court. Just some advice on drawing up an agreement that will protect your rights as a parent.

Here's a link to the Oshawa free legal clinic: http://www.dfcc.org/
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