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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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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2017, 10:29 PM
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Hey Arabian,
not sure why all the anger but ok....

I started this post to gain a better understanding of what my rights are as a "visitation" father (i only get them not even 4 full days per month and for a couple of hours every wednesday - i'm not sure where 40% came from); not to have a total stranger telling me how i'm fucking everyone's life - I have my ex for that, ha!

My household is a democratic household. When i have children screaming, crying and begging me not to take them to activities, i honour their wishes and replace that time with other FUN ACTIVITIES. I do not throw them over my shoulder, kicking and screaming and drag them into MMA. Instead I take them: to the movies, hiking, biking, swimming, over to grandma's to play with cousins (very often!), we go downtown and explore, and yes we sometimes sit at home and watch movies and play video games, play board games, cards, build legos, puzzles, etc - all together as we find it fun as a family. Not sure why i'm judged for that?

Also, as a democratic household, my partner and I ask the kids every Friday when we pick them up: you want to go to grandma's house or our house. They always pick ours.

"walk before i run"? That's exactly what i'm doing - i want to enforce the status quo without my ex controlling my every moment with the kids. I'm not even thinking of 50/50 at this point as the idea sounds so far fetched - i wouldn't be able to even wrap my mind around it at the moment!

Anyway, appreciate all your input, i simply wanted to know what my "rights" are, and i believe i got that answer. Good luck to you!
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 06-20-2017, 10:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete360 View Post
I'm not even thinking of 50/50 at this point as the idea sounds so far fetched - i wouldn't be able to even wrap my mind around it at the moment!
better start figuring that out. And don't forget to ask for half the summer (or the majority if she wants every single Friday).
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete360 View Post
Hey Arabian,
not sure why all the anger but ok....

I started this post to gain a better understanding of what my rights are as a "visitation" father (i only get them not even 4 full days per month and for a couple of hours every wednesday - i'm not sure where 40% came from); not to have a total stranger telling me how i'm fucking everyone's life - I have my ex for that, ha!

My household is a democratic household. When i have children screaming, crying and begging me not to take them to activities, i honour their wishes and replace that time with other FUN ACTIVITIES. I do not throw them over my shoulder, kicking and screaming and drag them into MMA. Instead I take them: to the movies, hiking, biking, swimming, over to grandma's to play with cousins (very often!), we go downtown and explore, and yes we sometimes sit at home and watch movies and play video games, play board games, cards, build legos, puzzles, etc - all together as we find it fun as a family. Not sure why i'm judged for that?

Also, as a democratic household, my partner and I ask the kids every Friday when we pick them up: you want to go to grandma's house or our house. They always pick ours.

"walk before i run"? That's exactly what i'm doing - i want to enforce the status quo without my ex controlling my every moment with the kids. I'm not even thinking of 50/50 at this point as the idea sounds so far fetched - i wouldn't be able to even wrap my mind around it at the moment!

Anyway, appreciate all your input, i simply wanted to know what my "rights" are, and i believe i got that answer. Good luck to you!
No anger on my end whatsoever. I'm simply pointing my personal view of things from what you posted (very little).

Interests your children are in could be like a knitting club or something where there has been substantial investment (example I gave before was equestrian) so naturally the parent who puts in time/money into the "hobby" wouldn't want to see it scrapped merely because you decided to move and drive is inconvenient.

Going forward, your "rights" are simply that you do not have to put your children in, or pay for, an activity that you did not agree to. Presumably the "hobby" is something that the children have participated in, and you went along with, for some time.

I believe you indicated that you do not have a separation agreement filed with the court. You should probably give serious consideration to getting that done.

I am certainly not saying that you should drag your children, kicking and screaming, to do anything (aside from medical appointments perhaps). Only you know the truth and substance of the matter with the hobby.

Good luck with your 'democratic' household. I wonder though if your children also live in a 'democratic' household with their mother? What on earth will happen if the children decide that they do not want to go to your place?

When do parents parent? or do they simply let the children decide everything?
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 01:14 AM
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When children only have four days a month with one parent, it is the majority parent's responsibility/duty to ensure that those days are FREE from activities that might interfere with that rare and precious time.

Your ex cannot deny access to you because you won't agree to take the children to activities she should never have signed them up for in the first place. If she does threaten to do so, do your best to get her to do it in an email so you have documentation for future court purposes if she actually does deny you access.

However, it sounds like you do not have a legal agreement or court order setting your access in stone. So you need to get that first.

Write up your desired schedule, and suggest it to her as an offer to settle, telling her you will have to go to court if she does not agree with it. But the current system isn't working and something must be done.

I'd suggest something like every other weekend, from pickup at school on Friday (or the previous school day in the event of a Friday holiday or PA day), to dropoff at school Monday morning (or the next school day in the event of a Monday holiday or PA day). That way, you never have to see her at an exchange, she can't mess around with the pickup of dropoff, and you get extra time on long weekends.

Also put that she is not to sign the children up for any activity that regularly occurs on your weekend, and in the event of a special occasion for an activity happening to land on your weekend (tournament, show, camping trip, whatever), it is up to you if the children attend or not, though you will make efforts to accommodate it.

While you're at it, you can also formalize equal sharing of holidays.

If she does not agree with your offer, you'll have to take her to court. The important thing is that with an ex like this, you NEED that legal document to follow.

Last edited by Rioe; 06-21-2017 at 01:18 AM.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:34 AM
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Hi Arabian,
I posted very little here because there is another thread that talks about my general problems with access and visitation. This particular post was only about my legal rights as a parent while the kids are with me; Noted that i should have mentioned that i have the kids for less than 4 days per month - good point, and thank you!

Since the law is black and white when it comes to legal rights of a visiting parent, i just wanted to see if anyone has gone through the same thing and has proper advice for me, because you're right: i would never put my kids in harm or do anything that is not in their best interest - hence posting on here so i don't go with what i think is right, but actually do what i know is legally right.

Since my distance is a sticking point to you, my kids cry and scream that they don't want to go to hobbies even when we're at their grandparents house (10 minutes away from their hobbies). No, their mother's house is not democratic in the least (to answer your question) but i'm not on here to trash my ex, i am simply asking about MY LEGAL RIGHTS.

Also, since "democracy" was a sticking point to you - i'm not saying that i leave everything up to the kids. Their basic necessities (meals, bed time, etc.) are not for a democratic debate. However, I do allow my kids to voice their opinion when it comes to how they would like to spend their time with dad, and what they would like to do. I'm also not saying that my democratic household is any better than my ex's dictatorship household - i'm simply saying that there are different types of parents, and just like i don't interfere in the way she raises the kids (even though i don't agree with it at all!), i am asking for the same respect (unsuccessfully).

There is a book that as recommended to me called "mommy's house, daddy's house" - i think we should all give it a read.

Yes, filing a motion in court is an absolute necessity; at first i was asking my ex for more time with the kids (pa and stat days, few extra weeks over summer, equal march break and xmas). After 8 months of war and not getting any of the above, she's now trying to take the little precious time i have with the kids by "pushing me for misbehaviour" (taking away days if i don't do exactly what she wants me to do). At this point i'm so deflated after 8 months of war that i would be happy just to get the little time i have with no input on how and what i do with them. Look how low my expectations have gotten - and even so! Can't seem to get that.

Hi Rioe,
thank you very much for your feedback; i tried every one of those things and have it all documented (including her threatening me with taking my fridays IF i don't take the kids to hobbies). I spent last 8 months fighting a war trying to get a little more access with the kids (which the kids are asking for as well) - example: pa days and stat holidays that fall on my weekend to be my weekend (unsuccessfully). divide xmas and march break fairly (unsuccessfully). Get a few extra weeks during summer (i got 1 week this summer after about 20 war-like emails and 3 month ordeal of asking - and i didn't even get the week i already booked off to be with them - she booked them into swimming, horse riding, camps without even discussing it with me, so i all i get is a week in august). I asked to take my kids away on holidays once per year (flat out refused).

I asked for all this via email. She first ignored my email for weeks then said i'm out of my mind, i'm crazy, my judgement is off. I asked her to sit down with the kids so all of us "as a family" can come up with a schedule that we think is fair for everyone (again, i was crazy to suggest that). Then i offered to sit down with her lawyer and my lawyer and do a mediation to come up with a fair schedule for everyone (nope). Then i told her that she leaves me no other choice than to go to court (she basically said "do what you have to do"). So we are here.(in the past she threaten me "if you take this to court, don't forget i have a free lawyer" - so i don't think she's too afraid or concerned of how much this is going to cost ME).

The kids asked to be with us over summer. When we finally last week told them that it doesn't look possible my D11 said: "Well mom offered you to have us first week of July but you didn't want to take us to swimming!" - i was floored! Swimming wasn't even discussed with me and since MARCH i've asked for the kids to be with me first week of July as i already have the week off! (i think you see where i'm going with this).

I never thought i was asking for much to begin with. I must lawyer up and go to court.

There, i think this may be sufficient information lol.
Thanks again everyone.
Lots to think about!
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:39 AM
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One more thing - Arabian - re: moving away.
When my ex and I separated, the only way i can live (financially) was to move to my parents house, which was still pretty far away from the kids' house. This is where i lived for 3 years (not ideal living situation at all!) until my fiancÚ and i moved in together. Yes, i moved, but i only added some additional 30KM to where i was before (in another direction). By moving in with my fiancÚ, i established a home environment for my kids - they have a room, a bed and a space to call their own).

Where i moved is only "far" because of the traffic, otherwise i can be with my kids within 45 minutes (rather than 30 minutes from my parents). So the whole move thing is not very relevant, and it really was in the best interest of my kids.

My fiancÚ and I have been actively seeking new houses for a while now. However that was put on hold with the financial implications of a court battle - we don't have the money for a downpayment, mortgage AND court.

So if you think that i am self serving think about this - i am staying put where I am so i can ensure i have a free and happy life with my kids (hence putting THEM before my OWN needs).

Hope this clears this up for you even further.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 09:44 AM
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My partner moved several hours away from his kids and was willing to make all the trips to them monthly to spend time with them. His ex chose to refuse access but did so in a way that was walking a fine line of refusal. Then she used the teenager aspect on him. Sadly the relationship broke down further when he tried to fight her on it. His lawyer said it doesnt matter how old they are, what they are involved in or how they feel. She is obligated to facilitate the time which she refused to do.

You moved. You attempted to accommodate access following that move. She doesnt get to dictate your time. What she should be doing is discussing the activities with you first and giving you an option. She hasnt done that. Now shes denying you time because you dont agree to your time being hijacked by her.

File the paperwork for access and stop worrying about what others have to say. Youve tried working on different schedules and attempting to work together. Shes refusing.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 10:09 AM
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I still cannot believe that a parent who wants to be a parent would move 75km away, and then have the nerve to complain about anything. You chose the sweetheart over the kids. Don't try to pretend otherwise.

Anyhow, this is a no brainer. Get an agreement that specifies parenting time, and then do whatever you want during that custodial time. Why is this even remotely tricky?

Of course, once the kids are teenagers they will likely decide that driving 150km to see you for a weekend is not all that exciting, so enjoy being a parent while you can.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 10:59 AM
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No Agreement. So essentially you are starting from scratch. I would think most
Lawyers who you approach to represent you on a custody And Access battle would want $5 k up front

How old are the children?
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 06-21-2017, 11:07 AM
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"Kitchen table" agreement, signed by both parties and witnessed. So not sure if that constitutes a "no agreement".
5K? Ok, but up to.......????

Children are now Daughter 11 and Son almost 8.
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