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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 04-15-2007, 10:14 PM
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Default messy seperation starting

here's my story, I have been told from my wife that we needed a break and that she wasn't leaving the house, and that most couples go through trial seperation. I was forced to leave to try and be accomodating. Since then she has told me that she is no longer in love with me and that it's over. Well, I did a little digging, and with the help of some of her friends, I have found out that she has been seeing another guy for a long time. I have phone records, and witnesses that account for it. So, now it's pretty simple, the marital assets are going to get split down the middle. What throws the monkey wrench into it, is our kids. We have a two and a half year old and a 6 month old baby. Since our seperation I have been denied access to my kids on the grounds that her parents want to see the kids, she's getting her hair done(wife) and that I'm not allowed to come to the marital home to visit the kids because it will confuse them. Now I also have knowledge that this guy has been staying at the house, and have found some of his stuff when I've been in the house. I haven't said anything about it, because I'm trying to find the right lawyer. I know that she can't refuse me access to my kids, because there's no custody agreement, so the rights are 50/50. But where I'm confused is to when to break it to her that I have proof of her infedelity and adultery. I want my kids. I was a very devoted father, who would spend all his time with his kids, except when I was working. I want to have shared custody of my kids. What do you think are my chances, and what should I have to prove in order to get that. My ex wants to have joint custody with a little visitation from me, so she can collect full child support from me. There's more to the story that I will answer as I get reply's. I thank everyone and anyone who responds.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:13 AM
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In your situation, you have to remember that eventually you will have to go to court. Judges seem to stick with status quo arrangements, so start one that suits you and your kids now! Fight for your rights as a father to those kids, but be careful. From reading on here and other case law, some women don't hesitate to call the cops and such, protect yourself while looking after the best interests of your children. One thing that is helpful too is to create a paper trail. Make all requests to your ex about anything in writing. Keep copies of everything. Just so you have evidence that you are seeking out a way to communicate and make your concerns heard. Get a calender and write out everything. If she denied you access, if something happened etc. This will show a pattern of what's going on. I am never asking my ex for anything ever again without it being sent by registered mail. I had to learn the hard way.
Don't waste too much time looking around for a lawyer. I have fought the hard fight without much legal assistance and it isn't that hard once you start reading some information (this site is INVALUABLE!!) I recommend going to a Family Law Information Centre as soon as possible, just so your rights as a father don't go out the window if too much time passes. You can even start proceedings without a lawyer, then hire one after if you like, but you need to get the ball rolling A.S.A.P. The best advice I can give you is to ask questions there. Duty Counsel won't be much help without you doing your own research and asking the right questions.
Grandparent's shouldn't be interfering in your problems..those are your children!! I couldn't believe that when I read it. It sounds like if anyone is going to confuse those kids, it would be them. I've always tried to be accomidating..and if I could turn back time...I wouldnt have been. Never look after anyone's best interests other than yours and your childrens.
Try talking with your ex and get a plan of regular access going. If she is not being accommidating and trying to manipulate your access with your children, go to court as soon as possible and write down everything that you've been doing in the meantime. I don't think judges look kindly on that sort of behaviour when you really want to see your children. In my experience, the court based custody on the status quo that we had at the time. You'll probably never get an answer or figure out what custody you'll get unless you go to court. See the bottom of my reply for the law on custody and access. Hopefully you are in Ontario.

The thing you said about the paying full child support issue. You have children, therefore you have an obligation to support them to the best of your ability. Keep reciepts and make sure she signs them when you give her any money.
As for your ex's current "friend", there's nothing that you can do about that. Once your relationship is over, you don't get an opinion about stuff like that as hard as it is.

copy and paste this into your browser, click on what province you are in then type in the first box what you want to look up. This is all case law.
www.canlii.org/en/index.html
I found this in the family law rules: most of the adultery information that I found is only when you are seeking divorce.

ALLEGATION OF ADULTERY

(3) In an application for divorce claiming that the other spouse committed adultery with another person, that person does not need to be named, but if named, shall be served with the application and has all the rights of a respondent in the case. O. Reg. 114/99, r. 36 (3).

There is information about hearsay evidence and submitting evidence of this sort thing. You'd have to do some research on it.

Cut and past this about custody and access:
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/S...c12_e.htm#BK22

Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 04-16-2007, 07:20 AM
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thank you for the response. I have documented over a dozen times with dates and reasons why I wasn't allowed to see my kids. The ball is rolling and the first forms will be started this week. There are some issues with my parents and how much my ex's family hates them, and are trying not to let my kids ever see them. Because of the short term of the marriage and the amount of debt that was incurred, I can't afford my own place right now, because I am still paying the major bills for the house. I have a question about whether or not I could go after this guy for staying in the house that I am half owner of. I have not given permission or anything of that nature. I do have a planned trip with my oldest girl for this fri, apr 20, to see my family in winnipeg(brother and sister that both have girls around their age). My ex has known about the trip for a month now, and always wondered why I would only take the one child. Anyone ever tried travelling with a baby would know why it's only possible to take one since I will be travelling alone. Only in the past couple days, as the date draws closer, now I'm getting resistance that my wife will miss her too much, and that she hasn't had enough time to adjust, meanwhile my wife has had this guy over at the house around the kids consistently. And to boot, my ex mother-in-law called me the other night saying the exact same thing. I expressed my concerns to our mediator that we are going through, and he got us to sign a travel consent form, and she signed it. My ex also said that she wouldn't have a problem letting me go if I signed a paper stating that I will never bring my children around my parents. This whole things is messy, and is only going to get worse. My ex tries to bully people around with her mouth, and she's making mistakes that are being documented. Advice I got from one lawyer, was to keep the lines of communication open, and not to ruffle any feathers until a clear path is chosen. I know that a judge will want to keep the kids in a status quo environment, but because of the financial situation that will not be possible. Both my ex an I will have to leave the marital home as neither one of us could afford to buy the other one out. She told me that she would be moving back to her parents if that happened. Which is a 3 bedroom duplex, with 3 adults already living there. The accommodations I could provide as I too would have to move back in with my parents would be a 3 bedroom 2500 square ft home with a fully seperate basement apartment, with bathroom, kitchen and private entrance all situated on 5.5 acres, just minutes from town. I know that time is of the essence right now, and the seperation has only been 6 weeks, with about 20 documented times being refused access to my children. One of the lawyers I've seen only knows about the beginning of the case, before the adultery and the young man living at my house, and he said that he would take the case. All the lawyers I'm seeing are on referral basis.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:09 AM
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Definitely document anything and everything, in fact I believe emailing back and forth would be of great benefit in regards to evidence as it would the exact communications not coloured by bias or opinion.

In regards to the adultery, it won't have much if any bearing on the custody, the only way it really benefits you is in regards to the divorce itself as you could file for divorce on those grounds though you need a substantial amount of proof and from the couple of lawyers I've dealt with they usually advise to file under grounds of seperation which is for one year, it is much easier and far less expensive. You can file before the one year is up, it just means you have to wait longer for the divorce to become final.
We basically live in a 'no fault' divorce system. The fact that she cheated on you will likely have no bearing on her ability to parent your children as far as the courts concerned. The only thing that might go in your favour is the fact the other man has appeared to have moved in the family home which shows a massive disregard for the mental and emotional well being of you children by their mother. Introducing a new person in the childrens lives is something that should be done over time, not 6 weeks after their Dad left. It shows a lack of judgment on her part. But again you have to prove that he is indeed living there otherwise it will just be her word against yours.

Status quo is paramount in family law and unless she is doing something that is endangering the children in some way I'm afraid it is not likely you would get sole custody. If I were you I would enroll in parenting classes, keep trying to see your kids on a regular basis as often as possible. As far as the law is concerned as there is no custody order present and you have just as much right to your children as she does, and even if she called the police, as soon as they arrive they will simply tell her there is nothing they can do as there is no order in place. If she does do that make sure you get a police report of said event for evidence later on. She can not refuse you access to your chldren and to do so would call in to question her ability to parent.

In regards to her not liking your parents, well she knew about your parents when she chose to have kids with you, she can not decide now that your marriage is over that the children should not be around their grandparents...she is just trying to control things.

I'm terribly sorry you are going through this, I know it is difficult and have been there myself..hang in there, do your best to do right by your children and you'll have no regrets. This can be a long and expensive process..the only advice I can give is try not to make decisions based on emotion alone..think of your kids and give yourself the chance to move forward and take it a day at a time.

Good luck.
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Old 04-16-2007, 10:59 AM
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I got a travel consent form signed by my ex over christmas so my son and i could go to my parent's house in florida. Once that is signed, there is nothing that your wife can do to stop you from going. Even if she called the police or something, you have signed consent. Don't let her emotionally blackmail you, it sounds like your getting that from her mother as well.
If your children are with you when you're visiting your parents, your ex and her family has no say who you see or what you do when the children are in your care.
Since you are not living in the matrimonial home, I'm pretty sure that you have no rights to as who stays there.
You didn't have to move out. You could have moved into the basement or into another room in your house. As long as you are civil and don't yell and what not, it would have made it easier to see your kids, then you could have had a say who is coming into the home. Is there anyway that you could move back in there?
You could always sell the home and pay off the debts. Equalize the shares and whatnot. At least you have a basement apartment in your parents home. Maybe that will give you a leg up in court. Don't take calls from your mother-in-law unless it is in an emergency concerning your kids. You can also go for a right of first refusal for the care of your kids, so they go directly to you, and not dumped on her parents when she does that. Never sign anything that states keeping your kids from seeing anybody when the kids are in your care, unless you agree with it. Your ex had kids with you knowing full well of who you were and who your parents are. If you sign anything stating that you agree that your parents are not good for your kids, that could come back to haunt you. If you, as an adult know that its not the best place for your kids, then don't take them there. Never sign anything that you don't agree with or you think is unfair.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:22 AM
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Thank you very much for all your replies. As far as any papers, I will not sign anything until I have my lawyer read it over. 2 weeks after we split she tried to get me to sign custody and support papers. I held off on it, and told her I had to research it. I went to see a lawyer regarding that, and he told me not to sign anything. I'm not going after sole custody of my kids. What I want is to have shared custody with my wife. Even though she has done some pretty horrible things involving this guy, I'm not the one to say if the kids should be taken away from her. She has had the kids around the affair, and my oldest daughter told me that she saw him and her kissing. Her judgement isn't the best, and there has been a bunch of lies that she has told not only to me, but to everyone around her about the situation and such, I almost catch her in a lie everyday. As far as things are with my parents, I will not sign any such papers. My parents are good people and like almost everyone out there, a little misunderstood at times. As I said before, she is trying to be a bully. I actually did tell her last week that I was thinking about moving in, and she freaked out on me, and told me that she would be screaming at me all the time. I recorded it on instant messenger. I tried corresponding through email when we first split, but she would never respond. I do have a digital recorder that does pick up the phone conversations quite well. I know that Canada has the no-fault divorce, which is wrong in my mind, because people that don't do anything wrong get screwed in the end. All I want to do is to show that she is confusing the kids more by having this guy around all the time. It's been 3 weeks since I've been allowed to see the kids in my own home. And I've found his laptop in the house, with his school books, clothes in the laundry and extra toothbrush in the bathroom. I know that it's her word against mine. I've also thought about hiring a PI to see just how much time he spends there. I know that he drives her car all the time. Enough about him. All that I'm going for in this is 50/50 split of debts and assets, and shared custody of the kids. I have people that are willing to testify to account that she was around this guy with my child while she was pregnant, and wouldn't pay any attention to my child. I have people who are lining up to be character witnesses for me, about how devoted, hard working and to speak about me. I have been told that I'm the best young father that my friends have seen. I'm 30, she's 26 and the affair is 22. There is more to this whole story, and the more replies I get the more I'll share, but the main thing right now to me is my kids. I want to be sure I'm going to see them as much as possible.
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Old 04-16-2007, 11:24 AM
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oh, one more thing, my mom is a retired grade one school teacher of 32 years, and my father was involved in childrens athletics for most of his life. So there's no danger with them what so ever. once again thanks for all the help, this is a hard time, and the only thing that made it easier was the fact that she strayed.
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Old 04-16-2007, 12:18 PM
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It does sound like she doesn't have the best judgement in the world..and thats really sad for your kids. I think you are right by going for 50/50, there isn't any good reason you should be able to have you kids half the time, you were an everyday presence in their lives and there is no reason that should change.

I know how hard all of this is, hopefully it will be over as quickly and painlessly as possible for you, family law cases seem to linger for a lot of people..I know myself my divorce took 7 years to complete!

Godspeed
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Old 04-16-2007, 01:39 PM
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here's a good one. Yesterday I showed up at my house with a friend as a witness, and collected all my things, including computer, hockey bag, and so on. My ex has taught my oldest to use the computer and she tried every excuse in the book to make me keep it there. Now I know that there is some stuff on there that shouldn't be. She called me at work this morning to put my daughter on the phone who was upset and sick. My daughter would not talk to me, and my ex told me that she told her that daddy took the computer. I don't know if anything else was said, but you can only imagine. My daughter, at age 2.5, can use a computer quite well. She knows how to scroll through websites, use the back button, and if you set her up on sesame street is good for at least an hour. My concern is with this guy in the house, is she setting her up on there and leaving her? I agreed to take the computer back, only for my daughters sake, but am thinking of telling her that I am taking it back as of this thursday, that way she has notice to get a replacement one. The computer was mine for a couple years before, we did buy a monitor together, but that was months before we were married. We were living together though, for only about 6 months at that time. We were only married for 2.5yrs, 2 weeks longer than my oldest's age, and together for a total of 3.5 years. So, spousal support shouldn't be an issue at all, because she is a registered practical nurse and has a job to go back to after her maternity leave. I still am very disturbed though that she would bring my daughter around this guy, while she was pregnant. I have been asked by friends if I'm sure the baby is mine. Thank you for everything from everyone.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:49 PM
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Crispy...

I skimmed through your posts (and the replies). Although divorce is very emotional and it sucks if someone is cheating... you need to take a time out and get to things that really matter.

So far, from what I can tell, your wife has the boiler plate exit plan for Canadian Divorce 101.

Kick you out. check!
Take the kids. check!
Control the kids. check!
Hit you up for massive support... pending.

If you think family law courts are biased already, you really tipped the judgement in her favour.

Why did you leave?
Why not return?
Get the kids.
Don't be nice.
DO NOT GIVE HER SUPPORT MONEY

Why is she telling you, the other parent, when you can see the kids. When you cannot see them. And who can see them. And so on. Although this makes for great drama in the court... it will take a lot of work for you to prove this against her. Now, all she has to put on her affidivait is: yup, he left us and I was stuck looking after the kids.

Please use the search above and look for my advice no exit plans, moving out, and divorce 101 and so on.

Yes...

Document everything.
Have witnesses for everything.
Get your kids.

BTW, they can go 50-50. You ex is using every standard excuse in the book to control and manipulate you and them.

IMO, you are in a lot of trouble here...

MOST IMPORTANT. Be extremely cool.

DD
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