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Old 08-15-2013, 02:41 AM
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Default Need advice over motion to change access in final order due to safety concerns

Finally making my 1st post. Need advice how to proceed. Many issues with final divorce order but priority relates to access. Scheduled August access time was cut short due to safety concerns. I need help re-working terms of access that will help keep my kids safe.

FACTS: Live in Ontario. Married 2006; Children D15 & S11; separated 2003 & moved back to my hometown (approx 6 hr away) with children for family support. Interim physical custody & support (FRO) in 2005. Divorced in 2013. At a conference a judge said this case was a train wreck unlike he had seen before. Trial averted in the 12th hour. I was hopeful terms of final order were good enough considering ages of children & amount of contact from father... I couldn't justify the $ of trial.

S11 genetically complex special needs child, both congenital & chronic in nature. Significant global developmental delays, extreme ADHD Combined, not well controlled with medication & increasing anxiety make parenting a challenge. Specialists & therapies are ongoing and fathers consent has never been requested from any health care professional.

D15 developmentally advanced & happy child, slowly began to deteriorate. Finally, gr6, got fathers permission for treatment (1st & only time anyone required it). Saw her 1st psychiatrist for depression & anxiety. Now is depressed, regular panic attacks, cuts herself & has suicidal episodes. Has seen many professionals, numerous admissions to psychiatric facilities & on wait list for residential care. She is a very difficult patient to treat because she holds everything inside. A mental health nurse follows D15 intensely since her last discharge.

THE CHILDREN: D15 was born 2 weeks after graduating university. Despite being the highly educated one (father has high school education and is in a dead end job), I stayed home with the children. Post separation I returned to school and entered the workforce when D11 entered school full time. Their father has accused me of having Munchausen Syndrome (I believe he meant Munchausen by Proxy).

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN MYSELF AND EX: I've documented every interaction starting a month before leaving in 2003. Ex stopped phoning years ago when I got a telephone conversation recorder. I insist on email communication, send only pertinent info regarding the children & he rarely acknowledges it. Repeated requests to subscribe to services such as Family Wizard have been ignored. Verbal & emotional abuse at myself & children are common. He has threatened suicide more than once & has not followed thru with help for depression.

CUSTODY & ACCESS: I have full custody. Our agreement identifies 3 access times a year (all he wanted): 1/2 of the school Christmas holiday; March Break; & 4 weeks in August commencing the start of Civil Holiday. For safety I insisted children visit together unless the parties agree & added "upon the child's freely expressed wishes" for August. Additional access occurs any other time we agree. We share transportation for access. I try to avoid scheduling medical appointments during fathers time but he will take them if needed. If father has the children spending overnight anywhere that is not his normal residence, he will provide me with contact information and if applicable, an itinerary. Each parent has reasonable telephone and electronic contact with the kids when in the care of the other parent. I do not require fathers permission to travel outside the country.

RECENT EVENTS DURING SCHEDULED AUGUST ACCESS: Civil Holiday weekend was fine. Every year their father attends an event and the children were looking forward to attending again this year. It is a "superficial environment" for them all. Two days later I start receiving texts from D15.

D15 is in distress. Among other things she has just heard her father screaming "Did you want (emphasized) me to kill you?" at her brother. S11 had accidentally spilled something as ex was getting them ready in the morning for work. I suggest D15 contact her nurse as an unbiased perspective. D15 lists off the excuses why she can't. I verify she has the contact info for my friend who lives close by, the long-standing, identified, go-to person in her safety plan. I notify D15s nurse & she contacts D15.

That evening D15 explains how she has been taking care of her brother & how S11 hurt himself by getting a metal cord to the neck over the Civil Holiday weekend. I remind D15 that all she has to do is say the word and they can come home. She tells me next time there is an incident like this morning she is calling my friend, saying this summer is likely the one that makes her break down & go home early. I verify that her father is giving her her anti-depressant. I ask for the ph# and address for her nana (babysits when ex at work) but D15 doesn't have it.

The next morning after seeing her father tell his mother "I'm going to drown him today" with reference to S11. She wants to go home. Nana can be just as bad. She has a plan to get out which includes telling nana & dad after she was gone because "that would give us the least possibility of getting smacked". D15 talks about a planned camping trip with her dad, his gf & her kid (ex has not notified me about any overnight outside his ordinary residence). Her father "is getting more physical in his advances. Today he was shaking (S11) chair and shoved it so he got the table in the stomach. (D15) took him away and got him dressed." D15 says he is getting more physical "Louder, meaner, and more often. Again, there has never been death threats before."

I tell her I was driving up that night. When she felt safe I'd call her father & nana. D15 gave me the address and phone number for her nana & we verified her plan to get out... Wait until the next morning, after ex dropped them off with nana & S11 waves off their father (only opportunity she identified). I would be waiting for them. I reminded her she could always call my friend for an earlier pickup & gave her ph# for the local police & children's aid.

I checked with my local police department, showed my divorce order, texts with D15 & discharge report from D15 most recent hospital admission. The officer said my friend I were within our legal rights. The texts were clearly genuine. As a mother the officer would not hesitate to get them. I don't have a police enforceability clause (my lawyer was very resistant to the idea). Police suggested I contact duty counsel and the local children's aid & police department where my kids were to be proactive if issues were to arise.

Duty counsel said get the kids home & go to the local court house for an emergency apprehension order if there was trouble. I was given forms for motion to change the access portion of my divorce order & to apply for legal aid. The form for legal aid also included the need to exchange financial information because my ex has ignored all my email requests for his 2012 tax papers and NOA which were due by May 1st.

Police where my kids were said they do not get involved in custody issues but offered to send an officer to check on them. I declined this out of fear for the repercussion which would follow after the officer left.

Children's aid society documented my case and said: it would likely be transferred to the office in my city and I likely will not receive a follow-up from them.

While on the road D15 calls: they had left & called my friend for a pick-up. Nana was yelling at S11 & stormed away. D15 couldn't take it anymore. I informed nana & my ex the kids had left, were safe, & not coming back. Ex was surprised, Nana got defensive, tried shifting responsibility on S11.

Ex sent me two texts. 1st to say how worried he was, he & his mom have been crying, he'd been trying to call & text D15 all night. 2nd to say his version of what happened to S11 neck (he did not know I knew anything about this). I did not respond to either message.

When I got to my kids I called ex, explained D15 did not feel safe, executed her safety plan & now I was executing terms of our court order. He said that he had packed their things & I could pick them up anytime at his work.

No issue collecting personal belongings. S11 came with me, D15 refused. Ex did not say a word about what had happened. He asked S11 to give his sister a big hug. Ex did talk inappropriately to S11 in my opinion but I said nothing... He told S11 about all the fun things that he had planned for them (including the camping trip). S11 ended up consoling his father. S11 asked to say goodbye to his nana. I took him to her. She tried engaging me. I told her I was there only because S11 wanted to say bye to her. She asked if she could see D15 & started walking towards my car. I said D15 was not with us. For her own reasons that I will respect D15 does not want to see her or her father at this time.

There is a history of disregard for safety & reluctance to accept personal responsibility from the ex with increasing severity. Ex has rigid thinking, hot temper & is impulsive. When D15 is with her father she keeps emergency contact info hiding on her body & a bag of necessities packed. I always receive disturbing texts and/or calls when she is with him but this was the first time she found the strength to act. Words cannot express how proud I am of her strength. I need help! I'm trying to do all the right things but consistently feel let down. How do I protect my kids from this type of behaviour? How can I fix my court order to best protect my children? My children are needlessly dying from the inside-out right before my eyes.
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Old 08-15-2013, 08:13 AM
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There is a strong push towards shared and equal parenting on this forum (and in family law in general). What exactly are you proposing? From my perspective as someone who doesn't know you or the full story this is my interpretation:

-You removed the children from their habitual residence and took them 6 hours away, likely knowing that this would make it unlikely/impossible for your ex to have appropriate access to the children because you know, he works.

-Once you had status quo, you used it to claim sole custody and finished cutting him out of their lives 99% of the time. Except for his money which you enforce through FRO after you removed his children.

-Why was the case a train wreck? I would be interested in the Justice's remarks on this. Was it because your ex was fighting for some say in his children's lives after you had worked diligently to eliminate him?

-One of your sons is special needs and sounds like he could be challenging and frustrating to parent. If he is difficult and frustrating to parent, then it is reasonable to expect that people looking after him may become frustrated and lose their cool occasionally. Maybe your ex would have an easier time of it if he had the children on a regular schedule and both he and your son had a chance to establish routines and familiarity.

-Your daughter is depressed and overanxious when she is in your care the other 99% of the time. It doesn't appear to have anything to do with your ex, other than the fact that maybe she feels he is virtually a stranger and doesn't have a strong, nurturing, trusting relationship with him. Who the hell needs a "safety plan" and emergency bag packed when going to visit their Dad who has planned a fun summer holiday for the kids he barely ever gets to see...

-You sound like a very overanxious parent. You've eliminated your ex from 99% of their lives and the 1% that remains is a struggle because they don't have enough time to be a proper family and have a good relationship. Now you've come to the forum for advice on how to eliminate or curtail the remaining 1% of his time with them.

What do you think we are going to say?

The police were not concerned. CAS is not concerned. The courts were not concerned. Yet you know better than everyone else? You are taking minor incidents (frustration over a spilled drink, pushing a chair towards a child, disagreements with their caregiver (Nana) and turning them into some histrionic storm.

Read this case:

http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...has-all-15654/

Your job should be to teach them to love, trust and respect their Father even though things didn't work out with him for you. You have done the opposite. Your ex is their Father, he is an EQUAL PARENT to you in every way. Instead you have built him up in their eyes as a figure to fear.

Read the quoted case and understand the similarity to your case. Your ex needs MORE time with the children, not less. There are NO safety concerns except your fertile imagination. I wish him luck, honestly.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:04 AM
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If I sent my kids to their mum's house after making them memorize a "safety plan" then I would be encouraging paranoia and over reaction.

They spend minimal time with their father and are not socialized to communicate comfortably with him. That includes interpreting how he expresses himself.

I am fine with sole custody/access, although I understand what FightingForFamily is refering to regarding the "strong push for shared" on the board.

You wrote a detailed description, but asked no questions. You are inviting a wide open response by doing so; please don't be upset if you don't get an answer you seek.

Quote:
Their father has accused me of having Munchausen Syndrome (I believe he meant Munchausen by Proxy).
You need to understand how you are coming across with statements like this. Most of get the difference, we get what the father was trying to express. You come across as demeaning the father by pointing out his "ignorance" when in fact, who cares? It seems that you do, you see something so wrong in his misuse of a term that you need to write on the internet about it. Although you made an attempt to write clinically, and trust me, I teach nursing students how to write such reports, your writing is dripping with one-side observations and biased interpretations.
Quote:
Originally Posted by smileandwalkaway View Post
At a conference a judge said this case was a train wreck unlike he had seen before.
A prime example. A "train wreck" description of a family can never be one-sided. The children have been in your care almost exclusively for their entire lives. Yet somehow 100% of the responsibility for their emotions rests with their father.

I was going to quote a few things FightingForFamily pointed out, and then realized I was going to have to just quote the whole thing, so just sign my name to that post as well.

Perhaps if you were clearer about what it is you are seeking? Do you want to keep the children away from their father completely?
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
The children have been in your care almost exclusively for their entire lives. Yet somehow 100% of the responsibility for their emotions rests with their father.
These two sentences really summarize the gist of OP's post in terms of how i read and interpreted it.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:25 AM
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Quote:
If father has the children spending overnight anywhere that is not his normal residence, he will provide me with contact information and if applicable, an itinerary.
This seems unusually onerous. Does the court order provide this? If so, it is really odd, as each parent is generally free to travel within the province as they see fit.

Also, does your court order provide that you are able to exercise an "emergency plan" to cut short his parenting time? I understand that the agreement provides "upon the child's freely expressed wishes", but even that I am not sure is appropriate. For the 15y/o, yes I can see. But definitely not for the 11y/o. At 11 a child is not really aware of consequences of their decisions. Further, as you've admitted, your son is special needs which may further impair his decision making. Thus making that clause for him even more inappropriate.

I don't know what to say regarding much else that hasn't already been said. You appear over anxious. By preparing these "emergency plans" you are undermining your ex to your child. It is a form of parental alienation. You are making your kids not feel safe around their dad. You should be facilitating the relationship between the kids and their dad, especially given their special needs and limited time. Instead, you are preparing them for the worst and creating anxiety which is harming the children. So even if dad is as bad you say and has emotionally scarred the kids with his actions, you are just as bad with yours.

I can see how a judge found this to be a train wreck.
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Old 08-15-2013, 09:57 AM
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You seem like a control freak. These kids need help but I don't think it's because of their father.

I agree they need more time with their father, not less.

I have a feeling this may end up being a one post wonder. Not the answers she was looking for and won't be back.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:07 PM
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I'm a female poster and a mom which is largely irrelevant but I wanted to give the female perspective on your post.

Of course, we don't have all the details but in summary....you are doing a great disservice to your children, in my opinion.

They barely have a father in their lives which is crucial to their development and you're probably seeing some of the effects of that in your daughter's behavior now because she's right around the age where she NEEDS a male role model. You're going to notice increases in her "acting out" and since you've made her father an enemy in her life...expect that she's going to be making some very unhealthy choices with males in the near future. You can look up the statistics yourself.

Your son's condition is likely greatly exascerbated by your actions also.

Here's why I am putting a lot of the blame onto you.

You effectively remove the father from the kid's lives through litigation and re-location. (Somehow managing to blame that on him and making him seem like he didn't want them although he clearly fought for access). Then when the kids do get time with their dad, you micromanage it almost to the point of lunacy and pure evilness.

Why the hell does a 15 year old have an evacuation plan? Why are the kids spying on their dad, repeating everything he says and reporting it back to you? Who the hell are you to not give this man any privacy even in his own f'ing home???? He has the right to determine how to parent the children he has in the very few moments he has with them. How dare you suggest to a kid that she leave her father's home and run away to the person YOU decide is appropriate during HIS access time. Who the hell do you think you are? I'd have called the cops on you and your friend IMMEDIATELY for taking my child out of my home.

I'll bet he's depressed alright. I would be too if a spiteful, controlling witch tried to eliminate my own children from my life...spied on me when I had a few minutes with them...and then turned my kid's into her personal army to sabotage the relationship they share with me and my family. You had your 15 year old texting you everything the man said and did and told her to report him to strangers?

And you wonder why your kids have severe emotional trauma? Really????

Look in the mirror every time your kid cuts herself if you want someone to blame. And when she starts turning to sexual deviance or drug abuse, etc...don't be surprised.

You revel in being a nazi parent and not even letting the kids hug their dad and nana with you standing around like a sentinel monitoring it and gloating over how you f'ed his vacation with them and frankly, that's just pathetic.

I will gladly take a bashing from anyone on the harshness of this post because women like you give decent mothers going through divorce and trying to be good, fair, reasonable co-parents a bad name. And you are damaging your own children to serve your own selfish need for vengence and control and it seriously pisses me off.

I feel very sorry for your ex...and I feel even more sorry for your poor children. They're in for a lifetime of pain because of your actions. Shame on you!

(By the way, kids exaggerate and lie...especially ones with drama-laden mothers who are looking to cause havoc in everyone's lives. I'll bet you dollars to donuts the stories your D told about things her father said where totally exaggerated because your D has effectively learned this attention getting behavior from psycho mom ).

Last edited by Pursuinghappiness; 08-15-2013 at 01:15 PM.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:10 PM
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^I'm not going to bash you.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post
I'm a female poster and a mom which is largely irrelevant but I wanted to give the female perspective on your post.

Of course, we don't have all the details but in summary....you are doing a great disservice to your children, in my opinion.

They barely have a father in their lives which is crucial to their development and you're probably seeing some of the effects of that in your daughter's behavior now because she's right around the age where she NEEDS a male role model. You're going to notice increases in her "acting out" and since you've made her father an enemy in her life...expect that she's going to be making some very unhealthy choices with males in the near future. You can look up the statistics yourself.

Your son's condition is likely greatly exascerbated by your actions also.

Here's why I am putting a lot of the blame onto you.

You effectively remove the father from the kid's lives through litigation and re-location. (Somehow managing to blame that on him and making him seem like he didn't want them although he clearly fought for access). Then when the kids do get time with their dad, you micromanage it almost to the point of lunacy and pure evilness.

Why the hell does a 15 year old have an evacuation plan? Why are the kids spying on their dad, repeating everything he says and reporting it back to you? Who the hell are you to not give this man any privacy even in his own f'ing home???? He has the right to determine how to parent the children he has in the very few moments he has with them. How dare you suggest to a kid that she leave her father's home and run away to the person YOU decide is appropriate during HIS access time. Who the hell do you think you are? I'd have called the cops on you and your friend IMMEDIATELY for taking my child out of my home.

I'll bet he's depressed alright. I would be too if a spiteful, controlling witch tried to eliminate my own children from my life...spied on me when I had a few minutes with them...and then turned my kid's into her personal army to sabotage the relationship they share with me and my family. You had your 15 year old texting you everything the man said and did and told her to report him to strangers?

And you wonder why your kids have severe emotional trauma? Really????

Look in the mirror every time your kid cuts herself if you want someone to blame. And when she starts turning to sexual deviance or drug abuse, etc...don't be surprised.

You revel in being a nazi parent and not even letting the kids hug their dad and nana with you standing around like a sentinel monitoring it and gloating over how you f'ed his vacation with them and frankly, that's just pathetic.

I will gladly take a bashing from anyone on the harshness of this post because women like you give decent mothers going through divorce and trying to be good, fair, reasonable co-parents a bad name. And you are damaging your own children to serve your own selfish need for vengence and control and it seriously pisses me off.

I feel very sorry for your ex...and I feel even more sorry for your poor children. They're in for a lifetime of pain because of your actions. Shame on you!
My bet is she won't read your excellent post and if she does she will certainly not even for a microsecond take any of it to heart.

It's very sad but as her name states....Smileandwalkaway.
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Old 08-15-2013, 01:24 PM
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Not taking a "side" here, but I do know that children with self-harming behaviours have very clearly drawn-up safety plans that do/may include plans to leave ANY situation/location, probably including the child's own home (the OPs home). This is for the safety of children exhibiting self-harming and suicidal behaviours.

Pursuing happiness - I agree with much of what you said, BUT how dare YOU suggest to any parent that they blame themselves for their child's mental illness. Read up on self-harm and suicidal behaviours in children. That was out of line. I agree that the OP absolutely seems controlling and over-protective, but that particular comment was uncalled for. If this child succeeds in the ultimate self-harm, I truly hope that parent NEVER sees the comment you made.
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