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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 10-28-2017, 04:02 PM
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Default Not seeing my daughters

It's a long story.

D10 and D13 and I bave had ups and downs over the past year.

Last Septemeber I lost my temper at home and scared them. I was reacting to their mother but it doesn't matter. There was a break in our relationships. Mom accused me of abuse and CAS became involved.

By Februrary our daugters were coming home on every one of our days ut still sleeping at their moms. The plan we had all agreed to with Cas was to work back towards the overnights. There seem to be any number of roadblocks throwing up by Mom to keep from this happening. In the end, CAS fired a warning shot about going to CFSA court if it kept up.

She responded by filing for sole custody of our daughters in June.

After that, our daughters started reqiesting to be at their moms more and more. Both CAS and their counselor were suprised at this reversal on their part as our time together was retruning back to where it had been.

At the beginning of the school year our daughters were diagnosed as depressive and anxious respectively. September 21st was the last time D10 came home. D13 continued for a bit but always felt torn. She came home fore the last time two weeks ago.

CAS has issued a formal letter for Family Court recommending private family assessment or a clinicians assessment through the OCL, where there is no concern with our children being with me but stating that it is clear that mom did not 'buy into'the plan to return to the shared parenting we had had for seven years post divorce.

Mom continues to fight having any assessment done. Our Case Conference is November 17th.

Their counselor doesn't understand it, neither does our CAS worker. They both say that our daughters speak positively of our time together, that it appeared as things were going back to the way they always had been. CAS was going to close the file even. Now i a matter of weeks our daughters have taken and emotional nose dive and we rarely see them.

So that our daughters don't feel torn, I try to reassure them at every turn that it is ok that they are at their mom's. I don't want anything to add to their angst. But it's if they are suddenly gone. I have seen eafh of my daughters once on the past two weeks. My youngest for 45 minutes.

I know I have to trust in our relationships. I know I can. We've always been close, we ways had more time than most every parent because of my flex work hours. I know that not adding to them feeling torn is most important, but this is horrifically hard.
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Old 10-28-2017, 04:17 PM
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Has there been any suggestion of a counselor who specializes in parental alienation? To help counter some of moms behaviours?
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Old 10-28-2017, 05:23 PM
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Parental Alienation had come up last year as a concern, mentioned by our daughter's counselor. I am not aware that she specializes in that per se.

Meeting with CAS last week, they brought up parental alienation of their own accord, but seemed to focus more on the potential use of Attachment Therapy. Understandably, it is not as though they will report back to me whether or not they actually discuss it with mom. While not experts in clinical psychology, our worker openly and plainly stated she believed there to be an insecure attachment between D10 and mom. D13 has adopted an all tol heavy roll of half following / takimg care of her younger sister. The older though is also suffers from separation amxiety as per their counselor.

I try to focus on what it is I can do, but the general concern is that there are matters mom will have to address. Hopefully the assessment (which I can only believe will be ordered on the 17th or shortly after), will help spur something into fruition.
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Old 10-29-2017, 12:45 AM
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The biggest problem will be theinterference from mom. She will embrace the unhealthy attachment and separation anxiety. She will also encourage it in them as a way of keeping them from you. Remember children who have a healthy relationship with a parent dont have to be “forced” so the big question is why do the kids feel unhappy. Because they feel mom will be unhappy or that they are punishing mom.

Your bestbet is to have a set counseling schedule that is to be adhered to and kids are able to learn that it is a good thing to be with dad.
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:57 AM
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It's anzwering that question of 'why?'.

That we are all hoping an asessment will shed some light on. That she is fighting having one tooth and nail is conerning.
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:06 AM
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Can you stay part of their lives in other ways in the meantime?

See if you can take them out to dinner or to a special show, or to a movie, or bowling or skating or swimming or whatever they enjoy, with no pressure on them to even come to your house, but just to hang out with you in a more neutral location?

And what about trying to go to their events? Find out if they are in school plays, or part of a Christmas concert, or dance show, or in a hockey tournament, etc, whatever their interests are, and go watch them perform or cheer them on. You don't have to interact with your ex. Sit in a different spot and wave to the kids even if you don't get to talk to them. You need to keep it always in the back of their mind that you care about them, and are a normal guy, and it's normal to have a dad come to their events. You don't need to make them choose between you and their mom, or feel like they'd be betraying her if they came to talk to you. Just wave from afar and let your presence be known to them.

Don't let yourself be turned into a stranger. Nobody wants to be forced to stay at a stranger's house. But you really need to do a deke around your ex's attempts to portray you as somebody who isn't there and doesn't care.
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Old 10-29-2017, 11:41 AM
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Thank you Rioe,

It's that balancing act that I am trying to play. This is so incredible new and happened so quickly, day to day feels like a struggle between worry, wonder, angst and hurt.

I do everything I can to make sure I don't portray the 'hurt' part of it. This is about them trying to get through a situation first and foremost.

I leave home out of it completely, suggesting anything from going for a snack, lunch, walking the dog or even me meeting my younger at school at walking her to her mom's. Whatever she is happy with and come up with.

Same for my D13 but, that's where it's so odd. She had kept coming home at first, up until just over a week ago. Then stopped, then this Thursday called first thing in the morning asking if I could drive her to a sport practice. Absolutely! she was cheerful and we chatted for the first two minutes. I mentioned nothing about her coming home the next day as would normally happen etc. The next day though, crickets. Nothing from either.

I have told them I miss them but try to even leave that out of the messaging. Just I love you, hope you are ok, and is there anything you would like to do.

What is hard to explain is the type of relationship we have always had. I was never a father trying to figure out what my relationship would be like. It's just bins of school projects, gigabites of pictures and videos. Too many games of hide and go seek and uno and whatever to even count. Right up until a few weeks ago. I mean really, how many 13 year olds still want to play hide and go seek with their dad in between facetiming their friends. But that was us. That was us with my partner of almost eight years who they also grew close to quickly and with whom up until the start of school plotted to get rid of me so they could do their own things together.

I know their counselor has an end goal of seeing us back to being closer to what things had been like, together and easy. That had been everyone's goal, other family members who now see little of our daughters from BOTH families.

What is painfully clear is that it doesn't seem as though that had been the other parent's goal. Not for a long time.
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Old 10-29-2017, 05:20 PM
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I know I can loose my cool in front of my kids. Not that its exceptable but if CAS get involed in these cases they would be monitoring ever parent in Ontario imo. I thought there must have been some sort of physical abuse going on, but when I reread some of your past post, it seems you smashed a guitar while your kids where in their rooms falling alseep, and you were in the hallway??? I am surprised they are involved at all. Where does CAS draw the line?
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Old 10-29-2017, 07:08 PM
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More than likely what happened was she went home and told mom she had a good time with you and mom started her garbage. So D13 reverted pack to “behaving” in moms house. This is stressful for the kids because they are heavily impacted by moms bs.
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Old 10-29-2017, 08:53 PM
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No, never an accusation of physical abuse against our daughters.

CAS has made it clear that they have absolutely no concern with me whatsoever. They are keeping the file open for another six months because OP's parents met them. It would seem they contradicted any number of things OP had told CAS. Our worker had already made clear they had concerns over OPs messaging to our daughters. They decided to keep the file open because of the emotional impact on our daughters. They have also said that the file is now in 'my name'.

I'm not entirely sure what that means.

All I know is that since she filed for sole custody, our daughters started becoming resistant to maintaining the regular schedule we had re-established, and now we have next to no contact and I am trying to make sure I do nothing to spike any anxiety for them.
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