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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 05-01-2013, 01:46 AM
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Default OCL Recommendation & Ex's Offer to Settle

OCL's recommendation during Disclosure Meeting is sole custody with final decisions to me.
Ex's lawyer was to draw up Minutes of Settlement. It's been 2 months, and because I sent OCL a letter to tell them that I hadn't had a response or a draft Minutes of Settlement.

What I received was an Offer to Settle. How does that differ from Minutes of SEttlement ? If I don't agree with their Offer to Settle, can I request that the Minutes of Settlement based on the OCLs recommendations only, i.e. custody and access (and not deal with the future holidays etc) because he is still on supervised access at this point, and we are going on a graduated plan to get it to unsupervised.

I thought the Minutes of Settlement were just to cover the areas that the OCL recommended.......they have sent an Offer to Settle. which says I will have "custody of child" and make important decisions about childs welfare after consulting but .."if parties cannot agree, they will use the Dispute Resolution". (OCL recommended Sole Custody)...Is there a difference regarding their wording ?

Also that that parties will "prefer the child's interests to their own " - what does that mean...it was regarding exchange of information - didn't understand that term.

Also, stated that I would not move child's residence from our town without first providing 90 days notice and obtaining ex's WRITTEN CONSENT OR A COURT ORDER ? I don't agree to this, because eventually when our child goes to secondary school, I intend to relocate to a home closer to her school.

His lawyer said that neither party is to travel to a country who are not signatories to the Hague Convention, which essentially stops our child from ever visiting my side of the family in Singapore or even having a relationship with the family. My father is 85, very ill and wants to see his only granddaughter for the last time and I have a motion to go to court next week to get a court order to travel., and I have people who have testified to my trustworthiness and my home is here in Canada. I even have someone willing to act as my guarantor (not that I even remotely need it). I have letters from my employers, people inthe community etc who vouch for my moral character.

My daughter has been asking to see her grandfather, and all I can say is that I'm working on trying to see if we can afford it. I don't want to tell her just in case it doesn't go through.

Gosh, I just cant believe the vindictiveness that is so apparent. I do hope the courts will see that. Can't anyone see that ?


When an Offer to Settle is filed with the court.........how do I respond. Do i send a counter offer to settle and file that with the court ?

Also, what is the time frame that one has to respond. (there was no "date" listed on their offer. )

I had a PArenting Plan that was given, that was given the approval by CAS and the counsellor, and even his lawyer at the time said that it was fair.......and now this.

I suppose I'm in sort of panic mode now, because I don't want to make an error that woudl be detrimental to the intrests of our child.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Gal View Post
Also, stated that I would not move child's residence from our town without first providing 90 days notice and obtaining ex's WRITTEN CONSENT OR A COURT ORDER ? I don't agree to this, because eventually when our child goes to secondary school, I intend to relocate to a home closer to her school.
Presumably, secondary school would be within town?

Either way, asking for notification before moving the child seems to be very reasonable. If your ex allowed you to move without consent or court order, then you could go anywhere in the world and effectively end your ex's relationship with the children without recourse.

Quote:
His lawyer said that neither party is to travel to a country who are not signatories to the Hague Convention, which essentially stops our child from ever visiting my side of the family in Singapore or even having a relationship with the family. My father is 85, very ill and wants to see his only granddaughter for the last time and I have a motion to go to court next week to get a court order to travel., and I have people who have testified to my trustworthiness and my home is here in Canada. I even have someone willing to act as my guarantor (not that I even remotely need it). I have letters from my employers, people inthe community etc who vouch for my moral character.
You make a good point. That said, as we have seen, it is extremely dangerous to allow somebody to take your children to a country that is not a signatory to the Hague convention. Frankly, I know that if my ex wanted to do that, I would fight like a banshee to stop it. My ex is very conniving though. I need to be careful for the next decade.


Quote:
Gosh, I just cant believe the vindictiveness that is so apparent. I do hope the courts will see that. Can't anyone see that ?
I see a mother who has stolen some children from a father, and a father who is very fearful of what more she has in store for him down the road.

I don't see how forced sole custody can ever avoid destroying a relationship between parents.

Quote:
When an Offer to Settle is filed with the court.........how do I respond. Do i send a counter offer to settle and file that with the court ?
You don't have to respond at all. If your ex goes to court and gets more than the offer to settle, then you will be paying for his lawyer. That is all the offer to settle means. If the offer is unreasonable, then the paper is worthless fluff. If the offer is fair though, then ignoring it can be very costly financially speaking.


Quote:
I suppose I'm in sort of panic mode now, because I don't want to make an error that woudl be detrimental to the intrests of our child.
You are asking for sole custody, I don't think you are actually that concerned about the best interests of your child, but that is just my bias. Perhaps your ex is a monster, I don't know your back story.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:53 AM
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just respond to his offer to settle with what you agree to and the compromise you are willing to make on what you dont agree with.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
What I received was an Offer to Settle. How does that differ from Minutes of SEttlement ? If I don't agree with their Offer to Settle, can I request that the Minutes of Settlement based on the OCLs recommendations only, i.e. custody and access (and not deal with the future holidays etc) because he is still on supervised access at this point, and we are going on a graduated plan to get it to unsupervised
As has been explained an offer to settle would set them up so that if you decide to refuse it, push to court for a judge's decision and the ex winds up with MORE or close to his offer to settle, YOU could be on the hook for part or all of his legal fees. It's a standard tactic.

You can counter with something along the lines of the future holidays/etc being dependant on the successful move to unsupervised access as outlined in X (whatever X is...parenting plan, CAS recommendations, OCL, whatever)

Quote:
Also that that parties will "prefer the child's interests to their own " - what does that mean...it was regarding exchange of information - didn't understand that term.
Ideally (unless the ex is a documented danger to the child) he should get joint LEGAL custody, with you having primary physical and final decision making on education, medical and religious decisions.

JOINT LEGAL would give him the ability to speak freely with the school, teachers, doctors, etc, without having to go thru you, and obligates you to seek his input on major education, medical, and religious decisions.

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Also, stated that I would not move child's residence from our town without first providing 90 days notice and obtaining ex's WRITTEN CONSENT OR A COURT ORDER ? I don't agree to this, because eventually when our child goes to secondary school, I intend to relocate to a home closer to her school.
Normal and standard. YOU can move wherever you want to. The child on the other hand should not be moved away from the habitual area of residence without cause. He will most likely get this included if you push to court. Maybe counter with "not move the child's residence further than X km away without providing 90 days notice and obtaining either written consent or court order". Hopefully your long term intention to move to accommodate secondary school is outlined in your parenting plan that you provided.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:17 AM
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To add to the above, the ex cannot be forced to sign anything. Just because you have an OCL recommendation does not, at this point, force him to agree to anything at all.

If there were negotiations at the disclosure meeting and you thought there was agreement, it was certainly fair to say that they should draw up Minutes of Settlement (which would be an accurate transcript of the agreement at the conference.) However, he is not forced to do this or sign anything. People can change their mind about verbal agreements, that is why they need to be drawn up and signed.

You thought you had a deal and it was over; the ex changed their mind and made a offer to settle instead.
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Old 05-01-2013, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
OCL's recommendation during Disclosure Meeting is sole custody with final decisions to me.
Ex's lawyer was to draw up Minutes of Settlement. It's been 2 months, and because I sent OCL a letter to tell them that I hadn't had a response or a draft Minutes of Settlement.
Key word in bold... this is JUST a recommendation and in no way, shape or form, is he not obligated to agree to anything and if Minutes were to be drawn up, they should have been done on the spot.

Quote:
What I received was an Offer to Settle. How does that differ from Minutes of SEttlement ? If I don't agree with their Offer to Settle, can I request that the Minutes of Settlement based on the OCLs recommendations only, i.e. custody and access (and not deal with the future holidays etc) because he is still on supervised access at this point, and we are going on a graduated plan to get it to unsupervised.
Are you planning on fighting about this for years to come? Why would you not want a solid parenting plan from the start to prevent further legal action down the road.

Quote:
I thought the Minutes of Settlement were just to cover the areas that the OCL recommended.......they have sent an Offer to Settle. which says I will have "custody of child" and make important decisions about childs welfare after consulting but .."if parties cannot agree, they will use the Dispute Resolution". (OCL recommended Sole Custody)...Is there a difference regarding their wording ?
Again, recommendations, he does not have to accept and even if this goes to court, there is no guarantee that the recommendations will be turned into an order. Dispute resolution is very common... again why would you NOT want this?

Also that that parties will "prefer the child's interests to their own " - what does that mean...it was regarding exchange of information - didn't understand that term.

Quote:
Also, stated that I would not move child's residence from our town without first providing 90 days notice and obtaining ex's WRITTEN CONSENT OR A COURT ORDER ? I don't agree to this, because eventually when our child goes to secondary school, I intend to relocate to a home closer to her school.
Put the shoe on the other foot... would you be okay if he was the one with custody and he had the power to move where ever he wanted? Again it is very common to have a clause such as this... you are permitted to move where ever you like, but doesn't mean the child gets to go with you.

Quote:
His lawyer said that neither party is to travel to a country who are not signatories to the Hague Convention, which essentially stops our child from ever visiting my side of the family in Singapore or even having a relationship with the family. My father is 85, very ill and wants to see his only granddaughter for the last time and I have a motion to go to court next week to get a court order to travel., and I have people who have testified to my trustworthiness and my home is here in Canada. I even have someone willing to act as my guarantor (not that I even remotely need it). I have letters from my employers, people in the community etc who vouch for my moral character.
If you get a court order to travel great... this is something you can counter back on, but again, understand his point of view... do you really think any one is going to admit they are going to leave the country with their children? I personally don't think the letters will do much good, this may be something you have to iron out in court.



Quote:
Gosh, I just cant believe the vindictiveness that is so apparent. I do hope the courts will see that. Can't anyone see that ?
Personally I see it as you want to call all the shots and don't want to wiggle on anything. You seem like you want sole with him having limited access and that is that.



Quote:
I suppose I'm in sort of panic mode now, because I don't want to make an error that woudl be detrimental to the intrests of our child.
The biggest mistake you can make is trying to cut the children's father out of their lives. Do your best to work with him and you will be much better off.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
Presumably, secondary school would be within town?

Either way, asking for notification before moving the child seems to be very reasonable. If your ex allowed you to move without consent or court order, then you could go anywhere in the world and effectively end your ex's relationship with the children without recourse.

Secondary School will be the next town over. The communite from my present home to her school would take over an hour by school bus and would be expensive as it would have to be a paid service.) It would make sense to move closer to her school which would be beneficial to her.

You make a good point. That said, as we have seen, it is extremely dangerous to allow somebody to take your children to a country that is not a signatory to the Hague convention. Frankly, I know that if my ex wanted to do that, I would fight like a banshee to stop it. My ex is very conniving though. I need to be careful for the next decade.

While I understand that, he is effectively stopping our child from ever having a relationship with my side of the family who the majority live in Singapore. Our daughter and I am Canadian, he's American.

My argument is that while S'pore is not signatury to the H.C., they have applied to be, and while some countries have signed and accepted, Canada is in the "process" of accepting but it has not be ratified yet.
Also S'pore has an
International Child Abduction Act 2010 which I believe would give the father some comfort. I'm not familiar with the Act however, it gives some comfort I suppose to someone like him.


I see a mother who has stolen some children from a father, and a father who is very fearful of what more she has in store for him down the road.

I don't see how forced sole custody can ever avoid destroying a relationship between parents.

At the Discolosure Meeting Sole custody was recommended by OCL so that we would not end up fighting over every issue regarding decision making for our child. As it is he has never made any decisions regarding our child's education, activities etc (and he has always said he didn't want to)....and as for a "relationship" between the parents. ....kind of hard to have one with an ex who was abusive and continues to this day.

You don't have to respond at all. If your ex goes to court and gets more than the offer to settle, then you will be paying for his lawyer. That is all the offer to settle means. If the offer is unreasonable, then the paper is worthless fluff. If the offer is fair though, then ignoring it can be very costly financially speaking.



You are asking for sole custody, I don't think you are actually that concerned about the best interests of your child, but that is just my bias. Perhaps your ex is a monster, I don't know your back story.
That is true you don't know my history regarding the relationship between the two of us. Suffice to say that OCL recommended sole custody because of the facts before them.
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