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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 03-17-2017, 09:59 PM
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Default other parent has cut off communications

I've found myself in this situation which is rather new territory to me. Basically, my communications are ignored, and responses are sent directly to my lawyer. The other parent doesn't have a lawyer. I then communicate back directly with the other parent.. and the cycle continues.

It is presently not known why the other parent does this but I believe it has something to do with the whole "there is no communication" argument that she is making. I am respectful and pleasant in all of my communications with her. It could also be a way for her to drive up the legal costs.

Has anybody else been put in this situation before? Or any situation where the other parent just simply will not communicate with you? What words of wisdom can you share? What did you learn from it? Just wanted to hear from and relate with other parents who've been through this.

Last edited by trinton; 03-17-2017 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:13 PM
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Sounds as though she is attempting to run up your lawyer bills by engaging your lawyer and not you.

You should probably arrange something with your lawyer to forward those communications to you at the lowest cost possible to you.

Keep records of all your communications with her, email would likely be the best method, with delivery and read receipts if you can arrange it.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:29 PM
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Your situation sounds very different than mine. My respondent thinks of he ignores the whole case it will just go away... So any communication I send him is flat out ofhiding. Basically there was nothing the judge could do about it. Other than make a final order, including his support, insurance, financials. I'll need to go back to court in July and ask for contempt for him ignoring the insurance and financials part of the order. FRO is handing the support. But my respondent has told his payroll it is a fraudulent claim and the paperwork was dummied. That was the latest as of today.

I would make a list or track the needless billing by the lawyer (due to your ex). Ask your lawyer to present that as costs as it is needless, delays law (he does have other cases) and blameworthy behavior.

Why is your ex requesting no communication? As long as she doesn't have anything that can be construed or presented as threatening, negative or intimidating communication. I truly think the judge will see through her as long as you document it and request reimbursement.

My two cents...
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Old 03-18-2017, 12:55 AM
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Some people 'over-communicate' ... perhaps your ex simply wants to communicate less with you? How often do you feel you need to relay something to your ex? Every few weeks or 1 x month?
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Old 03-18-2017, 01:03 AM
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Stumbled on this, not sure if it will help you or not:


[117] In Cook v. Cook 2011 CarswellOnt 3230, Backhouse J., stated, at paragraph 7,

“This case has all the hallmarks of a party who has adopted a scorched earth policy and is seeking to run the other party out of money in order to force her to give up her claims. I find that the father’s answer (other than his claims regarding custody/access) shall be struck pursuant to Rule 14(23) of the Family Law Rules.”
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Old 03-18-2017, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trinton View Post
I've found myself in this situation which is rather new territory to me.
But, probably anticipated that something like this would have happened. The volume of communications (unless a child has a LTD or some day-to-day issue) should be generally once a week.

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Originally Posted by trinton View Post
Basically, my communications are ignored, and responses are sent directly to my lawyer.
Well, this isn't being "ignored". The other parent has decided to involve your lawyer in the day-to-day parenting of the child. You can solve this quickly by having your lawyer tell her that this communication should be sent directly to you and that they are simply just putting their emails on auto-forward to you and that you are going to sort it all out. Standard stuff.

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Originally Posted by trinton View Post
The other parent doesn't have a lawyer. I then communicate back directly with the other parent.. and the cycle continues.
1. Think about the volume. If it is more than 1 email a day that you are communicating with the other parent maybe it should be reduced to once a week?

2. Think about the content of the communication. Is it truly "important" stuff? Things like day-to-day care don't need to be communicated. (For example, the child had X, Y, Z for dinner etc...)

3. Instruct your lawyer to respond and tell the other parent that he/she was retained to handle legal matters and not day-to-day routine parenting. That they are forwarding all emails to you and that you are providing them direction. Also, you should have the lawyer outline that running up legal costs like this is a well known legal tactic often deployed by unrepresented litigants and will be dealt with in future costs considerations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trinton View Post
It is presently not known why the other parent does this but I believe it has something to do with the whole "there is no communication" argument that she is making.
The alternative is to jointly retain a parental coordinator. Courts won't order one so it has to be done on consent. There may be a need to have a neutral third party review the communications. It may also work in your favour as the parental coordinator would tell her... Hey this is routine stuff.

In my opinion, it is just a way of running up legal bills. Instruct your lawyer properly so they don't get run up.

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Originally Posted by trinton View Post
I am respectful and pleasant in all of my communications with her. It could also be a way for her to drive up the legal costs.
Remember the frequency of communications does matter. Maybe you are communicating too much communications? Even if friendly...

It is easy to figure out if you are using email etc... Just count the average up over the past year. If it is more than 3 times a week I would say it is too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trinton View Post
Has anybody else been put in this situation before? Or any situation where the other parent just simply will not communicate with you? What words of wisdom can you share? What did you learn from it? Just wanted to hear from and relate with other parents who've been through this.
I am of the opinion that parents often over-communicate. If the child has no special needs then once a week (or even less) is fine. So long as the child is fine.

Brains, blood and broken bones. Those are the times to communicate. Going to the movies, what the child is eating, what the child is watching, and the routine elements of parenting should not be communicated.

Volume and fequency matter. It is a balance.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 03-18-2017, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
I am of the opinion that parents often over-communicate. If the child has no special needs then once a week (or even less) is fine. So long as the child is fine.
That was likely the hardest thing for me to learn and abide by. The more I communicate with my ex, the more we fight, which isn't good for the kids. The only times we now talk, is to confirm schedules for the kids, and to locate missing homework/books/coats.

At one point we were having so much conflict we actually saw a marriage counsellor together, quite a while after the divorce.. Her idea, I thought it was ridiculous, but I figured it couldn't make things worse. We were firmly told we were talking too much and too involved in each others lives, and that we were basically still behaving as though we were married but without sharing a bed.

The solution proposed was to cut each other out of our lives. Only talk if completely necessary but otherwise to live as though the other person didn't exist. With kids, to do that, you have to realize that they aren't going to intentionally cause the kids harm, and that when the kids are with them, you have zero influence on their time and parenting.

Its worked out great, and we've had only two issues since.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soiled View Post
That was likely the hardest thing for me to learn and abide by. The more I communicate with my ex, the more we fight, which isn't good for the kids. The only times we now talk, is to confirm schedules for the kids, and to locate missing homework/books/coats.

At one point we were having so much conflict we actually saw a marriage counsellor together, quite a while after the divorce.. Her idea, I thought it was ridiculous, but I figured it couldn't make things worse. We were firmly told we were talking too much and too involved in each others lives, and that we were basically still behaving as though we were married but without sharing a bed.

The solution proposed was to cut each other out of our lives. Only talk if completely necessary but otherwise to live as though the other person didn't exist. With kids, to do that, you have to realize that they aren't going to intentionally cause the kids harm, and that when the kids are with them, you have zero influence on their time and parenting.

Its worked out great, and we've had only two issues since.
All very sound advice. Soiled, I hope you stick around to share your wisdom. A lot of people on this forum could benefit from it. It is rare to have someone of your caliber and consideration contribute.

The advice given by the counselor is sound and quite common.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
Some people 'over-communicate' ... perhaps your ex simply wants to communicate less with you? How often do you feel you need to relay something to your ex? Every few weeks or 1 x month?
Usually less than 1 x month. I generally only reach out to request additional access/holidays (once for Summer, once for Christmas, March Break, etc). In the rare event, I reach out to suggest a 3rd party service (once in the last 2 years.) I call her for urgent matters (i.e., taking the child to the hospital, etc.)

I should mention however, that she feels she needs to relay something to me several times a week. They are usually complains/accusations/criticism that are ignored by me.

With this whole communicating through my lawyer thing, when she feels she needs to relay something, she also goes through the lawyer - demands a reply from the lawyer directly, and follows up with the lawyer if she doesn't get an reply the same day. She sends several emails a week to my lawyer.

I think she may be hoping that I will communicate back with the lawyer so that she can make the bold statement "there is no communication between us".

Last edited by trinton; 03-20-2017 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:01 AM
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The other parent is trying to burn you down. Also, have you considered that the other parent is hoping that your lawyer is scolding you in some way. That is often the objective too. The other party often "hopes"/"thinks" that they can control you through your lawyer.

Very easy to present the evidence as "controlling" behaviour if the communications have a specific tone.
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