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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 06-19-2014, 01:28 PM
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Default Parenting Coordinator? Where to get one?

Hello,

I'm at a lost. I left my former common law partner three years ago, after what we both new was a toxic relationship. I moved to Ottawa with my son while he stayed in Montreal for his work. Things were amicable. I travelled half way to Montreal on the weekends to exchange and for the most part, we were still good friends.

After 8 mths, he transferred to Ottawa and moved to the same community as my son and I. I still have our son the majority of the time because of his schedule. Our friendship started to crash as I entered into a new relationship. My ex wanted 50/50. We had no set schedule and we were simply going off our work schedules/social outings planned out on a monthly calendar ect. We were always very flexible. I was open to a 50/50 until he sent me an email announcing he met someone and after several months into their relationship, they bought a new house and she was 13 weeks pregnant (with twins). My stance was to keep as little change possible in my son's life and this was going to be a big one. His dad refused and unilaterally changed our month to month schedule by picking up my son on 'my day' and kept him for 7 days. My lawyer sent his lawyer a letter to say 'no -no' all while we would email me to say such things as 'you have no leg to stand on'.

I was told to keep my stance and return to our regular schedule (of which was pretty much 60/40 at that time) and again, he pulled my son out of daycare on my day -right before I was picking him up and kept him for the 7 days. I didn't even have the chance to explain to my son that I wouldn't see him for 7 days and that things were changing. My son was 6 at that time. Again, another letter from my lawyer stating that both parties are so close to reaching an agreement and that he should not have done that ect. My ex and his lawyer declined a four way lawyer meeting, and we settled to attend mediation. This didn't help whatsoever.

All I wanted was six months so my child could adapt to the baby twins, his new house and his dad's girlfriend. I decided that I would simply let it go and not fight the 50/50. He is a good father after all. A year and a half went by and that's when I met my partner and I moved in with him - in Kanata. He also has a daughter and her and my son are a year apart. He also has her 50/50 schedule with her and we have the kids on the same week. Ever since my relationship with my partner and including my move to Kanata, my ex has been very hostile. He is unreasonable at every chance. For a year now, I've been driving my son to school in Barrhaven (20min drive) and my ex seems to think that this is unacceptable.

My son's school called in Feb this year with red flags about our son (lack of focus, emotional outbursts,ect) and his dad blamed my move. We had him assessed and the report came back that he did not in fact have ADHD and that he was emotionally affected by the separation (even though three years had passed by) He still wants his mom and dad together. He is now 8yrs old, and is seeing the school board's social worker. Things have improved and he seems happier however, the social worker called a conference call with both his dad and I (last week) to summarize the last few months and shared that our son expressed wanting to attend the same school as his step sister (her school is behind our home).

You see, they are very close and have a special connection. I'm at a point now where I feel that 50/50 is not working (even his dad says this) our son has not adjusted and that we should be listening to what our son wants. My ex refuses to seek mediation and now I'm faced with having my lawyer send his lawyer a four way meeting request to talk about changing my son's school to Kanata of which would affect access. Any suggestions? I am not looking for child support. I'm even wondering if a parenting coordinator may work.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:57 PM
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Ugg.

Walls of text are hard to read. Please break your message into paragraphs.
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Old 06-19-2014, 01:59 PM
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Done! Thanks. This is my first post.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
Hello,

I'm at a lost. I left my former common law partner three years ago, after what we both new was a toxic relationship. I moved to Ottawa with my son while he stayed in Montreal for his work. Things were amicable. I travelled half way to Montreal on the weekends to exchange and for the most part, we were still good friends.

After 8 mths, he transferred to Ottawa and moved to the same community as my son and I. I still have our son the majority of the time because of his schedule. Our friendship started to crash as I entered into a new relationship. My ex wanted 50/50. We had no set schedule and we were simply going off our work schedules/social outings planned out on a monthly calendar ect. We were always very flexible. I was open to a 50/50 until he sent me an email announcing he met someone and after several months into their relationship, they bought a new house and she was 13 weeks pregnant (with twins). My stance was to keep as little change possible in my son's life and this was going to be a big one. His dad refused and unilaterally changed our month to month schedule by picking up my son on 'my day' and kept him for 7 days. My lawyer sent his lawyer a letter to say 'no -no' all while we would email me to say such things as 'you have no leg to stand on'.

I was told to keep my stance and return to our regular schedule (of which was pretty much 60/40 at that time) and again, he pulled my son out of daycare on my day -right before I was picking him up and kept him for the 7 days. I didn't even have the chance to explain to my son that I wouldn't see him for 7 days and that things were changing. My son was 6 at that time. Again, another letter from my lawyer stating that both parties are so close to reaching an agreement and that he should not have done that ect. My ex and his lawyer declined a four way lawyer meeting, and we settled to attend mediation. This didn't help whatsoever.

All I wanted was six months so my child could adapt to the baby twins, his new house and his dad's girlfriend. I decided that I would simply let it go and not fight the 50/50. He is a good father after all. A year and a half went by and that's when I met my partner and I moved in with him - in Kanata. He also has a daughter and her and my son are a year apart. He also has her 50/50 schedule with her and we have the kids on the same week. Ever since my relationship with my partner and including my move to Kanata, my ex has been very hostile. He is unreasonable at every chance. For a year now, I've been driving my son to school in Barrhaven (20min drive) and my ex seems to think that this is unacceptable.

My son's school called in Feb this year with red flags about our son (lack of focus, emotional outbursts,ect) and his dad blamed my move. We had him assessed and the report came back that he did not in fact have ADHD and that he was emotionally affected by the separation (even though three years had passed by) He still wants his mom and dad together. He is now 8yrs old, and is seeing the school board's social worker. Things have improved and he seems happier however, the social worker called a conference call with both his dad and I (last week) to summarize the last few months and shared that our son expressed wanting to attend the same school as his step sister (her school is behind our home).

You see, they are very close and have a special connection. I'm at a point now where I feel that 50/50 is not working (even his dad says this) our son has not adjusted and that we should be listening to what our son wants. My ex refuses to seek mediation and now I'm faced with having my lawyer send his lawyer a four way meeting request to talk about changing my son's school to Kanata of which would affect access. Any suggestions? I am not looking for child support. I'm even wondering if a parenting coordinator may work.
Maybe if you weren't fighting about 50/50 and just did it with no resistance he would adjust better.

Kids are very adaptable.

I am in 50/50 with an 8 yo son. He is a great kid and he does get frustrated with 50/50 at times just as I do as well as my ex. It takes to cooperative parents willing to make it work. Saying that can you imagine how your son my react if he is removed from his father. Kids need BOTH parents as active people in their lives. The studies back this and prove it. Having one parent not be an equal partner is known to have negative affects on kids.

You driving the kids 20 min is fine. My ex moved 30 mins away and drove them every day to the school near the Mat home. It worked fine.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:29 PM
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Couple of points.

Try to see if from his side, if only to get a better understanding of his perspective and what he wants.

You moved away. Did you both agree that was ok? Or did you assume it was ok, and pressured him to agree?

You had a working 50/50, and while a new partner and babies make things complicated, you really had no business yanking him out of 50/50 unless both parents agreed.

You deciding that your son needed six months, that wasn't your call to make. That may be a cause of bitterness, and while you'd hope he'd have gotten over it, some things do linger.

Moving to Kanata, that should not have been an issue, but if there were still lingering issues, this would tend to exacerbate it, and then moving the school even farther from Ottawa would further aggrevate the issue, if school was one of the exchange points as it often is.

But then moving the school to Kanata which is closer to Ottawa, should be a win for both of you no? Do you discuss this with him as an option, or present it as a decision you had made?

Has your son been to counselling? It may be helpful.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:32 PM
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Any suggestions as to where the OP can find parenting coordinators?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FB_ View Post
Having one parent not be an equal partner is known to have negative affects on kids.
And can you point me to the conclusive studies that you are referring to above when you have a chance? I'm of the belief a substantial relationship with both parents is a necessity, but haven't read any studies that indicate not having equal or 50-50 (as opposed to substantial) has negative effects. Tia,

eta:
Quote:
Has your son been to counselling? It may be helpful.
DTD has it right, I too suggest you seek some outside help for your son. Can his school not point you in the right direction?
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:33 PM
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You also didn't feel it was required for time away from your house when you introduced your new partners child.

Didn't your son also need time to adjust to that or was that different?
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:07 PM
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Reading the original post I see text that points to a lot of controlling behaviours and I sense that there is no realization of them at all. The OP expected dad to forgo a 50/50 schedule for 27 weeks of pregnancy and then another 6 months to get used to the babies? Wow, I'm speechless. No wonder dad is angry!

I get the feeling you're all over the map. You've said dad is a wonderful father. What specifically (perhaps list in bullet points) isn't "working" with 50/50 access schedule?
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Old 06-19-2014, 05:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FB_ View Post
You also didn't feel it was required for time away from your house when you introduced your new partners child.

Didn't your son also need time to adjust to that or was that different?
I was thinking the same thing. What is the difference between dad getting a new gf and having some more bio kids vs mom getting a new bf who has kids already? If the op gets pregnant by the bf should the child go to his fathers?
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Old 06-19-2014, 07:00 PM
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It isn't clear why the OP thinks 50/50 isn't working out. It sounds like her son is having difficulties, but it's not obvious that 50/50 is the primary cause. I can see why a parenting co-ordinator might help these parents help their kid, but I don't see evidence indicating that switching away from 50/50 is in the kid's best interest. The parts about keeping the son for the duration of his father's gf's pregnancy and six months after, and now trying to switch his school to Kanata also raise some yellow flags. I'm also a little wary when parents claim they're doing "what my child wants", when that coincides closely with what is convenient for the parent, esp. when the child is quite young. OP, more info on this?
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