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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 01-26-2012, 09:39 AM
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Default Shared Custody

I have been representing myself while my ex has a lawyer. Attended the case conference and we settled on an equalization payment amount that I have to pay. The amount ended up about half way between what I thought I should pay and what they thought I should pay. Judge chalked that up as a success. Still outstanding is the child support amount I have to pay. We are a small amount apart on that numbers (for them), but for me it hits me actually about 4 times as much. We are essentially shared custody with me having over the 40% custody amount (which they are not agreeing on...yet!). If CRA will not recognize my custody time I lose tax benefits and deductions to the tune of about $300/mth. I have temporarily agreed to pay support for now that is about 1/3 higher than the straight set-off method used in shared custody. Next court date is still over three months away for a Trial Management Conference.

1) Should I put in a motion now for a court sanctioned child custody regiment that affirms my custody time? I am self-employed working from home, the home the children were born in and where they go to school. I have more time than money to give to these kids.

P.S. I've been purposely vague on the numbers in case someone is "breathing over my shoulder".
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:44 AM
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Have you journalled your time with the child? Chances are you are going to have to prove that the current arrangement is status quo. If not, it won't be easy, as it will be her word vs yours (if she hasn't consented to the schedule).
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:01 AM
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Journal not required because she does not contest the current schedule. However, the current over-night schedule we have is to her benefit to fit her work schedule, which starts very early in the morning. The problem is that I have somehow allowed a drop-off at my house between 8 and 9 PM the night before, which turns me basically into a "hotel" for these kids. I asked to change that to 5 or 6 PM, so I can at least have dinner with the kids and more time with them, but since lawyer is now involved you can imagine that that did not go over well.

I want to have my kids more time and they would like to as well. I have a great relationship with them. I just don't know if my chances are as good as I think getting a court order for more custody time. I'd be interested to hear how many men out there have made this argument and got a court to agree?
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:33 AM
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My husband has joint custody of his kids, but is filing a variation to increase his access time. If successful, it will amount to a 60-40 split, but we aren't filing to change the custody to "shared".

Maybe someone can clarify, but our lawyer advised us not to push the "shared" custody option, just be concerned about the access time?
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCB View Post
My husband has joint custody of his kids, but is filing a variation to increase his access time. If successful, it will amount to a 60-40 split, but we aren't filing to change the custody to "shared".

Maybe someone can clarify, but our lawyer advised us not to push the "shared" custody option, just be concerned about the access time?
You should probably start your own topic so as not to hijack OP's thread.

But from my perspective, the lawyers advice is fairly sound. It is more important to establish status quo. It will be easier to establish status quo if the ex is less likely to fight it. Once "share" gets thrown into the equation, the ex is likely to see $$ and this action as an attack on what she receives in c/s. Therefore will likely fight tooth and nail.

If you get her to agree to 60/40 and 6-8 months down the road file a motion to change c/s in accordance with the share parenting schedule, it is significantly more likely to succeed. Status quo of shared has been established, the kids will hopefully be thriving and the ex won't have a lot of ground to stand on because, while the parenting terminology hasn't changed on paper....it has in reality.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:49 AM
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Thanks HammerDad for the advice. Sorry, wasn't intending on seeking my own advice, I was just confused about whether miragesailor really needed the official "shared custody", or if he could just go for joint and then have 40% access.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:53 AM
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I've been told the same thing. If the courts "sniff out" an agenda to change custody just to lower C/S then they will be reluctant to be swayed in your favour.

However, at this point there is no C/S order in place with my case. I have never given any indication (in fact the opposite) that I have ever recognized anything but us being equal custody parents. I would think at this point, any fight against me on this will smell of C/S concerns on her part as well.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCB View Post
Thanks HammerDad for the advice. Sorry, wasn't intending on seeking my own advice, I was just confused about whether miragesailor really needed the official "shared custody", or if he could just go for joint and then have 40% access.
Joint has already been established over the past two years while settlement has been in the works. The 40% access is the contention because they have me short by 4 hrs/week.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:59 AM
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If there is no C/S agreement in place, then insist on getting what you want and what best represents the circumstances in writing with the courts. Like the others point out, what's in the order is what the judges assume is status quo, and it's difficult to prove otherwise.

My husband signed a joint custody agreement with his ex-wife (before he met me) who was very reasonable at the time. Then he met me lol and it all changed...my point, don't trust the ex lol!
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miragesailor View Post
Joint has already been established over the past two years while settlement has been in the works. The 40% access is the contention because they have me short by 4 hrs/week.
Shared is generally determined by overnights, not hours in the week. If you have 3 out of 7 nights, you would meet the threshold for shared in most instances.

Should they argue that you don't feed them, that your house is just a place to sleep, you argue that you are capable of feeding them and ensuring they are provided for and that providing the necessary accomodations for each child to sleep is a large portion of the costs associated with the kids.
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