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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 01-13-2016, 01:15 PM
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Default Shared Custody - Child's Choice

Just wondering if anyone has gone through this issue and what the outcome was for you?

Up until last summer I was in a shared custody/shared custodial custody arrangement with my ex. We have a separation agreement/court order going back a few years that stipulates what support amount is to be paid (in my case I pay because I am higher income) and how the children's living arrangements will be...live with each of us 50/50.

A little over two years ago I convinced my new partner to join with me in raising my three children 50/50 with my ex. My partner sold a house on the other side of the City and I sold my house and we bought a new house in my children's school district and settled into what we though would be a 10 year plan. In the mean time my ex moved out of the children's school district.

Relations with my ex have never been good and the main reason I think for that is I landed on my feet after the separation much better than my ex. Also our parenting style differs a lot where I am more about teaching my kids about the realities and consequences of life where my ex is more like a snow plow operator pushing everything out of the way in front of them. About 6 month ago my kids decided not having to learning any coping skills is the easiest route for them, so they decide they wanted to live with my ex full time. Heartbreaking, but what can you do when they are all teenagers who think they know what is best for them?

Now my ex is taking me to court asking for more money (almost double) for child support for have the kids basically 2 weeks more a month! So basically all our financial and emotional investment my partner and I have made is basically for nothing and my ex can unilaterally decide that our separation agreement means nothing? One thing is for sure, if two years ago I knew my kids would bail on us because they like my ex's rules better, I certainly would not be living in a house now set up for raising three kids and all the money that has cost us!

I'm fighting my ex's bid for getting more money on the grounds that my ex cannot demonstrate a "need" for more considering my ex has set up an entire life perfectly fine for years now under the child support that was being given. Also, I am the only one since day one who has been putting money away in the kids RESPs, to the tune of more per month than my support and my ex has done nothing in this regard.

How do you think this will turn out in court?
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Old 01-13-2016, 01:54 PM
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Before just giving in to the children's wishes, consider that in later years, they may think you gave up on them even though they asked for this now. Be clear with them that you love them and wish to be a strong part of their lives.

In court, it depends if you contest it. If you contest it, there may be OCL ordered if in Ontario. Not sure what the equivalent would be in other provinces. Depends on their ages and the reasons they state for wanting the change how strongly their wishes will be considered.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:00 PM
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I have several friends whose children played the " choosing the. Oil parent to live with". It was a nightmare. I would sit your. Hidden down and see where you can come to an understanding of your home environment. Meeting their needs. You do not have to give up everything you believe in, but maybe you could reach out to them and listen to their point of view.

I would insist they adhere to the agreement and then enter into some family counselling. Fix the problem, do not let them run away from it.
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Old 01-13-2016, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachnana View Post
I have several friends whose children played the " choosing the. Oil parent to live with". It was a nightmare. I would sit your. Hidden down and see where you can come to an understanding of your home environment. Meeting their needs. You do not have to give up everything you believe in, but maybe you could reach out to them and listen to their point of view.

I would insist they adhere to the agreement and then enter into some family counselling. Fix the problem, do not let them run away from it.
That will not get done, unfortunately, without some sort of order or stern warning to my ex...preferably from a judge. She has from the beginning always felt like she owns the kids, I'm entitled to them only by her good graces and I don't deserve to have them. She has said that right to my face.

I know very well at this point that any confrontation with her or the kids on this at this point will just alienate them from me even more than what they are already from this decision they have made. The ex pays lip-service about how she is not responsible for any of it, but I know my kids (or I once knew them), they would not turn into kids that are almost unrecognizable to me now without, couching, bribing and brainwashing.
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Old 01-13-2016, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
they would not turn into kids that are almost unrecognizable to me now without, couching, bribing and brainwashing
Go to court and prove that and you can talk about preventing the change.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:44 AM
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How old are the children? Have you signed an agreement which stipulates the new parenting schedule?

There are some details that need to be set out to give better advice. That said, if the kids are over the age of 14, a court will grant their wishes. If their wish is to live with your ex, than that is what it will be.

our argument about their needs not being equal to the amount of child support your ex is demanding is essentially irrelevant. Child support where one parent has the children over 60% of the time is set out in the legislation. It is fairly cut and dry. You take your grosse income, the number of children and your province, you put it into the calculator (Child Support Table Look-up ) and you get what you are supposed to pay.

It sucks that your kids are taking the easy route, as it will only backfire on them later in life. Stick with it, show them you still care and are there for them and hopefully they will see the error of their ways.
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Old 01-14-2016, 03:58 PM
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Has it occurred to you that your teenage kids might not like the concept of your new partner 'joining you to raise them'? Could that be a problem and if so, could you discuss with the kids and come to an agreement as to who is 'raising' them?

Other point, if kids do not go back to the old schedule and if you have to pay C/S shouldn't you still be okay, sharing all house expenses with your (I assume) working partner even though things did not go exactly as planned. And have spare bedrooms for when the kids come?

Finally, many teenagers do not like 50/50 schedule which they find very impractical.
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ele110 View Post
Has it occurred to you that your teenage kids might not like the concept of your new partner 'joining you to raise them'? Could that be a problem and if so, could you discuss with the kids and come to an agreement as to who is 'raising' them?

Other point, if kids do not go back to the old schedule and if you have to pay C/S shouldn't you still be okay, sharing all house expenses with your (I assume) working partner even though things did not go exactly as planned. And have spare bedrooms for when the kids come?
This should be so easy, continuing to have a house that is meant for family of five and paying probably about 2,000$ in CS. yes, and asking your partner to spend more money on housing than needed just because your kids will be home, maybe, 4 days a month. Isn't it funny that when the kids go from living mostly at one parent's house to shared custody, payor usually continues to pay more than offset CS, because the person receiving CS is used to receive full amount. Ah the justice system!

sorry I am not really helpful, just ranting!
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:39 PM
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You are shit out of luck. Your ex does not need to demonstate a need for more money - it is assumed now that he has the children more than 60% of the time. The law is cut and dry on this one - you don't have the kids 40%, you pay full guideline amounts.

You may want to read this Duffy v Duffy:

In Duffy v. Duffy, Justice B.G. Welsh, of the Supreme Court of Appeal summarized several general principles regarding financial support of children under the Child Support Guidelines as follows:

1. The fundamental obligation of a parent to support his or her children takes precedence over the parent’s own interests and choices.

2. A parent will not be permitted to knowingly avoid or diminish and may not choose to ignore, his or her obligation to support his or her children.

3. A parent is required to act responsibly when making financial decisions that may affect the level of child support available from that parent. (ie: your kids are more important than that house you bought).

Last edited by HappyMomma; 01-14-2016 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toutou View Post
This should be so easy, continuing to have a house that is meant for family of five and paying probably about 2,000$ in CS. yes, and asking your partner to spend more money on housing than needed just because your kids will be home, maybe, 4 days a month. Isn't it funny that when the kids go from living mostly at one parent's house to shared custody, payor usually continues to pay more than offset CS, because the person receiving CS is used to receive full amount. Ah the justice system!

sorry I am not really helpful, just ranting!
Would one not have enough bedrooms for the kids whether they were there full time or not?

We have my step kids EOW but bought a house big enough so that they each have their own rooms. Even if those rooms are only used two weekends a month.

Just like CS recipients shouldn't rely on cs payments to cover the majority of their expenses, payers shouldn't stretch themselves thin when there is always the chance cs can change.

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