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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 04-21-2014, 10:43 AM
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Default Shorter SC Brief?

After receiving the OCL recommendations and after much reading on this forum I shortened my SC brief and reduced the amount of unnecessary tabs. I also changed the verbiage a bit.

Is this a good thing or will this have a negative impact on me?

The Ex is not happy with the recommendations of the OCL . There are a few thighs I would like to see different as well but I am happy it is in my favour .

6 out of 14 days, share responsibilities . But the ex still has primary residence. The access days are scattered and I would like to see a 5-2-2-5 or week about basis.

Some advice please ?


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Old 04-21-2014, 03:13 PM
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After receiving the OCL recommendations and after much reading on this forum I shortened my SC brief and reduced the amount of unnecessary tabs. I also changed the verbiage a bit.

Is this a good thing or will this have a negative impact on me?
The settlement conference brief is a without prejudice document, produced to assist the judge at the conference. Nothing you put in there can have a negative impact on you. If it suited your fancy, you could write that your favourite pastimes are cheating on your spouse and neglecting your children (although I suspect a cost award against you for wasting the court's time may follow).

Why put in so much work into a settlement conference brief? Because if you set out your case in an intelligible fashion, the judge will have been able to consider it when make settlement suggestions. If you fail to do this, you are unlikely to agree with any compromises proposed by the judge, and thus the benefit of the conference is wasted.

Some tips for a settlement conference brief:

- Both parties were, at some point, a jerk to the other during the relationship. He left the toilet seat up and she fell in. She left her 14 pairs of shoes in the hall which he tripped on in the dark. Someone cheated, someone spent too much money on stupid things, and neither of these are relevant.

- Be neutral and honest in your language. If you slant things too far in your favour, a litigious tone will be continued at the conference reducing the chance of success. It also risks pointless details bogging down negotiations.

- Have a friend (preferably one that reads at a grade 10 level) read over your brief. Tell them to stop reading after 45 minutes, then spend 15 minutes telling you about your brief (what do you want, why is that reasonable, etc). Did they get through everything? Did they have to read too fast to absorb the information? If yes to either question, your brief is too long.

- Simple language. When someone writes "I also changed the verbiage a bit", I look up verbiage and get this:

Quote:
speech or writing that contains too many words or that uses words that are more difficult than necessary
Source - Verbiage - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Using big words (correctly or incorrectly) does not make for a more compelling brief, and certainly does not make for a more interesting read. Clarity is critical. For example:

"The OCL report suggests a schedule that would see the children with me 6 days and with my ex 8 days every two weeks. [schedule attached Tab A].

I believe a more appropriate schedule would be 5-5-2-2.

While respecting the work done by the OCL, the schedule I am proposing is preferable because it allows for the parties to schedule consistent weekday activities for the children and it does not leave the children feeling like one parent is the "minor" parent because they have less time.

The proposal I am making meets the spirit of the OCL recommendation, with the adjustment set out above to better fit our family dynamic."

If the argument leaves your friend (with a grade 10 reading level) reaching for a dictionary, you have not done a good job with the brief. Remember, more time spent trying to figure out what the heck you are trying to say results in less time spent actually thinking about your points.

Last edited by OrleansLawyer; 04-21-2014 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:21 PM
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Wow. You saved me from embarrassment . Thank You so much.


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Old 04-21-2014, 03:27 PM
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You saved me from embarrassment .
You will be given a fair amount of leeway if you are producing your own brief.

Focus on what you want to come out of the case. Don't worry about trying to look smart; honest earnestness is worth more by far.
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:41 PM
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I also included the important custody and access part of the OCL recommendations . I still want 5-5-2-2 split.

My concerns with the recommendations are that the ex still gets primary residency. And she has tried to use that against me for decision purposes.

Also, I still go 7 days straight without access and my son and I have a very strong bond.


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Old 04-21-2014, 04:37 PM
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My concerns with the recommendations are that the ex still gets primary residency. And she has tried to use that against me for decision purposes.

Also, I still go 7 days straight without access and my son and I have a very strong bond.
These are valid concerns that you may wish to address first with the OCL and second with the court.

Did the OCL contemplate the impact on decision making by assigning one parent as the primary resident parent in their report?

Is there a reason for such long stretches without access (ex, high conflict situation, travel)? What is the impact on your son? Has the OCL considered these points?
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Old 04-21-2014, 05:05 PM
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Default Shorter SC Brief?

Spike with assessor and she can no longer comment on the matter. She directed me to her supervisor whom I don't think would be able to answer my questions now. Bummer.

It does state that we are to share responsibilities for scheduling doctor appointments. Also , it states that if we should seek assistance through a parent co ordinator if we cannot agree on decision making.

The literature in the recommendations seems to gear towards equal parenting. So when I sent my offer to settle I quoted the recommendations but in the "primary residency" I wrote ( for school registration purposes only).


Also, my updated brief shows how the mother has been alienating the child from me. I did not add Tabs to prove it cuz I figure I ll use it in my trial if it goes to it.

I have offered to mediate but she refused stating that it is too last minute and her schedule is full. But is willing to email back and forth. Bit she rarely responds to my emails.

I am wiser and what to show that I am. I don't want to attack her.





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