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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 12-11-2005, 05:52 PM
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Default Sole Custodial Parent--Questions About Divorce

To All,

Hi there! I have a few questions that I was wondering if anyone has answers to. I been seperated from my husband for the last 2 1/2 years, and I have had sole custody of the boys for the last 2 of these years. It is stated in the custody papers that he is to see the boys every other Saturday or Sunday according to scheduling of the parties. In these last few years he has only seen the boys a handful of times. He does not pay child support, nor have I ever enforced this issue (although it was written in the documents that he was to provide support and documentation of income). I have never denied him access to the boys, it has been his choice to remain absent from their lives. Until today, December 11, 2005, he has not had contact at all with the boys since the end of August of this year. He indicated that he has been in a treatment facility for the last 30 days and that is why has hasn't been in contact. Barring this news I had been in contact with a lawyer about obtaining a divorce previously in the last 2 weeks.

My question is I would like it stated in the divorce, that if a situation does arise, I would be able to relocate with the boys outside of Canada. I would also like to have the boys and my name changed back to my maiden name.

Other than my family, the boys have no contact with my husbands family (their choice--I have never denied access to them--they never had made the effort--they never even send the boys birthday card or christmas cards--and they have only met my boys once in their lifetime).

I have provided the boys with all the stability and resources that they require to become well-adujusted, happy individuals, and this includes the time when we were married and living together. My husband was never interested in anything to do with them, but spending some fun time with them, if it was convenient with his schedule.

I know that he would only contest the divorce, because he doesn't want the boys to move because that would make his life more difficult. I have never told my boys all that occured when we were married, and I have always encouraged them to have a relationship with their dad. Besides being someone fun to hang out with occassionally, I can't say how strong the bond between them is. They never ask for him, even though months have gone by without them seeing each other.

I am interested to know, if my husband does refuse to sign the divorce, because he doesn't want the boys to leave the country. What are my chances that the judge will award the divorce with my requests, or would he likely set a trial date and interview the kids (they are 6 and 4).

I sincerely appreciate all responses.
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Old 12-11-2005, 10:56 PM
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I am pretty sure that your case would not have to go to a trial, if your divorce is contested it would be brought in as a motion I would think. I know that I too have looked into changing my sons name and was told that because I have sole custody that I can do so without consent from my ex. I have somewhat of a similar situation where my ex's family had absolutely no contact or communication with my sons....their loss! They never made any attempt and still do not. At least your children are young, if your ex and his family choose to remain inactive in their lives, there will never be a bond there. I know from other threads on this site that you can ask for that clause to move stateside in your divorce.
My sons also do not ask for their father or his family, I do not talk badly in front of them, and support any decision they make now or will make later regarding him. As far as letting them know what happened for the breakdown, I think sometimes things are better left unsaid. But if you choose to let them know, wait until they are old enough to understand. I have always kept that away from my sons, my ex told them, and because he had put most of the blame on me and another woman, my children told him that they would have had more respect for him and his decision had he had enough in him to be truthful and take responsibility for his actions. I had always said that they would make the decision about their biological father on their own, and they have. They see what I do. But they see it through their own eyes and hearts, not mine.
Good luck with this and ask your lawyer everything, write everything down before you go in to see your lawyer so that you don't forget anything, he will be able to tell you what you can and can't do.
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Old 12-12-2005, 11:26 AM
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Mother2 boys,

Sorry to hear about the circumstance,

If it was me, I would not have a clause for a possibility that in the future you may move etc. Deal with it when it happens.

If the issue came up subsequently and a move was pending, this would construe to be a material change of circumstances and it would be appropriate to review what is the best interest of the children. However, in light of what you say now; the children's father or extended family plays very little role and are hardly involved in the children's lives, it really isn't an issue.

Name Change

I came across case law "Supreme Court of Canada" that deals with name change but under BC's Vital Statistic Act. Basically the SCC found the BC vital statistic act was found to be discriminatory against the father by giving the mother exclusive rights to name the child and not allowing the father to participate in naming the child's surname. Interesting subject.

It is worthwhile to read,

http://www.canlii.org/ca/cas/scc/2003/2003scc34.html

I am not sure what province your located in, but each province does have its own vital statistic act and the rules on names changes of children etc would come under same.
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