Ottawa Divorce .com Forums


User CP

New posts

Advertising

  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Divorce & Family Law

Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 12:41 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,587
Serene is on a distinguished road
Default Trial This Week

For everyone who is wondering we did go to trial this week. This is what happened:

We showed up for trial and were told that a judge intervened and decided we should do "pretrial" first. This means that she reviewed our file (minimal at best) and decided that there was no reason to go to trial as the issues SHOULD be resolved between the parties. The judge then went on to assist in giving her recommendations on how to resolve the issues at hand. I will put each item under a heading for easier reading.

Child Support
Judge asked dad: Is this about money? Dad said no. So she said great, continue paying full CS despite always having been being over the 40%. We agreed to this without any issue. Note: CS was in excess of 1400 already and it went up just over another $100 as a result.

Access
Judge said that dad was being self serving in asking for a mere extension of access from 8 pm through the next morning. The judge did not see any logic in allowing the children to have a natural transition through the school but the next morning. Nor did she see any benefit to allowing the kids a normal routine at dad's on his shorter access days. But then the judge went on to contradict herself when she recommended that the children have only overnight access and no more short visits. All this to say, it didn't make sense in whole. But of course you don't question the judge.

The judge also had other bizarre statements. Like that dad was a bad parent because he mentioned that extra curricular activities with one child are not always possible given a child's medical issue that often requires a trip to emergency. We realize that the judge used many cookie cutter statements and likely hadn't read a dang thing in our Trial Record. She actually said "dad that is bad parenting, the team needs him". I guess breathing and doctor's recommendations don't go far when an 11 year old is on a house team sport lol.

So we went into negotiations with mom and her TWO lawyers and her partner for a few hours. Dad was self rep with me present (his partner) with him. We hammered out about a ten page comprehensive minutes of settlement. It took much prodding to get mom to agree to many things which I will outline in a separate post below. We went back into the court room to read it to the judge and then the parties were to sign. It was read in full to the judge and the judge was quite pleased that we had taken her recommendations and the parties were to sign. As the lawyer handed the docs to dad to sign, mom stood up and said "I can't do this". Her lawyers stood there like a deer in the headlights while mom left the courtroom in tears. Her partner and lawyers followed her out of the room.

Most interesting is that I stood up to leave the courtroom to use the bathroom. The court room we were in was VERY small given it is rural. And I had to pass directly behind dad who was still sitting where the lawyers normally sit. The judge was still in the courtroom but court was not in session. I went to put my hand on dad's back as I know he was shocked at what just happened and the judge yelled at me to sit down. I point this out as it was obvious throughout the day that while the judge wasn't particularly pleased with mom she afforded her every opportunity to confer with her two lawyers and her partner, but dad was not permitted to speak to his partner and there were no lawyers or duty counsel for him to speak with.

When mom and her lawyers came back into the room some time later her lawyers said that mom cannot sign what she just negotiated for all morning. He said "she just can't". The judge had smoke coming out of her ears and was very upset. She asked mom "what exactly is the issue with the minutes of settlement that were crafted?" (they were about 8-10 pages in length I believe). And mom said it was over two days in a month. Mom said that dad could Skype the kids but she could not agree to an overnight as "I have given up too much". I'm not sure why Skyping would be appropriate given we live a few minutes from each other, but it goes to show how odd things were at this point.

Mom them offered that Dad could register them in an extra curricular on those two nights but again, he could not take them to his home. Nothing made sense. Especially given that each child is already involved in 3 extra curricular activities and that dad takes them to the majority of these activities already.

***this is where things went wrong***

The judge blasted mom for her issue. She told mom to sign off on everything else and go to trial tomorrow for the two nights/over nights that she "can't do". The judge said: "because you WILL lose the trial". Mom's lawyers then instructed mom to not sign anything because it would be better/less risky to go to trial for everything than just the two nights in a month she contests.

After much arguing and tears, we were able to come to a settlement. Dad had to give up those nights and we have a rather complicated four week schedule rotation that is rather bizarre. But we have continuous time with the children and no back and forth to mom's just for them to go to bed as the transitions are through the school bus except for Christmas and summer time.

Section 7/Extraordinary Costs
Given the amount of support paid there are really no section 7 or extraordinary costs. However, we continue to pay the majority of these costs on top of the guideline amount of CS, and despite having now 46-49% access to the children (the difference is due to March break rotating between each parent from year to year).

And, we stipulated that mom will pick up the costs for her own needs. Meaning that if she needs some meds, she pays the copay, if any, herself. Similarly, if she wants pizza day at school, she pays herself. This was essential as mom has taken to obtaining huge supplies of meds for the kids despite not needing a six month supply at a time. When we would go to purchase meds for the kids (puffers, etc.) our insurance was exhausted and we would have to pay full pin. And we don't have to communicate with her on these matters moving forward (well we shouldn't have to, but mom is HCP and continues to email us on these issues even as of today).
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 12:49 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,587
Serene is on a distinguished road
Default

This is the highlight of our negotiations and some of the judge's comments:

When Dad wants more time the judge says that he is asking for more time based on his own personal needs (to do less driving/to make his life simpler). Now keep in mind, dad never said he wanted or needed to do less driving... this is a cookie cutter statement and likely a bias overall. The judge actually said many times "dad you need to consider the children's best interests not what YOU WANT". And of course this makes sense and was always dad's intent. Because this was not a trial, only a pretrial, dad's position of what was children's best interests never came out because no testimony was given. To note: Dad had CAS and children's psych as witnesses and the children's best interests would have been conveyed through many different testimonies.

Interestingly mom said to the judge many times "I can't give up more nights with the kids"... "I have given up to much already"... "I can't support more time with the father... only if he Skypes with them or takes them to a sport". NEVER did mom say "this is what I think is in the children's best interests". Throughout any conversation with the judge mom maintained what SHE wanted. The judge never commented on this.

Negotiations were bizarre. Mom insisted that she wanted full guideline amount. She also wanted us to pay for her legal costs to which we refused. She maintained she had "big legal bills" and felt we should contribute. She also made a comment that she "wanted a hot tub to", meaning, she wants some of the luxuries that we have I gather. Much of the negotiations were tainted with this type of conversation.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 01:10 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,587
Serene is on a distinguished road
Default

I should add that my previous posts were very generic in nature. I intentionally stripped identifying information off my posts for obvious reasons and no doubt like many others. Today's posts have enough identifying information for mom to easily determine we are talking about our case. So be it. I also anticipate if mom ever did stumble across this thread she could not resist the opportunity to comment.

I'd like to say that the issues are "behind us". But I do not think they are. Our inbox is filled with emails from mom in the last 48 hours about her discontent with this and that. She also continues to banter about information she claims not to have and as is her style, continues to ask the same questions over and over.

There is also the continued sense of entitlement, control and authority. Mom wants to know who is driving kids places - is it dad or stepmom. Why I don't know. She also provides we lack her consent for things when in fact her consent is not needed. And she continues to expect us to advise her of our schedules during dad's parenting time so she can tag along on kid's activities.

These types of issues have been going on a long, long time. The trial/pretrial didn't do anything to assist in these matters. I suspect they will never end.

One other thing I forgot to mention above: Mom has a long history of very abusive emails. When dad told the judge that everything is an issue with mom from access, to abusive communications, mom laughed out loud in the court room when he said "mom is abusive in communications". I was ready for the judge to blast her and the judge didn't. It was very odd indeed for the judge to not have called out this behaviour.

Another interesting tactic used by her lawyers was they outright lied to us to try and intimidate us to give in to mom when she pulled the plug on the first negotiated terms of settlement. The lawyer said "the doctor does not support time with dad". This was an interesting tactic given the doctor was OUR witness and we had his testimony in writing should he not be able to attend to give verbal testimony. But it goes to show you how desperate people are and what they will do. Of course, that lawyer has never even spoken with the doctor either, so his information would have been second hand through mom at best.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 01:30 PM
FB_ FB_ is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,407
FB_ will become famous soon enough
Default

Just ignore ignore ignore... Only respond to urgent and important emails.

She can bark, quack, meow, moo all she wants...

I get settling as it's a known end to the situation but I might have considered a trial as it seems he told you how his decision would have gone... But we obviously don't have all the details so I'm sure Dad made the right decision for dad and kids.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 02:06 PM
Hand of Justice
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: In the Shadows
Posts: 3,146
Links17 is on a distinguished road
Default

Would it be fair to say that judge was bias to the mother? That's my read of the situation (letting things slide, ordering full CS). Not protecting father from mother's abuse (nor commenting).

It looks like this is what the judge cares about:
-Mom has money, even if the father has the kids over the percentages they still order full CS. There should be class action lawsuit on this issue.

-Don't go to trial (it costs the state money)

Best Interests of the kids can go to hell....
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 02:12 PM
Hand of Justice
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: In the Shadows
Posts: 3,146
Links17 is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Judge asked dad: Is this about money? Dad said no. So she said great, continue paying full CS despite always having been being over the 40%. We agreed to this without any issue. Note: CS was in excess of 1400 already and it went up just over another $100 as a result.
Did the judge ask the mother the same thing?
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 02:21 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,587
Serene is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Would it be fair to say that judge was bias to the mother? That's my read of the situation (letting things slide, ordering full CS). Not protecting father from mother's abuse (nor commenting).
In my opinion yes. But I want to add that the judge did not know the facts of their case. There were many statements the judge said that did not make sense.

Also remember, the judge did not ORDER the full CS. She recommended it. She could not make an order because a pre-trial is just a gloried and lengthy settlement conference. We had the judge for the entire day and she kept apprising us of her recommendations until mom pulled the plug. At the point she said "I will not argue with mom and trial it is".

Quote:
It looks like this is what the judge cares about:
-Mom has money, even if the father has the kids over the percentages they still order full CS. There should be class action lawsuit on this issue.
Had the judge read any of the information in our case this would have come out very quickly. Mom makes almost 40K a year just off SS and CS. AND she works on top of this now with no claw back on SS because dad set up SS this way so he wouldn't ever be concerned with what she was making and who she lived with. This was also in part because mom already told him she wasn't going to be honest in this regard (have her live in BF pretend he lived elsewhere) and she has been true to this end, her Rev Can statements do not reflect her marital status of common law correctly to this day. A hefty CCTB monthly amount is likely the reason for this.

But I'm getting off topic. My point is that mom is not hard done by, by any means. In fact almost 40K a year with no tax implications (yes SS is taxed but if you continue to claim single with equivalent to spouse amount there are sufficient tax credits available to negate tax) is a very good salary. Dad doesn't even take home that after SS, CS, and taxes a year!

Quote:
-Don't go to trial (it costs the state money)
I don't know what to say to this. I suspect this is part the issue. But I also think that the judge was well intended in some of her advice. The advice she gave WAS fair with regards to her recommendations to the new access schedule. But I don't understand why the judge didn't object or try to reason with mom about the Skyping the kids stuff. I have no idea why a dad who lives on the same bus route should be Skyping his kids instead of being with them... the judge appeared to have tuned out completely at this point.

Perhaps still, the judge may have inferred that dad could not do the job of a lawyer and feared he would do worse if he went to trial? I don't know. Dad is well spoken and a bright man. He was as prepared as he could be given the circumstances but he is no lawyer if you know what I mean.

Quote:
Best Interests of the kids can go to hell....
Best interests of kids means one thing coming from dad and another from mom.

Try and interchange the words money and access in the following sentences and words mom and dad:

Dad is money the issue? If not, then give the maximum amount of money to mom.
Mom is access the issue? If not, then give the maximum amount of access to dad.

I am willing to bet the second sentence is never heard.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 02:29 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 1,587
Serene is on a distinguished road
Default

Links 17

Quote:
Did the judge ask the mother the same thing?
I believe she may have. But even if she did, mom said several times over words to the effect: "As long as I can get full CS amount then I am willing to change the schedule some". So mom's position WAS hinged on money. Dad's was not.

Another interesting point I forgot to mention. When judge finally dismissed us when after negotiating a new access schedule she gave parting words to the parties. She commended each for moving on their position and coming to a resolution. She also told dad that he was given a very big "gift" from mom given she waived his "CS arrears". I put CS arrears in quotes because dad was over the 40% threshold in access and as a result when mom asked him to adjust his CS for past two years he acknowleedged her request but said that he already believed there was an overpayment given his access in excess to 40%.

The "arrears" they speak of were about 2K total for the years in question. We offered in our negotiations to pay these "arrears" but said then mom needs to split the bill for all the section 7 and extraordinary we pay (given none of them should have been section 7 or extraordinary given the amount of CS paid per month) which means that after tallying of both accounts mom would have owed us much more. And again, the judge decided to point out that dad got a gift but never made mention he is paying full CS and a slew of extras VOLUNTARILY and has always paid these VOLUNTARILY. That wasn't considered a gift, more so a duty of sorts. That didn't make sense at all...
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 02:38 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,702
DowntroddenDad will become famous soon enough
Default

Dad is paying full CS. Did the original agreement specify 60/40? or something less. If the original order or agreement specified full, then you pay full until you can get a successful motion to change it.

So yes, it wasn't fair that dad was paying full when it was over 40% but you have to pay what it is ordered until the order is changed. Unless there are some extraordinary wording in your agreement.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-17-2014, 02:38 PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,810
Pursuinghappiness will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
At the point she said "I will not argue with mom and trial it is".
From what you've stated, going to trial will probably be a good thing for your partner. He'll at least end up with a mixed judgement and can now re-open the case for CS because he should not have to pay full table. Its always good when you get a judge explaining to someone that they're going to lose on a particular issue. If she continues, she'll be picking up at partial costs. Since this judge presided over this pre-trial, do you get the same judge for trial?

Frankly I'm surprised that the judge didn't order just the parents in the room minus the extra cast members. I can't see how it helps the conflict to have the disliked partners of two parents who can't figure out a compromise for their children in the middle of their divorce battle. It just seems like it would greatly antagonize an already difficult situation.

Quote:
There is also the continued sense of entitlement, control and authority. Mom wants to know who is driving kids places - is it dad or stepmom. Why I don't know. She also provides we lack her consent for things when in fact her consent is not needed. And she continues to expect us to advise her of our schedules during dad's parenting time so she can tag along on kid's activities.
So when she sends an email that requests information that's none of her business, hit delete. Its a pretty simple process. You're under zero obligation to communicate with her unless it regards relevant parenting concerns. If you hit delete for long enough, I guarantee she'll stop wasting her time and find something else to do.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Self Representation at Prelimary Hearing Where is the Light Divorce & Family Law 4 02-22-2013 01:33 PM
Does Admit have to be complete to do trial record Randomizer Divorce & Family Law 2 01-21-2012 10:40 PM
Trial - Day 4 experience fieldgrey Divorce & Family Law 12 06-18-2011 08:44 AM
well....trial starts next week fieldgrey Divorce & Family Law 9 05-16-2011 04:33 PM
Case Conference and continueing record serrona Divorce & Family Law 5 01-12-2007 06:55 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:07 PM.