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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 11-12-2013, 01:52 PM
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Default uncertainty, process, just plain scared

Hello, this is my first contribution to the forum. I have been reading threads for a while now and I want to just send out a global thank you to everyone for their participation. Many of the threads have been helpful and reassuring.

I think now I do need to post something to just ask...about everything.

I do not want to outline too many specifics of my situation out of fear that he may belong to this group, i do not know.
Sufficed to say, we have a parenting agreement and financial agreement in place that affords him 3 nights of the week with the chidlren and i have them 4 nights. The schedule was set up the way that it was in order to accommodate his schedule for extracurricular activities (his sports clubs he belongs to and social engagements) and my nights to attend parent council meetings etc. The children are divided on the weekend so each parent has them for half the weekend. This has functioned this way relatively amicably for 3 years or so.
Long story short, over the course of this summer - relating to a specific incident, the situation changed dramatically and he is now very uncooperative and combative. He wants the children 50-50 in order to lessen his child support payments. He makes twice what i do in income and is in a new relationship. When i mean combative, i mean downright armaggedon. He has called the police a few times for what they described as very petty reasons. He has restricted all communication with him on my part. My partner must communicate all the needs/information of the children through him and initially he was very happy wtih this, but now is making the same accusation against my partner. Childrens aid became involved when he involved the police and also when my daughter started to go to counselling. The counsellor contacted CAS to report the situation at his home with my daughter. He does not know this I do not think. My children are being both emotionally abused and neglected. They are 14 and 12 years old.

My ex has made a ton of allegations, none of which can be substantiated (because they arent true). He has claimed that i have anger issues, and that the children are afraid of me. For my part, i initially did not want to change custody/access but in light of all that i have come to understand this summer from my children i have changed that and would like him to have a more traditional "every second weekend" role. It would provide the children with alot more stability. He has had the children for years in the present arrangement and his relationship wtih them has slowly erroded given his actions. For the record, i can support all of my claims with emails and texts between myself and him, and with the children when they are under duress in his care.

My questions are two fold.
we had our case conference and i was warned by my lawyer prior to going in that the judge that we had was very "pro men" and that she was not a fan of women lawyers. She also said that she was very challenging and would likely "ream out" everyone. She did behave as my lawyer indicated. I am concerned about my lawyer in how she was in the courtroom and i am considering changing lawyers. I just really dont know if i should and i would like guidance.

The children have been assigned an OCL. Both my ex and i have had our first meeting wtih him and the children as far as i know only saw him once. Given when my children share with me, i am sure the OCL was in shock after speaking to the childre. I know my ex has told everyone incredibly horrific stories about me. For me, i tried to focus on the children but i did outline my ex's abuse and narcissistic tendancies to him also. I am certain that when the children met with him, they supported what i had been saying. I infer this because when CAS initially met with everyone, the intake worker indicated that the children, the counsellor report all supported my comments. This was told to me privately and so i am confident that the children continue to have strong feelings regarding their treatment at their fathers house. With regards to the OCL, the secretary just called me and wants to remeet everyone again because he has assigned a clinical investigator. What does that mean?
My ex has taken a new tack recently and insisting that i have alienated the children against him. The timing is odd and i wonder if his lawyer is insisting that that is happening and that is why they have been assigned. Can someone provide insight into OCL process and why a clinical investigator would be involved?

Im sure my post is convoluted and confusing. I apologize. The details of this case are insane and really unbelievable.
All i care about is my children. They are under stress and really afraid that their father will win "week about". He is constantly telling them that it will be that way because it is only "Fair" and they have no choice. He has told my children that i am a "psychotic bitch" among other things. I just dont know what to do anymore. I would like to tell him to keep his support money and just give me my children. I hate what they are living through.

Thank you for your time.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:00 PM
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I can't provide any data on OCL since I had a private evaluator but I can tell you that your children are at an age where their voices are going to weigh more heavily in the decision making process.

Has anyone suggested counselling yet or did the OCL bring it up?

What did your lawyer do in the courtroom that you're concerned about?
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:06 PM
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Quick question... If he has 3 our of 7 nights he already has over 40% and should only be paying offset as it is. Is he currently paying full table amount of CS? If he is, why?

He has years or status quo on his side for having over 40% access, trying to get him down to EOW may be very hard and if this is the argument you go in with, you may find that you will lose some access as you are trying to take their father out of their life.

I think more details are required before anyone can really tell you what may happen.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:09 PM
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My children have both been in counselling at their request at the beginning of the summer. But other than just a place to "dump" their emotions, there isnt any solution for them.

My ex's lawyer is also from what i can tell obstructive. But in the courtroom he was confident and assertive. My lawyer was apologetic and really flustered which surprised me. I could tell that the judge responded in a more approving manner towards his lawyer....but he did get chastized because he is not in compliance with his child support payments nor with section 7 expenses. I have footed the entire bill and he is approximately $4k in arears. I just felt that her presentation was not great. Additionally, she focused on a minor proceedural issue and did not highlight things that i felt were more important such as the fact that he is not in compliance. The judge noted that. I just know that alot of this really is impacted on presentation of the lawyer in court yanno? or am i wrong...tell me im wrong.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berner_Faith View Post
Quick question... If he has 3 our of 7 nights he already has over 40% and should only be paying offset as it is. Is he currently paying full table amount of CS? If he is, why?

He has years or status quo on his side for having over 40% access, trying to get him down to EOW may be very hard and if this is the argument you go in with, you may find that you will lose some access as you are trying to take their father out of their life.

I think more details are required before anyone can really tell you what may happen.

Actually he doesnt but it is debatable. in the past i was with the children 6 out of the 7 days. In essence, i had them on his days, fed them dinner, had them shower and help wtih homework. When he came home from work or whatever, then all he had to do was spend time with them just before bed.
I picked them up from school, and took them to all their activities including on his nights. I work from home the majority of time so I am the primary caretaker in terms of all the childrens appointments, all their purchases (clothing, shoes etc etc) and in the summers, i cared for the children on the days that he had them and worked. It can be shown clearly that i had the children alot of the time. Mind you, he is arguing that now but i have years of documentation to support his. I thought he was paying full table but as it turns out he is underpaying by alot because i had no idea he was earning much more than he claimed. Additionally, i am not paid spousal support because i felt that the child support was "sufficient". He kept the matrimonial home which is also more than twice what my home is.

The only reason why i want to reduce his time with the children is because of what they are experiencing there. He is really horrid to our daughter and he just neglects them. They arent fed appropriately, he spends most of his time in his bedroom wtih his girlfriend while the children are left to play video games for hours on end. On the weekend when they arent in school my son will happily tell me that he "games" for upwards of 16 hrs. Does this information help?
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:16 PM
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Quote:
He has years or status quo on his side for having over 40% access, trying to get him down to EOW may be very hard and if this is the argument you go in with, you may find that you will lose some access as you are trying to take their father out of their life.
Very true. The other thing is that even if things stay the same with the access arrangement...the kids are getting to an age where they can vote with their feet if he keeps it up. The 14 year old is pretty much there already.

It must be pretty serious if they assigned OCL your kids at their ages.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post
Very true. The other thing is that even if things stay the same with the access arrangement...the kids are getting to an age where they can vote with their feet if he keeps it up. The 14 year old is pretty much there already.

It must be pretty serious if they assigned OCL your kids at their ages.
What do you mean "pretty serious"?
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:20 PM
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But the CS question is... He shouldn't be paying full cs... so if he is paying less than full table amount but at least off set amount, his cs is as low as it can go. Do you know how to calculate off set? I am just thinking that if he is motivated by money which is why he is seeking 50-50, letting him know what is actual obligations are, that may be enough to get him to back off.

Also, the ages of the children, they can basically do as they please anyway
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
What do you mean "pretty serious"?
I mean the allegations made must be something extremely concerning because your children are fairly close to being able to decide where they want to spend their time without court intervention. If the judge assigned OCL and they actually accepted your case to potentially change the access arrangement, it must be something that they feel can't wait until they're fully independent.
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Old 11-12-2013, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weary View Post
The only reason why i want to reduce his time with the children is because of what they are experiencing there. He is really horrid to our daughter and he just neglects them. They arent fed appropriately, he spends most of his time in his bedroom wtih his girlfriend while the children are left to play video games for hours on end. On the weekend when they arent in school my son will happily tell me that he "games" for upwards of 16 hrs. Does this information help?
Describe/define "neglect"?

The children are 12 and 14, they should be able to provide for themselves for the most part. There should be food in the house which they can access when they are hungry.

Allowing the children to play video games (even if for extended periods of time) is not neglect. Heck, I have been know to sit on my xBox for hours upon end now....

So long as they have clothes to wear, there is food in the fridge and they have a place to sleep, if dad chooses not to spend time with them when he has them. He is allowed to parent (badly) as he sees fit. Being a parent who pays limited attention to the kids is a far cry from neglect. If the kids had no food to eat, no clean clothes and were left in their own filth, that is neglect.

Your ex should be paying offset c/s. Your spouse shouldn't be a go between for you and your ex. That isn't their job. They are there to support you. It is your job to communicate with your ex. I would never ask my wife to speak to my ex about a matter relating to our child.
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