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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 08-04-2012, 01:58 PM
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Default Upcoming Case Conference...Finally!

Hello again everybody.

So from some advice on this forum, grumpy clerks and countless hours spent waiting for free legal advice, I'm ready for my Case Conference on Wednesday.

I am self representing and the applicant to this case. I am asking for Joint Custody as well as structured access/visitation and that child support be settled (what I will be paying monthly)

A couple of days ago a received the respondents case conference brief and learned that she had found a lawyer. The CCB was full of a lot of written spite and a lot of untruths. I went to see free legal advice and they told me that I could complete a 14a affidavit in response to what the other party wrote. I completed my write up stating the truth to each of their numbered paragraphs and kept it short and simple. I also attached 3 "exhibits" in reference to my statements (for people new to this...you need to get each exhibit sworn in order for the judge to take them into consideration)

I am seeking joint custody with graduated access capping out with every other weekend visits and 3 times weekly on the weeks that I won't have our daughter.

This is what the respondent propposed:

a. Twice weekly for two hours in a supervised access centre
b. Upon four consecutive weeks of successful supervised access visits the access visits shall occur twice weekly for two hours unsupervised
c. Such further and alternate access as agreed upon between both parties

Note that our daughter is only almost 8 months old and I have been completely shut out of her life for over 2 months. I have had less than 10 visits with her totaling apprx. 20 hours.

I understand that the judge will want me to graduate into a unsupervised roll and I am willing to do the supervised access (I have nothing to hide) and graduate into small amounts of time unsupervised...but I eventually want my overnights on weekends.

I was looking for advice of what I should stay stern with and what not to just settle with if we attempt mediation. I'm assuming the judge will try to urge us to mediation and as the respondent has a lawyer and I'm just a newb rookie I may get walked all over on this.

As always, any advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you!
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:32 PM
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Why would it be necessary to graduate through supervised visits?

I don't see a Judge wanting that tact specifically, unless there have been issues with your conduct when you have had the baby.

I wouldn't agree to supervised 'just because'.

My personal belief is that unless you are very confident that both yourself and the other party are willing to compromise to one another, mediation is a waste of time. Only you know how you and your ex are getting along and if you would be able to work together for mediation to work.

Don't expect much to be accomplished at conference. Make sure you ask the Judge to clarify anything in his endorsement you don't understand.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by wretchedotis View Post
Why would it be necessary to graduate through supervised visits?

I don't see a Judge wanting that tact specifically, unless there have been issues with your conduct when you have had the baby.

I wouldn't agree to supervised 'just because'.

My personal belief is that unless you are very confident that both yourself and the other party are willing to compromise to one another, mediation is a waste of time. Only you know how you and your ex are getting along and if you would be able to work together for mediation to work.

Don't expect much to be accomplished at conference. Make sure you ask the Judge to clarify anything in his endorsement you don't understand.
Thanks for your reply. I agree with you about mediation. My ex is very unreasonable and put all of the blame on me as the reason we don't get along. I was told by legal advice to set the bar fairly high but not too high.

The mothers "big thing" against me is that she says I have a alcohol problem. I was charged with a DUI in 2009 so that is on my record. Duty council told me to go to a addictions center and participate in a couple of follow up meeting. I did this and asked for a letter (one of my exhibits) My ex also made a claim that I was intoxicated during our last visit in June (which I wasn't in the slightest) and I have a letter from a house mate (exhibit B...she's a registered nurse) who lives a floor up from me as I spent time with before and immediately after I returned home from the visit stating that I was not intoxicated.

I don't mind doing supervised visits for a short amount of time to prove that I'm in the right mind set as I'm sure that they will figure out that it's not necessary.
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Old 08-04-2012, 05:42 PM
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Also, by saying "dont expect much to be accomplished at the conference" do you mean that it will most likely follow up with a case settlement months down the road? I've been told that I will at least get a temporary order. I haven't been allowed to be any time with our daughter at all!! I can't wait 3 more months to see her!
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Old 08-05-2012, 06:08 AM
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settlement conference? it will take at least a year, here is the typical process
case conference
motion
case conference
motion
case conference
motion
.... until the judges see no other way of settlement, then sc and trial conf etc
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Old 08-05-2012, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahibjee View Post
settlement conference? it will take at least a year, here is the typical process
case conference
motion
case conference
motion
case conference
motion
.... until the judges see no other way of settlement, then sc and trial conf etc
My update to this pattern but, when applying the behaviour pattern of a highly conflicted "emotional reasoning" person:

Generate anxiety
Emotional outburst on partner
Generate anxiety
Emotional outburst on partner
Generate anxiety
Start distortion campaign
Email friends and family that the partner is unsafe and dangerous to you and children
Generate anxiety
Contact negative advocate solicitor
Generate anxiety
Have negative advocate solicitor send emotionally distraught irrelevant 5 page letter projecting blame
Generate anxiety
Emotional outburst on partner
Generate anxiety
Meet with negative advocate friends who support your emotional reasoning
Generate anxiety
Emotional outburst on partner
Generate anxiety
Meet with negative advocate solicitor
Complete court documents for an emergency motion
Write affidavit chalked with baseless allegations reflecting emotional reasoning and personal anxieties
Call the police and try to have partner arrested and flee with children to a negative advocate friend's house
Have a party with your negative advocate friends that you did the right thing
File an emergency ex-parte motion with materials already prepared prior to the emergency
Get temporary order returning in a few days and feel "empowered" that you got "control" over the other parent
Counter motion from other parent
Generate anxiety
Motion hearing
Emotional outburst in courtroom
Joint custody of children with 50-50 access restored by judge
Ordered to trial
Generate anxiety
Project blame
Generate anxiety
Project blame
Generate anxiety
Project blame
Trial management conference
Trial
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:16 PM
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Wow. That seems really messy. Thanks for killing my hopes and dreams guys! Lol no, but I appreciate the honesty as that's what I'm looking for. Duty council said that I will at least get a temporary order before a "set" order is in line. Is this accurate? I don't want to be completely let down and shocked on Wednesday.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:36 PM
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Tayken...are you basically telling me that I should prepare for trial? I have all of my ducks in line from the nurses at child birth to work references to everyday people who generally know me.

Not sure how much I have left in me at this point. I've put so much effort into this to the present. It's prettty simple...I just want to form a loving bond with my daughter
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:42 PM
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Not sure what the standard procedure is but at my CC the Judge basically voiced her opinion, to both sides, as to what access/custody etc.. she feels should be in place but made no interim or temporary decision on it. She did order financial statements to be exchanged and ordered a settlement conference date.

I think you may have to file an interim motion (after the CC) to get something temporary in place before any settlement conference and subsequent final order.
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Old 08-05-2012, 01:55 PM
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Case Conferences are held on a 'without prejudice' basis.

This means that anything said, and materials handed in, are essentially off the record. More realistically, they cannot be used come trial.

Judges will typically only grant an Order on consent in conferences, aside from perhaps an order on a procedural issue. But Orders on the issues you are concerned about (most likely) require both parties to consent.

Judges can be pretty good at imposing their will, and brow-beating people into accepting and Order on consent. But it doesn't always happen.

So essentially, if your ex just simply refuses to agree to you getting any access you may very well leave dissappointed.

The good news is that once your first conference has occured, you can now file motions. If you don't get what you're looking for in access at the conference, you will want to discuss bringing a motion to court with your lawyer.
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