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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 06-24-2009, 09:44 PM
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Default What Are Our Chances of Getting Shared Transportation?

I'd like to pick your brains... for your legal knowledge and experiences... to find out what our chances are of obtaining shared transportation. We are going to court for a settlement conference this Friday. Most issues have been settled, with the exception of shared transportation.

The senario:
- Dad is a NCP who has access to his son every-other-weekend and 50% of holidays.
- Since birth, Dad has provided all transportation, as Mom (CP) did not have a driver's license until the child was 2 years old.
- Dad lived 45min from Mom.
- When Mom obtained her driver's license and bought a car, Dad requested shared transportation via mediation, but Mom claimed she wasn't experienced enough with driving and didn't feel comfortable driving with the child in the car.
- A year after she obtained her license, Dad requested again that she help with transportation via a four-way meeting with lawyers, but Mom declined as she claimed she couldn't afford the cost of fuel, and claimed she wasn't comfortable driving on highways.
- Mom took Dad to court for an array of issues; during which Dad requested shared transportation as Mom had just moved 15min farther away, but the judge declined the request on the basis that Mom was only working part-time while Dad was employed full-time, therefore Dad could better afford transportation costs.
- Dad took Mom to court for reduction in CS due to loss of employment; during which Dad again requested shared transportation, as Mom was now employed full-time and has had almost 4 years driving experience, but the judge declined the request as there was no substantial change in circumstance.
- Dad relocated 15min farther away due to employment opportunities, affordability of housing, and family-related reasons, at which time Dad found full-time employment near his new home.
- Dad is again asking the court for shared transportation, as he can no longer afford the 3.5-hour round trip for pick-ups and 2.5-hour round trip for drop-offs, at 85km one way, especially as one pick-up and drop-off weekend costs him an entire tank of gas.
- As usual, Mom is very opposed to the idea of shared transportation, claiming that Dad made the choice to move farther away and that she should not be penalized for his actions.

Now, FYI, at our last case conference, the judge indicated that it is the norm to order shared transportation between parents who reside more than 30min away. Dad and Mom have ALWAYS resided more than 30min away, since the child was born. Yet Dad has always been the one made to provide all transportation (not to mention additional round trips for meetings with teachers, extracurricular activities, birthday parties and events, etc.) due to whatever reason Mom had as rejection of this idea.

Given the information above (the senario)... what are our chances of being granted shared transportation?

Also, any advice you may have that may help us in this cause is greatly appreciated. We are at our wits' end!

The court date is this Friday.

Thanks!

Last edited by #1StepMom; 06-24-2009 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:21 AM
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Looks to me a case of discrimination based soley on either that he is a male, or just a support payor. The Judge should be held accountable. Not that that will ever happen. You can try to have the Judge justify to you how this has been allowed to happened. This is in the Judges ethincal principles not to discrimiate or stereotype.
Judges should not be influenced by attitudes based on stereotype,myth or prejudice.They should, therefore, make every effort to recognize, demonstrate sensitivity to and correct such attitudes. Looks to me you may have a case.

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:42 PM
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Default Long time no chat #1Stepmom!

First of all...good luck in you court case.

We just went through all of this with (I believe) the same Judge in Oshawa. (I think I recall reading that you have the same judge.)

In our case, the judge ruled against shared costs, but awarded the low amount of spousal support (on an imputed income) partially based on the high cost of access.

In your situation, I think you can make an argument based on now re-adjusting child support to tabled amounts (b/c your husband is now fulltime employed) in exchange for shared cost for access.

Also, I believe that you are having to pay out in s. 7 expenses?!?! I would try to formulate a clear and factual argument based on support payments, s.7's, etc... vs. the high costs of fuel and transportation. Highlight that she ALSO chose to move an addtional --km away and the reason you needed to move was to provide you the ability to be able to own your own home. (The judge loves that...each parent having the equal right to a modest living.)

PM me if you want any additional info...we were VERY successful in the Oshawa courts.
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Old 06-26-2009, 01:01 PM
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Thanks Ikickass. We're on break right now. Duty counsel told us we gave NO CHANCE of getting shared transportation because WE moved last. They suggested mediation so we're giving that a try. It's been an hour and nothing's been resolved yet. Now we are taking a break before the arguing starts again. What sucks is that I should have been at work an hour ago at latest, and here I am supporting hubby, 100km away.
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Old 06-26-2009, 03:25 PM
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Default Fyi

Duty counsel also told ExW that she could get upwards of $800 in spousal support and the judge ended up giving her $210!

Just argue the costs associated with seeing the child and that it was imperative that you move to increase your quality of life and that of the child's.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you..please give us an update!
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Old 06-26-2009, 06:20 PM
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I cannot describe what happened in that courthouse today. The "worst case senario" that we were described by duty counsel would have been a blessing! The judge we had might as well have taken a gun, put it to my husband's head and pulled the trigger herself. I cannot fathom how her ruling is going to devastate our finances. I cannot begin to count the negative effects her ruling is going to have on our lives, and on the child's life (being unable to see his dad and I because we just won't be able to afford the gas to pick him up and drop him off anymore). I am completely disgusted by the "justice" system right now.

[Ikikass... check your PM.]
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:22 PM
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If you cannot afford the gas, why don't you change the access to equivalent time as now, just in blocks during the summer and school holidays?

This is what lots of people do, especially for parents who live in different parts of the country.

I mean, really think of the child as well, who wants to spend all that time in the car traveling? And he/she might resent the travel time as they get older and have to miss out on activities with friends and so forth due to travel time.

I know this will not be a popular answer...

As for the importance of the child being with either parent, I understand that....but even children of Military parents, who are deployed for 6 months, those children are ok with not seeing their parents all the time, I work with these types of children and they are ok. Webcam!!! Works amazingly...and 4 year olds can use them.

I am sorry your situation didn't turn out how you would have liked. But money should not stop your husband from seeing his child or working something else out that gives him more quality time. Good luck.
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