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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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Old 01-30-2010, 10:31 PM
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Hi, I hope someone can help me. I understand during the time of divorce, custody and financial issues sometimes get in the way of keeping what is in the best interest of the child and their safety can be overlooked.
When you have a concern as a parent and are in this process, why do you have to think about how the courts will look at it instead of being able to address your concern with the other parent?
If the other is claiming that we should work together then these matters should be something we can talk to each other about and instead of making matters worse, try to do the best to show that we are taking measures to ensure the safety and health of our children.
I think as parents if we do have a concern should be able to address.
For example if you know your ex has a history of drinking and driving, should you not at least be able to talk to them about it and show your concern? Or just wait till you reach court and address it then? And how does the court see this? As they say maybe mud slinging?
As a parent turning a blind eye to things like that because it might be used against you is just nuts.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tugofwar View Post
When you have a concern as a parent and are in this process, why do you have to think about how the courts will look at it instead of being able to address your concern with the other parent?
In a truly amicable separation, people don't need the "assistance" of the court, because they are able to craft their own agreement. Indeed, that's what the courts WANT you to do.

But in most cases that is a fantasy. Even the mildest level of disagreement on settlement matters requires that you think about how the courts will look at it, because the possibility that the disagreement may have to be resolved by the court will ultimately govern how you reach settlement.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:57 PM
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So, what Im asking is then if you know your ex is doing something that could be harmful or a safety issue, that you just sit back and allow it to go on without saying or at least stating your concern and wait till court to address it? I think that's just not right.
So when something does happen with reference to what you were concerned about and didn't address it, you will just point your finger at the ex and say I knew this was going to happen?
I just think that's wrong...
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:17 PM
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Of course not, you talk to them about it and hope to appeal to them.

But as we all know, in cases of violence, addiction and mental health it ain't that easy.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:26 PM
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Yes I know and am experiencing it right now with the ex. Wants to co-operate and have a good relationship for the sake of the child but can't say a thing cause he always has an answer, remark, etc instead of really trying to listen, take in and then discuss.....
No win situation. Im dealing with someone who was raised by parents that have never done or said anything wrong ever!!!
LOL. That's a good one!
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:28 PM
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The only advice I can give you is this:

Document, document, document.

By all means raise the concerns you have with respect to the children's safety to your ex. But do it via email so they must respond in writing.

Don't be argumentative, don't point fingers, just state your concerns to them and ask that they address them for the children's well being.
(This is harder then it sounds, and it's VERY unlikely the ex will actually do anything)

If there are real concerns with respect to the children's safety and you feel your ex is NOT addressing them in an appropriate manner, there are appropriate channels you can utilize. (CAS, law enforcement). CAS is NOT allowed to give the name of the person who called in a report to them. (Keep in mind it's usually NOT that hard to put two and two together)
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:56 PM
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Well, what if i waited to address this and use against them in the courts? Won't the judge ask why it wasnt addressed if you were concerned? I don't understand. How can you a parent just sit back and allow things of concern keep going if you truly feel it's a potiential harm or safety issue?
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Old 01-31-2010, 12:06 AM
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That's why you document. Call CAS, Call the local law enforcement or other appropriate authority if you feel that the ex isn't taking appropriate precautions. I'm a big supporter of giving the ex opportunity to correct the issues themselves. It's really hard sometimes to separate the emotional aspect out of it, that's why I like email so much.

Write the email, try to frame it like business correspondence (pretend you are writing it to someone a couple steps up the food chain from you). Then when you are finished, save a draft, then walk away for a while.
Come back and reread it, and/or get a friend or family member to read it for you to see if it's appropriate.

If you DO wind up having to bring in other organizations into things, ALWAYS get the name of the person you were talking to, and document the date/time of the contact. When you are done, write up a brief summary of what was said/discussed. That way if the judge says "why didn't you do anything" you can present evidence that you DID in fact make your concerns noted to the appropriate places.

(The flip side of this is that if nothing was done....maybe it's not AS big a deal as you believe it to be?)

Pick your battles, remember you are going to be involved with this person for the next 10-20 years or so.
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Old 01-31-2010, 07:58 AM
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For the last 2 years my ex has regularly called me on the phone or written page long emails, over issues like having a 2 day expired yogourt in my fridge (that I mistakenly put in my child's lunch).

I have documented and documented. The issues really are that trivial. My lawyer has been prepared to ask for some kind of anti-harassment order, but she says that these have no teeth, and in the long run because I am seeking joint custody/shared parenting we'd rather try to grit our teeth and show that my ex and I can work together. And we can, usually 6 days a week, but that hasn't stopped over 100 occurences of harrassment.

I have drasticly cut down on my communication, refuse most phone calls, require everything by email, and even so I get anxious and hesitant every time the phone rings in the evening. Thank god it is only a newspaper subscription.

When my daughter is talking to her mum on the phone and I refuse to come to the phone, my ex makes me out to be unreasonable with my daughter.

So Tug, I have no idea what kind of incidents you are talking about, but all I can say is, from the experience I have had, if they are not actionable in court or with the CAS, then they are not valid complaints. Some people are "great" parents and some are "mediocre". The mediocre ones don't get their children taken away, and they don't get managed and supervised.

And yes, I'm over sensitive here after what I've been through.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:03 PM
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I just read this from the Department of Justice
Welcome Page | Page d'accueil

When there is clear evidence of a safety risk, the judge may deny custody or access, or may allow access only in very limited circumstances. For example, they may require that access be supervised for a period of time.

Is there anywhere you can go to learn more about what is considered a safety risk besides abuse?
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