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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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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-24-2011, 10:47 PM
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Default Ex using child as pawn to hurt me.

I live on my own with my 4 year old. I do my best to keep her father involved but I practically have to force him to spend the 3 days out of every 30 that he gets with her. I have a court date on June 21st and everything is filed (child support request) and ready to go except my custody papers which I have put off for so long that i have to serve them tomorrow. I am seriously struggling with the idea of joint or sole. Shared is out of the question, he has suggested it but only because he doesn't want to pay me child support, he actually told me this! I was going to suggest joint but really, why should he be allowed to make 50% of the decision making when I can't even get him to have an adult conversation or pick up the darn phone! He literally hangs up on me EVERY time I try to talk to him about our little girl.
I recently bought a home in Prescott ontario and am moving there with my daughter as it's close to a university I will be attending for Nursing. I tried talking to my ex about this beforehand but as usual he wouldn't talk, won't answer his phone, respond to emails etc.....I went ahead and bought the house and am moving.
Tonight I caught him off guard and told him we were moving. He is basically saying "over my dead body". Prescott is about 45 minutes away from Ottawa and I explained that he will see her no less than he does already. I have even suggested taking turns driving her to him on his days to see her. He is going to put up a fight. He feels he will prevent us from doing this.
I guess my question is this......can he do this? We have been in the city for the last 6 months that we have been 'divorced' and he doesn't even call her or ask to see her, how can he tell me that I can't move away to better my life so that I may better my daughters? She has a very stable and loving home with me. Since she is with me 90+ of percent of the time, can I ask for Sole so that I may be in charge of the decision making rights for school, religion etc..? He is fighting with me right now about her attending a catholic school even though he is catholic! He will fight me tooth and nail for every little thing I try to do with her just to go against me.
Ugh, so frustrated. Anyone been in this situation with an ex who uses your child as a club to beat you with?

I think this thread is coming across as more of a rant than anything. Any light to be shed or constructive criticsms are very much welcomed....
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:57 AM
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He could maybe file a motion and have you stopped.
He can maybe even file a motion and have the child returned after the fact.

From what you seem to be saying, I wouldn't really worry about that. You have valid points.

But do consider this.
You seem to be in a high conflict situation.
This appears to be heightening the conflict.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:41 AM
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What does the father do for employment?
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:56 AM
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You have a court date pending and custody is not settled and you went ahead and bought a house and arranged to move out of town without informing the father first?

If he has a decent lawyer he will tear you to pieces.

If you feel the father is unreasonable, won't listen, etc. this does not give you automatic permission to just do what ever the hell you want.

You should have held off on the move and if necessary put off school for a semester until the legal issues have been settled. You should have informed the father ahead of time about what you wished to do and asked for his opinion. If he sought to stop you, dealt with it properly.

Yes you are in a high conflict situation but I don't see anything from your description that takes out of the equation. You are just as responsible for the conflict as the father.

This situation is only going to get worse, and it sounds like you will just blame the father for that. The title of the thread "using the child as pawn" seems to cut both ways here.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:34 AM
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Yeah unilaterally moving the child out of the court's jurisdiction without permission from the courts or written agreement from the other parent is a BAD move.

My ex tried that, and I was able to (easily) force the children to be returned to their normal area of residence. She moved on a Sunday, the kids were back with me by Wednesday.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:35 AM
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Could be more of a nightmare before it's resolved.
I sense you are doing the best you can under trying conditions. You are trying to improve your skills for a decent paying position, which will benefit your daughter. In order to realize your goals, you need to move, which your daughter's father disagrees with, even though the move will not affect the time he spends with her. But you couldn't discuss your plans with him because he refused to communicate with you. You can't leave your life on hold permanently, or til your daughter grows up, because of him.
It is very difficult to communicate with someone who cuts you off and refuses to communicate with you. Yet you keep trying (banging your head against the figurative brick wall) and it's so ... peaceful and painless when you give up trying.
Given that yours appears to be a high conflict separation, joint custody (in my humble opinion, and many won't agree with me) isn't in your daughter's best interests. When parents are embroiled in battling over every detail, the actual child will be forgotten. She'll see Mom always upset at Dad and vice-versa. What kind of life is that for the child, who asked for none of it?
In some cases, sole custody is best for the child(ren).
Good luck, for you have an uphill battle ahead of you. Wish I could be more optimistic....
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:33 PM
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Agree with all of the above about unilaterally moving your daughter although I completely understand your position and how frustrated you must feel. You made a bad move in buying the house but not all is lost. If you cannot get your x to agree to the move (get it in writing if he agrees), you can take this to court to get permission to move and they'll do what's in the best interests fo your daughter. Document the current access, the missed access visits and keep your communication via e-mail as proof in court. The courts will not like you to make this move without permission but that doesn't mean they won't agree with the move eventually especially if he's not a very involved parent and you are willing to cooperate with making access continue to work.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:17 PM
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I have to agree that it's not cool to just up and move.
That's kind of my point about high conflict - you are really not doing yourself any favours.
But I believe 45 minutes is not so far away.
You already have de facto full custody, and it appears your ex isn't really interested - until it appears he may be losing something or put out by a 45 minute drive.
Should you have good reasons - like furthering yourself in school, taking a higher paying job, etc - I really think it's doubtfull the court will dictate to you where you can live. Mind you that arguement works both ways - 45 minutes isn't that far of a commute to work or school.

Doing it sneakily will most likely draw you condemnation. Doing it through the proper channels wil most likely be successfull.

At least that is my opinion.
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Could be more of a nightmare before it's resolved.
I sense you are doing the best you can under trying conditions. You are trying to improve your skills for a decent paying position, which will benefit your daughter. In order to realize your goals, you need to move, which your daughter's father disagrees with, even though the move will not affect the time he spends with her. But you couldn't discuss your plans with him because he refused to communicate with you. You can't leave your life on hold permanently, or til your daughter grows up, because of him.
It is very difficult to communicate with someone who cuts you off and refuses to communicate with you.
Yes! This is exactly it. I've been on my own 6 months TRYING to work with him. I call him, text him, email him, show up at his house and knock on the door. He doesn't answer even though he is there. He sees her 3 days out of 30 and only because I ask him. She cries and wants to know why daddy doesn't call her. I tell her that he works but that he still loves her. I am doing everything I can so that the impact on her is minimal. I resent that comment thatone person said that "I am using her as a pawn!". In the end, after my move, he will see her NO LESS than he does now and if wants to see her more I will be all over it! I'd love it!
How was I to discuss this with him when he simply won't respond to me? I've been trying for months and finally I decided to do what was best for me and my girl. I have everything documented, conversations, emails (we even went to mediation months back where he blatantly lied and said what the mediator wanted to hear just to renege on everything days later). I have really tried!
Eitherway, I filled out the papers for joint custody even though I would like sole. I really don't want him dragging this out for years.

I feel I have done the right thing for myself and my daughter. Thanks for all the brutal honesty though.

Court
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Old 05-27-2011, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staysingle View Post
What does the father do for employment?
He works at a car dealership. Why do you ask?
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