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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 06-06-2013, 03:17 PM
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Default motion for family reunification counselling

5 1/2 months since I've parented our s9. 16 months prior to this it was 50/50. Our d11 has followed 50/50 to a tee for 21 months. (she misses her brother not being at her dad's place)

Parental alienation and manipulation have weighed heavily on our son. Private custody evaluator had disclosure meeting yesterday. 3 months of findings: most of which revealed "gatekeeping" (new buzzword), inappropriate language and conduct from her bf (5 separate incidents).

With all this, the recommendations were 180 degrees from the findings. ??? On May 22 my ex has been informed it is essential that s9 and father be involved in family reunification and she needs to be involved also. Yesterday FR counselling stressed again and to be pursued ASAP

Question: Does anyone have experience/suggestions on seekiing a motion for family reunification counselling? I have lined up a Psychologist skilled in this area (referred by the evaluator), however, my ex will NOT cooperate.
Is seeking a court order for family reunification counselling my best approach? (based on the evaluator's repeated recommendations for it)

Insight encouraged and appreciated.
PS- 5 1/2 months is a LONG time not to see your child, when things were great prior
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Old 06-06-2013, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by bthom View Post
Question: Does anyone have experience/suggestions on seekiing a motion for family reunification counselling? I have lined up a Psychologist skilled in this area (referred by the evaluator), however, my ex will NOT cooperate.

Is seeking a court order for family reunification counselling my best approach? (based on the evaluator's repeated recommendations for it)
Happens all the time. Talk to your lawyer. Considering what you have disclosed and the urgency stated by the private assessor regarding the matter it may qualify as an urgent request.

Basically, a simple motion requesting that the elements of the recommendations be implemented by order and attach the recommendations from the assessor to an affidavit.

I only have your projection of what was written in the report and recommendations. Generally, if you have a private assessor you have a lawyer (and generally a good one) whom would have recommended this to you already. So I do ponder why you are asking what the next step would be if there it is truly urgent.

A recommendation of how to proceed with this is not a typical question on this message board generally. In fact, it is rare if anyone comes with questions about a private assessment. Rare, doesn't mean it doesn't ever happen though.

Simple step would be:

1. Urgent motion requesting the recommendations of the assessor be ordered.
2. Affidavit attaching the recommendations.

Don't sit on the report and let time pass you buy. If the assessor expressed that something should be done in the immediate and the other parent is not willing to consent to it... Especially one of this nature... Urgent motion may be warranted to resolve this. Generally a judge in my opinion would not want this recommendation to sit on the floor.

You can act on it... and if it is urgent (check with your lawyer!) then file the motion if the other parent doesn't agree. First thing first.. Make an offer to settle in accordance with Rule 18 to implement the recommendations. Simple, one, just 4 - 5 paragraphs stating that the recommendations will be the parental plan etc and attach it as a schedule to the offer. I recommend this so when you go on the urgent motion you can claim costs and the costs for the assessment too.

Good Luck!
Tayken

Last edited by Tayken; 06-06-2013 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
Happens all the time. Talk to your lawyer. Considering what you have disclosed and the urgency stated by the private assessor regarding the matter it may qualify as an urgent request.

Basically, a simple motion requesting that the elements of the recommendations be implemented by order and attach the recommendations from the assessor to an affidavit.

I only have your projection of what was written in the report and recommendations. Generally, if you have a private assessor you have a lawyer (and generally a good one) whom would have recommended this to you already. So I do ponder why you are asking what the next step would be if there it is truly urgent.

A recommendation of how to proceed with this is not a typical question on this message board generally. In fact, it is rare if anyone comes with questions about a private assessment. Rare, doesn't mean it doesn't ever happen though.

Simple step would be:

1. Urgent motion requesting the recommendations of the assessor be ordered.
2. Affidavit attaching the recommendations.

Don't sit on the report and let time pass you buy. If the assessor expressed that something should be done in the immediate and the other parent is not willing to consent to it... Especially one of this nature... Urgent motion may be warranted to resolve this. Generally a judge in my opinion would not want this recommendation to sit on the floor.

You can act on it... and if it is urgent (check with your lawyer!) then file the motion if the other parent doesn't agree. First thing first.. Make an offer to settle in accordance with Rule 18 to implement the recommendations. Simple, one, just 4 - 5 paragraphs stating that the recommendations will be the parental plan etc and attach it as a schedule to the offer. I recommend this so when you go on the urgent motion you can claim costs and the costs for the assessment too.

Good Luck!
Tayken

Thanks for prompt insight Tayken!
Simple steps you have provided are succinct and greatly appreciated.

I have far exceeded my means to afford a lawyer since I am overly concerned with making the “wrong” move for our children’s sake. OCL should have been requested in January when ex engineered keep-away, however I was lead to believe cost of private assessment would be lower than it has been, and results would be sooner (draft on Wednesday, after 3 months findings). Btw – it was surprisingly quite absent of cogent and relevant evidence/arguments, and very subjective. The children’s best interests were not referred to once.

I asked my lawyer and been informed the family reunification counsellor (Psychologist - covered by health plan) is important to meet with and identify the condition of our s9. Equipped with the custody evaluator report, the true effects of living solely with the OP would be evident to the counsellor upon meetings with family and son. This report would likely prove instrumental in revealing the true extent of manipulation and parental alienation. (my words)

At the meeting, I stated that our s9 not joining his sister (11) during his father’s parenting time (EOW) for the past 5 ½ months has proven difficult for everyone, and based on the findings (CE revealed many negative observations of s9, and many (disturbing) adult influenced words flowing from our son), it is certainly not in our children’s best interests for our son to not join his sister on the father’s parenting time.

There was no response of urgent notice of motion to my direct question of what to do next.
Like others, money is scarce, and I am seeking opinions as I want to be comfortable moving ahead in the right direction now, and act on the ASAP statement in the report, not sit on it.

I will determine if my situation meets the urgency test, prior to initiating my next move.
______________________________________
What defines urgency? - taken from ODF post:
“It is my decision that an urgent motion within a court proceeding contemplates issues such as abduction, threats of harm, dire financial circumstances and these can be addressed prior to a case conference.”
Belch J in Hood v. Hood, [2001] O.J. No. 2918 (S.C.J. – Family Court)
http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2001/2001canlii28129/2001canlii28129.html
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:20 AM
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Default Urgent family reunification - recommended by OCL

Question: does harm of lack of father in s9's life (as identified by OCL) justify/warrant more aggressive family reunification than gradual permissive 7.5 month proposed recommendation?

Anyone provide evidence/situation substantiating need for aggressive/immediate family reunification between child and parent to address "harm". If it is truly about the children's best interests, then the positive of removing the child from the (identified) unhealthy environment (100$ with OP, to status quo 50/50 before) surely outweighs the negative of a move which could upset their present situation.

Your experience with family reunification is appreciated!
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Old 06-15-2013, 07:54 AM
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Question: does harm of lack of father in s9's life (as identified by OCL) justify/warrant more aggressive family reunification than gradual permissive 7.5 month proposed recommendation?
The urgency in your situation is that a custody and access elevator (private under s.30 of the CLRA) which I assume is a registered clinician of some sort (Psychologist, Psychiatrist or Social Worker) has made the recommendation. That is the first order of business. I wouldn't recommend trying to double down on any motion to adjust the 7.5 month recommendation. I would first get the recommendation implemented and discuss the matter with the clinician whom is ordered to be involved in the reunification process.

If the clinician feels the length of time isn't appropriate and can be done in a more timely manner then ask them to make the recommendation (after their intake and a few clinical encounters) to submit evidence to their opinion, provide it to the other parent, request that they consent to the recommendation (by making an offer to settle in accordance with Rule 18), if the other parent doesn't then you may possible be able to again go on motion to get the matter resolved.

You need to approach the topic gently. 7.5 months may seem like a long time but, really it isn't that bad in the bigger picture of things. Also, the other parent can't claim "status quo" that you have a recommendation in hand from a clinician that the reunification process was recommended based on the other parent's conduct and influence over the child.

Don't push too hard. I know you are possibly upset but, focus on the child and their needs. It may take 7.5 months and you are going to have to be very aware of the needs of the child and work with the clinician and not against them who is engaged in helping you and your child solve this very unfortunate problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bthom View Post
Anyone provide evidence/situation substantiating need for aggressive/immediate family reunification between child and parent to address "harm".
If there was "harm" the custody and access evaluator is required, under law, to report the harm to CAS. So, if they didn't do this then there isn't "harm" and I would really caution you about using such a strong term at this point. Remember, a registered professional (clinician) was involved and you need to question yourself why they didn't call CAS if there was "harm".

Quote:
Originally Posted by bthom View Post
If it is truly about the children's best interests, then the positive of removing the child from the (identified) unhealthy environment (100$ with OP, to status quo 50/50 before) surely outweighs the negative of a move which could upset their present situation.
Look at it from this angle instead... You will have a third party witness, whom is a registered clinician assisting YOU and YOUR CHILD on resolving the issues through a therapeutic process. If you manage this properly, by farting rainbows (to quote NBDad) with the clinician the other parent will probably continue down their bad path of parental miss conduct. It may even get worse but, a professional will be there to help you. Work with the clinician, and I recommend you let them do their job and listen to their feedback.

You need to be very humble with the clinician. You are smart and have done research on the matter but, often, these clinicians don't appreciate this. It is unfortunate that they don't. Most clinicians in the area of family law are very cold, calculating and unlike many other mental health workers I find they lack empathy and understanding of the stress that family law matters have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bthom View Post
Your experience with family reunification is appreciated!
My experience has only been to read a few hundred books and articles on the topic. This is a very rare situation when ordered so it may be difficult to find another parent who has had this ordered and gone through the process. You also are intelligent and as a parent you are "worried" (anxious) about the process possibly. Don't let the anxiety eat you up. If you are anxious it could impact the clinician's opinions and they make negative inferences against you. (This is the cold, calculating part of the work they do.)

Custody and access assessors often lack "empathy" because as part of their process they are expected to be neutral.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 06-15-2013, 10:43 AM
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^^^ tremendous insight, impressively accurate and again greatly appreciated!

Effective parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.
My lifelong pursuit is to train and action/compete for the long haul...
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Old 06-17-2013, 10:49 AM
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^^^
I would first get the recommendation implemented and discuss the matter

OP is firmly against custody evaluator's (regsitered social worker) recommendation for family reunification counselling for s9. (recommendation declared verbally once, and in writing three times for family reunification ASAP).

The OP was not happy with the family reunification Dr. I met with on May 3, and asked for a referral list from the custody evaluator. The CE provided a list, with several names; one of which was a Dr. (Psyschologist = covered under medical plan, when accompanied by family doctor note). The OP mentioned our s9. was not ready for counselling and saw no point, as nothing had changed.

I had contacted the referred Dr. (Psychologist) experienced in family reunification provided by the CE, discussed the situation; and this person was prepared to meet with the parents right away. Problem: OP will not consent to CE's recommendation, so I am unable to initiate the family reunification process/recommendation, since the OP is refusing.

I felt my next logical focus should be to seek an urgent motion based on immediate "harm" to our s9. Problem: examination/determination of "harm" cannot occur until s9 is seen by this Dr.

If this makes sense, is onus on me to prove "harm" to s9 exists (urgent recommendation for family reunification by CE on mulitiple occasions) in order to secure approval of urgent motion for family reunification counselling?

Thanks

Last edited by kidsRworthit; 06-17-2013 at 10:53 AM.
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