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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-17-2016, 04:28 PM
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Default How Much Does Legal Aid Award for Uncomplicated Custody and Access Cases?

We are just trying to figure out how long and how hard the ex can fight against 50/50 access, when there are no safety issues or complications. Two great parents, wonderful kids who are bonded to both, we want equal time, she won't relent, but it seems like her Legal Aid may be coming to the end. We assume it's not unlimited funds to fight a court battle over nothing. We are not on LA, so just curious.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:01 PM
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Same thing happened to me. Sounds like you have a great case for 50/50.

Legal Aid and their client will delay quite a bit and hope you fold to their demands from sheer fatigue. Be sure not to. They may make it seem like they want to go to trial in hopes that you'll fold. The chances of LAO repping your ex at a trial are slim to none.

Have you scheduled a motion for 50/50? Showing how it would benefit the kids, "Maximum Contact Principle", etc?

Were you smart enough to document any access denials?
What's the current access schedule look like now? Or since separation?
How many conferences have you been to?

You haven't provided many details so it's tough to give you good advice

If I were you I would ask that a Legal Aid Settlement Conference (or Legal Aid Mediation) be scheduled to try and avoid more court costs, trial, etc. Since your ex is on Legal Aid this will be free of charge for everybody.

I was in you position and this Legal Aid SC is where everything got settled ... I believe it was nearing the end of legal aid funding for her as well. I came out with 50/50 shared custody.
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Old 08-17-2016, 05:08 PM
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http://www.hamiltonlaw.on.ca/docs/fa...n.pdf?sfvrsn=4

Read this article and be sure to read the actual case. https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/do...ocompletePos=1

This is a case that a member of the forum had.
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Old 08-17-2016, 11:11 PM
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The only compromise is 50/50 and imputed income
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by JulesE View Post
We are just trying to figure out how long and how hard the ex can fight against 50/50 access, when there are no safety issues or complications. Two great parents, wonderful kids who are bonded to both, we want equal time, she won't relent, but it seems like her Legal Aid may be coming to the end. We assume it's not unlimited funds to fight a court battle over nothing. We are not on LA, so just curious.
I hate to say it but, there are ways to slow LAO from proceeding on a file. Often, they don't do the due diligence in reviewing the case to determine how much they are going to put forward on a certificate.

If you are dealing with an over zealous LAO lawyer and client you can easily have the file reviewed by filing a complaint with the ethics review. It is anonymous and online. Every file complained about will be investigated.

Legal Aid Ontario: Newsroom

LAO reviews files and tries to insure that they are putting forward funds to files that are legitimate claims. What you want to do is make sure you present multiple reasonable offers to settle prior to filing the complaint. That way when they do review the file they will scratch their head and question why the matter wouldn't settle on the terms provided.

LAO likes to settle family law matters but, some times you have to alert them to files that should be settling that are not.

Quote:
59. With Legal Aid tightening eligibility rules, it is likely that just about any litigant retaining counsel on a certificate will have trouble paying costs if they lose. But combining a “free lawyer” with a perceived immunity from costs is a dangerous mix. Dangerous for opposing litigants. Dangerous for children like Maxeem, whose lives are needlessly disrupted by bitter and unnecessary litigation. And dangerous for a Family Court system whose resources are already strained.

Source: Izyuk v. Bilousov, 2011 ONSC 7476 (CanLII), par. 59, http://canlii.ca/t/fpd0d#par59
I have observed a pattern of reasonable offers to settle + a properly written complaint result in settlement most times. Especially when the evidence is all hearsay based. In addition make sure you send over a number of letters that state you are willing to attend a LAO Settlement Conference. If you demonstrate you are being reasonable they will question the conduct of their client and the lawyer on the file.

LAO has very limited funds. If they can redirect them to matters that truly need the funds they will. They will even collect at full rate if they find out they have been used improperly.

We can thank WD for these reforms at LAO.

It has even made it to Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_...ario#Criticism

Good Luck!
Tayken
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Old 08-18-2016, 09:58 PM
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Fantastic advice and resources! I'm so glad I found this place.

Someone pointed out that I didn't give any details so, here is the quickest nutshell possible:

I'm with Dad. He has 3 weekends of 4 since the separation from wifey 2 years ago. There are 4 kids ages 4 to 14. He has been trying to negotiate/mediate/compel her to go to 50/50 week about access for the whole two years.

We were on a 50/50 week about for the summer -- but we filed our Form 8 Application asking for it to continue after the summer "establish a new status quo"...in the application because, while Mom is actually a good Mom, the children missed over a month of school each year for the 2 years they have been separated....and her new pitbull bit the 7 year old in the face....among other concerns. Plus, B is a fabulous Dad and there is no reason why he should NOT be raising his kids 50% of the time.

Anyway, after we filed the Form 8, Mom got vindictive and tried to stop the week about access. She does not want a new status quo to be developed... She asked one Sunday what time the kids were coming home and we replied "Friday at 4pm, as usual" -- She threatened an Emergency Motion if we didn't return them immediately and served us on Tuesday...But the motion had not been filed with the Court. We went to file our answer, complete with evidence, on Wednesday, the Motion Still hadn't been filed, but she had tried to go ex parte and it was thrown out. So, Thursday, I sent B to file our answer with the Court again and AGAIN, no Motion had been filed...LOL...So, she and her lawyer were playing games. Finally they filed late Thursday and we were ready with our answer: Basically, "No danger here" She knows when the kids are coming home, she knows where they are and she admits she knows that they are safe and happy....So we call Bullshit on this Emergency Motion. The court date was the following Thursday...it was a clusterf*ck for us. UGH...

Mom has now kept the eldest home for the last 7 out of 8 access visits and we haven't seen the eldest daughter in over a month.

We have a return date for the emergency motion on Monday the 29th of August and our first real case conference on Sept 29th.

We are meeting with a lawyer tomorrow. I can do all of the writing and background work and research...the lawyer can make the court appearances because B is a shy, sweet guy who gets totally flustered in stressful situations.

I was asking about the Legal Aid thing, because it seems like a silly case to spend years fighting in Court over (mom agrees B is a good dad and the kids love him....and we agree she is a good mom who needs support to get the kids to school etc...)and I was thinking that her recent overtures to being nice may have something to do with running out of money for her lawyer (also a pitbull ironically)


Then there is some crazy money stuff that I will ask in another Forum..
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:47 PM
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Hopefully mom and dad will work out their issue at the case conference?
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Old 08-18-2016, 10:59 PM
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We really hope so!
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:28 AM
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... The court date was the following Thursday...it was a clusterf*ck for us. UGH...
You should always attend emergency motions with a lawyer. Also, was there a written agreement for the access schedule (week-about)? If not, then the court will revert everything back to what ever was agreed upon (on paper) or ordered. Friendly agreements that are not written up properly have no weight in court generally. So if the order or agreement that was in place would be the default.

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Originally Posted by JulesE View Post
Mom has now kept the eldest home for the last 7 out of 8 access visits and we haven't seen the eldest daughter in over a month.
Good luck with that. The courts are becoming very reluctant on forcing any child >14 for access visits these days. The 14 year old may be a lost cause.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JulesE View Post
We have a return date for the emergency motion on Monday the 29th of August and our first real case conference on Sept 29th.
Hopefully you have a lawyer for the return date on the 29th. Emergency motions are not a simple matter to deal with.

Also... drop the whole "dangerous dog" argument. A one time occurrence of a bite is nothing to fret over. The child went to ER correct? Doctor knows what happened right? Doctor didn't call CAS right? Then it isn't evidence the court cares to hear... especially if a professional was involved in the after care and didn't (by law) raise the concern to CAS.

Your argument should be "why not equal and shared access"... Not... The dog bit a child.

Remember, status quo is the order often. Not what has been actually happening. Status quo takes about 8-12 months to establish. Not 2 months in the summer.

Good Luck!
Tayken
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