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

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  #81 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2012, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 50
Chris2008 is on a distinguished road

Yeah, no that won't work with her. Common sense logic does not work with her. Her exact words to me has been, what is common sense to you is not common sense for me. Her reason why she doesn't want him overnight is that it is unstable for him to come back to his original home and that he needs to settle into his new place. In other words, what is in her best interest is the best interest of the child.

This is the same person that had her daughters here for christmas and halfway decided to keep them here permanently with 2 weeks of clothes on their backs regardless that the grandparents have had them in their care for the past 7 years in another province. As well she didn't tell the grandparents, and they ended up calling me asking when are we meeting to pick them up.

Needless to say, one of them flew back home yesterday.

Originally Posted by dinkyface View Post
Sorry, I'm a bit confused about the times/shifts you are describing, but am assuming she does NOT want you to keep him overnight, and that her shifts are from 9am to 7pm sat and sun.

Why not just send an email that you will return him sunday evening 7pm. Perhaps put some nice fluff in about how nice it will be for him to return to his usual bedroom and environment, and catch up on time with daddy. Ask her if there is any particular nap/feeding schedule that you should follow, or any other care instructions that she would like to pass along.

And add some other nice fluff about how you respect the importance of her parenting time, and requests that she does the same for yours. (A watered down/shortened version of hammerdad's suggestion)

Then see if she refuses to hand him over. If yes, great for you in court. If no, great for you and your son.

Ignore the draft document. The issue is just to ensure that she can trust you to do as you say. And an email does that very well.
  #82 (permalink)  
Old 02-10-2012, 10:17 PM
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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 2,475
dinkyface will become famous soon enough

You should realise that this is not about convincing her. You already know that won't work (as you say). It's about positioning yourself as a confident, valuable, reasonable, trustworthy parent .... in contrast to her whacked-out-ed-ness.

Or, you can just let her jerk you around (I know, easy for me to say from behind my computer screen).

Think through the possible outcomes of your actions.
  #83 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2012, 08:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 50
Chris2008 is on a distinguished road

Hi everyone,

I have an update. Our court date was originally set for last friday. She ended up adjourning till today. The judge almost gave me overnight access for Sat-Sunday but started crying and saying that she is the primary caregiver and that he hasn't spent a single night without her. So she only allowed 9-7 PM for Sat & Sun.

Today was interesting I must tell you, the result wasn't what I wanted but it is a very good start according to my lawyer as we go back in 3 months time to get more access. I had requested that I get him Saturday morning to Wednesday morning aka shared parenting. She works 9-7PM Sat & Sunday and Mon-Tuesday 5-2AM.

She put in her affidavit she wanted primary custody including physical and that no overnights were allowed until he was at least 18 months and that would only be one night. She brought our son to court as she couldn't get a babysitter or whatever her reason was. Since she was defending herself with family counsel I ended up having to take care of him outside the courtroom.

Her two primary arguements were that:
1. I am an abusive person and she needed to protect our son from me and she was going to bring up all the abuse and hell she endured being with me. Per usual, she bawled her eyes out and said I had choked her, threatening to punch her, bashing her head into the ground. etc.

2. She is the primary caregiver and I have not been involved in his life at all except for paying for everything and working.

Our defence:
1. My lawyer brought up the two police reports as exhibit A. 1st time they came, no DV and it was closed. 2nd time, she wanted me removed from the house cause she feared for the safety of her and her children. They told her she can't charge me for 1st time and noted she was irrational and had hung up on the police officer and threatened to complain to police officer's supervisor since she couldn't help my ex. My lawyer read the report line by line. The police even wrote in caps, complainant started yelling at me on the phone. So I think her credibility was shot there. Oh yeah she wasn't even home she was at work!

She even told the judge that in order to see Brandon, I need an anger management course!! (uhh I've been taking care of him unsupervised for the past 2 months while you're at work and now it comes up?). The judge said if it is, it would be between him having issues with you and not his son, so no I'm not going to order an anger management course on him, it's irrevelant.

2. I've been taking care of him since she's been working by myself and I've been active in his life. I had timelines of the days I took care of him while she worked. She also brought in the breastfeeding issue, so we brought up pictures of him eating solids etc. Also, she had told the judge he needs to be breastfeed and my lawyer was like hmm well the father is outside with the baby with a bottle and he's not crying. What's the problem?
*funny bit was that he was crying in the beginning when i was holding him cause I didn't let him play with the courtphone outside the courtroom. She comes out and was like snickering you look like an idiot you can't take care of your own baby and then went back into the courtroom* Really?

In the end the judge decided that this is an interim order and that I will get Sat & Sun 9-7 and Mon & Tuesday 5PM to 8:AM overnight and see how that goes.

Four days in a row without a feeling that she can't play gatekeeper is an amazing feeling.

On the bright side I have the overnights I wanted and get to spend time with my little guy. My lawyer said we are set up well and that in 3 months time we will go for overnight weekends and we are really only one overnight from shared parenting. However, primary residency is with her for now.

After the trial, the family counsel came up to me and said I have a beautiful baby and that she has a very strong feeling that everything will work out.

My lawyer made an interesting comment after she testified. He said I see a woman who has now lost control. Control of you. It was clear this was about you and not so much about your son and I can't warn you enough that in any future dealings with her you cannot be alone with her. She will try to get back with you and charge you with assault.

What do you think? Am i screwed for shared parenting now since there is the thing of status quo or is this a really a good setup as my lawyer said? I am a long term thinker, and want to know what I should be doing the next few months to make sure I get to shared parenting or am I screwed now?

Before I end this message, I also want to thank you everyone here, you guys have been so helpful. Hammerdad and PursuingHappiness in responding to my private messages for help.

Dinkyface, NBDad, Rioe, StandingonSidelines, hadenough and whoever else in the public messages. Thank you so much for all your help. Your advice has been life saving as I have the time I need with my son now. I have a way to influence his life and create a bond with him that is unencumbered by my ex. He is the world to me, and you guys helped me get there. I know the internet is a faceless thing, but you have made a difference in my little guy's life by giving the tools his dad can use to have access to him. If I met you guys, beers on me or soda if you don't drink.
  #84 (permalink)  
Old 02-22-2012, 10:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Kitchener Ontario
Posts: 5,241
standing on the sidelines is on a distinguished road

nice to hear its working out for you. We need more good new on this board. I will take a glass of wine it thats okay? lol.

stay strong, you are on your way!!!
  #85 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2012, 10:52 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,809
Pursuinghappiness will become famous soon enough

Hi Chris:

Congratulations to both you and your son. I know how liberting it is to be free from the oppressive feeling of having someone controlling everything you do...even time with your children. I'm glad you'll be able to just have some time alone with him to enjoy him and establish a strong bond with him.

What do you think? Am i screwed for shared parenting now since there is the thing of status quo or is this a really a good setup as my lawyer said? I am a long term thinker, and want to know what I should be doing the next few months to make sure I get to shared parenting or am I screwed now?
I don't think you're screwed at all. The whole purpose for an interim agreement is to ease into a transition for both parents and children. You'll have the child a substantial amount of time. I also have an interim custody agreement and the only thing you need to do is make it work. (which is sometimes easier said than done with high-conflict ex-partners).

Basically, be child focused. Make the right environment for your baby for when he's with you. Make sure that you continue polite email communication with her when its necessary.

Personally, for the time being, I'd have someone over your house or in your car at transfer, a family member or friend....because I think anytime you're alone in her presence, there's a chance she can trump up charges. Having a witness for exchanges of your son might be helpful since she'll be less likely to pull anything. I would also keep a daily journal of the days when you're with him. Just in case, she alleges anything. I used to keep a daily parenting calendar which detailed the days that I had my children and what I did with them. It was helpful when I needed dates of incidences for my affidavit. I would do something similar if I were you in the event of false CAS charges. Other posters who've been through that kind of thing might have more advice for you.

Basically, stay away from her as much as possible, aside from email when required. Don't let her nitpick at you (she'll try) firm, be clear. Your time with your child is your time.

Mostly enjoy the days with him and congratulations again!
  #86 (permalink)  
Old 02-23-2012, 11:56 AM
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3,248
Rioe will become famous soon enough

Great start! Hold on tight to it as it was hard-won and you don't want to do anything to jeopardize it. Don't give up any of that access; if you get sick for example, take the kid anyway and get someone to help you out.

As suggested, definitely have someone around for all those exchanges (and it sounds like there's going to be a lot as you never get a full 24 hours at a time) so she can't pull any false domestic violence funny business. Have a digital recorder going at the very least, and do them in a public place.

One thing I notice; on Saturday and Sunday, you only have your son during her working hours. Same thing on Monday and Tuesday, really, with the exception that there's not a middle of the night exchange - it waits till first thing in the morning. You'll want to be careful that she doesn't fall into the idea of treating you as just a babysitter instead of a co-parent. If she takes a day off work for example, insist that you still get your son.

The next thing I would suggest working towards, is one overnight from Saturday to Sunday, every other weekend. You can promote this to her as letting her have a weekend to herself now and then, and it also gives you the possibility of taking your son places for a weekend, such as a visit to Grandma's house or whatever. This begins to establish a status quo of you and your ex alternating the weekends. Don't launch into that right away though, give her time to digest the current arrangement and how well it works.

And something to think about long term for your child: you and your ex have work schedules that do not overlap, so you won't need daycare if you can keep this up. That's great in that you avoid a huge hassle and expense there, but daycare can also be a very enriching experience for a child. I would suggest using your weekend days to attend activities that expose your child to interaction with other children. Playgroups are all over the place, even for young children. Getting something like this going shows that you are an involved parent, and that you care about your child's social development.

Also, see if you can get information about doctor's appointments. You don't have to rely on your ex to tell you, you can get the info right from the doctor as you have defacto joint custody. Then take the time off work to attend them.

The important thing is that this is an interim setup. Use it as a stepping stone to equal shared custody. Once this setup becomes routine, it should hopefully be logical to all concerned to progress it in steps to one exchange on Saturday mornings, four days/nights with you, and another exchange on Wednesday mornings.

Oh and since she's so concerned about stability, respect the fact that children need predictable routines, and show her you are doing your best to stick to established bedtimes, bath times, meal times, etc. Maybe she'll see this as you being cooperative, and be more reasonable in return.
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