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Old 06-04-2006, 12:53 PM
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Default need advice please

Hi, everyone

I have a problem that I need some advice on. My ex wife is planning to send my 14 year old daughter to Japan for two months on a modeling contract. I have received no information on any particulars of this trip and I have only been provided with a "fill in the blanks" type contract that I think is to vague, This contract doesn't list any rights for my daughter while she is there. No where does it say she can refuse work that makes her uncomfortable or how many hours a day she must work or if she even gets a lunch break. Nothing in the contract protects her in any way. It doesn't even say how much she'll make or even if she'll get any work at all while she's there. I've been given no info on where she'll be staying or phone number nor a contact name to call incase anything should happen.

The way it works is that many models get on a bus in the morning and brought to places in japan for photo shoots. At the time they pick one model to do the shoot and the remaining models go to the next place where again they chose one. There is a possibility that she won't be chosen for any shoots.

From what I'm told there are many modeling agencies in the us that have shown interest in her and I have no problem with her going anywhere in the USA or Canada but Japan is too far away for a 14 year old without a parent.

My ex wife is planning on sending her now 27 year old mouthy alcoholic roomate to accompany my daughter as a chaperone on this trip. I don't agree with this choice either and no where in the contract does it say the chaperone accompanies the child on the photo shoots.

I've informed my ex wife that I will not give consent to my daughter taking this trip with the limited information I've received about it to date. Our divorce order states that our children shall not be removed from the province of Ontario without the other parent's consent. I now understand that they are still proceeding with the plans for this trip even though I have not given my consent.

I was just wondering if any of you think I'm unreasonable for not allowing this trip and also wondering what to do if she in fact leaves without my permission.

Her Mother ( ex-wife ) is a carefree anything goes mom who never says no. My eleven year old daughter is alowed anywhere and everywhere at 11 oclock at night unsupervised. Ex allows 15 & 16 year old boys in bedroom with my then 13 yaer old daughter....... I guess you get the idea. I certainly don't trust her parenting skills or judgment on anything. In my opinion my daughter's being sent out to the wolves without any protection. Am I wrong ?

I would really appreciate everyone's opinion on this and thanks to all for reading.
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Old 06-04-2006, 01:12 PM
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I 100% agree with you stoopid1. I learned alot about the acting business and modeling business when I was a teenager and was suprised about exactly how shady it really is. With the proper agency this could be a wonderful experience for your daughter, however with the wrong agency it could be disasterous in many ways from contracts to her well being. Obviously she is excited and is only seeing stars (as any 14 year old would) and it seems that so is your ex wife. You need to know the agency's name and particulars because from my experience this fill in the blanks contract sounds VERY sketchy. Your daughter may be upset when you try to find out more information and specifics but it could very well save her alot of time, money and possibly her life.

Is this agency asking for money up front for things like portfolios? If they are, then they are bad news. A good agency will take you with nothing and work out something for you to reimburse them for the photos with your first earnings. I'm not sure if this exists for models, but ACTRA protects the rights of performers in canada to make sure they work under acceptable conditions and recieve the proper wages. It may be worth it to you to look into this for your daughter as I'm not sure where that stands in the modeling world.

Good for you for sticking to your guns!!!
Best of luck keep us posted!
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Old 06-04-2006, 01:41 PM
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thanks for your reply Ivy 26,

The modeling agency she's been working with here in Canada has a good reputation from what I can find out. It's Giovanni in Montreal and the agency in Tokyo Japan is called Image. From what I can find or have heard they are both top agencies so I really don't understand them providing a 14 year old with such a vague wide open contract that hasn't even been signed by a lawyer. It looks like it was printed on a cheap photocopier and the blanks are filled in with pen. No fancy letterhead on it or anything on it, not even the agencies name is on the contract just some guy's signature.

They are advancing her $ 6000.00 Canadian for her expenses on this trip and she has to pay that back out of her earnings. If she doesn't make any money or wants to come home early she must " settle her account with agency" before returning home which means she may have to pay all that money back. The agency could even say well your account is $ 20 000.00 so pay up. This is what I mean by the contract being to vague. Everything listed protects the agency and not the model who is only 14 years old by 2 months.

I really want everything to work out for her, but if she's really that good then in my opinion she should be able to get steady work in Canada and USA. She can fly to New York city, Los Angelos or Las Vegas and I'd give my full blessing and support. Japan scares me because it's at least a 21 hour flight to get to her if anything happens. The laws there are also unknown to me and well we all know how someone innocent or not can find themselves in a world of trouble in a foreign country.

thanks for your input,
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:59 PM
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stoopid1,

I agree with your concern. Technically, your ex does need your consent to allow the child to leave the province. I would send your ex a nice letter by registered mail advising that ie: unless they is more information on the itinerary of the minor child for when she is in Japan, You do not consent. Make reference to your agreement whatever clause. By sending the letter advising your stance, you are showing that they may disregard the agreement in a willful capacity.

If your ex sends the child regardless, this could be breach of the agreement, you could take the matter to the courts by way of an application. I think you could even vary the terms of the agreement and perhaps show a material change of circumstances and ask for custody of the children. I'm not sure if you want to go that far, but I think you would have grounds.



lv
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:13 PM
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stoopid1, I think that you're concerns are very legitimate and that a judge would see it that way as well if you do decide to take the matter to court. At the very least, you are entitled to a lot more information about the situation.

What are the custody and access arrangements for summer?

I agree with logicalvelocity's advice re sending the letter.

As well, I think that a minor travelling with someone who is not her parent would raise suspicions at the border.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:31 PM
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Default thanks LV

I would love nothing more then to have full custody of my 3 kids. If only I knew then what I know now everything would have been done alot differently.
I was the one who took care of the kids up to the time I left. She worked 3 to 11pm and I worked 7 to 3:30pm so everyday I would rush home to meet the kids off the bus at school, make them supper, take them to bowling, girl guides or soccer practice, come home and clean the house, their rooms, wash their clothes, get them bathed and tucked into bed with smiles on their faces. All the everyday care of the kids was my responsability. I would lay out their clothes for the next day and have their lunches made in the fridge and well lets just say they were spoiled rotten and very well cared for kids who were very well behaved. My ex wife wanted the title of being a mom but thats where it ended. She'd find any excuse to not be home that she could almost like home was to much for her to handle.

Our divorce order stated I would see the kids 3 1/2 days per week. In my math that's 50% and in addition I was to pay $1076.00 in child support based on an anual income of $ 60 000.00 which I've never made, My best year since that divorce order has been $ 40 000.00. The ex would send them over without things they needed so i'd have to go buy them and so on....all those kind of games.

So at that point I was taking care of 3 kids at leat 50% of the time and buying clothes, school supplies, paying activities and trying to come up with $ 1076 per month ( absolutely impossible ) when I only make $ 36 000.00
It was made so our house had no money to do fun things. Also my house has rules like no sneaking out at 2am and being brought home by the police, rules like no 15 year old boys in my 13 year old daughters bedroom, and not allowing her to bush parties and to go hang out at the mall. With their mother however anything goes, go where you want when you want and with who you want. My ex has also bought the kids with an endless supply of money for $ 100 jeans, $ 300 jackets, $ 80 blouses, movies, eating out........

at this point, my 2 girls ages 11 and 14 decided last summer that they no longer wanted to go to dads place. Because it was impossible to sneak out and no boys allowed over and no going to the movies every single weekend. It also doesn't help that their mom has totally poisoned them with negative words about myself and my fiancee. It's a complete free for all at their moms and they seem to like that better. They often go to school without lunch, they wear stinky clothes that haven't been fully dryed, they go to school with cat piss in their shoes and on their book bags and they like that better then being with their dad. I've been divorced for 4 years now and for 3 years all seemed as good as it possibly could under the circumstances and last year with the encouragment from their mom, they decided to not see dad anymore. I know only see my son 50% of the time. I'm returning to court in july to get my current child support order adjusted to my appropriate income because the ex refused to contact fro with my current income tax return amount.

As I said I'd love nothing more then to have custody of my kids and it would truely be in their best interest to be with me but they are enjoying their freedom way to much to agree to live with me. My middle daughter is 14 and old enough to decide where she wants to be and she's already decided. My hands are tied in every way. Now she's mad at me for not approving of this trip to japan which is another wedge between us.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:49 PM
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Default hi Jeff

thankyou very much for taking the time to respond. I will absolutely take your and LV's advice and send her a registered letter. I think it's an excellent way to prove that I've communicated this information to her. I hate to be the one to stand in the way of my daughters trip and I have said I would consent to her going provided she had a different chaperone and a clearly written contract that's been reviewed by an entertainment lawyer working on my daughters behalf. I'm certain my daughter will hate me for a long time for this but at least she'll be safe and not a missing person or worse.

I agree also that a non custodial person will have a hard time with customs but I'm not sure they will even go through customs until they get to Japan and customs officials there don't care about consent letters. Somehow my ex wife thinks she can get around me on this because they are proceeding with planning for this trip even thought I've made it clear my answer was no.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:30 PM
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stoopid1,

You could bring forth an emergency motion ex-parte if the registar allows. Once you have your proof of not consenting and a copy of your separation agreement, attached as an exhibit, I believe the court would put an order in place to prevent the trip until full disclosure on the matter is heard.

I suspect time is of the essence in this matter. as school is just about dismissed for the summer. I would act fast and send your registered letter addressing your concerns of the trip to Japan.

lv
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Old 06-05-2006, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalvelocity
You could bring forth an emergency motion ex-parte if the registar allows [snip]
I'd be cautious about the ex parte part. If at all possible, try to serve the other side, even if it's only with a few hours notice.
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Old 06-05-2006, 10:33 PM
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Default to LV & Jeff

Firstly thank you both for taking the time to help me out.
Lv you are right when you say time is of the essence as she is planning to leave June 26. I will be sending her a registered letter first thing in the morning and please keep your input coming as it's all much appreciated. One question I have for you though would be would you allow your 14 year old on this trip? I'm afraid of making a bad decision about this but more afraid of any possible harm happening to my daughter.


Jeff,

firstly I'm sorry but I don't understand what you meant in your last post....remember I'm stoopid1.

I do know one thing now though, last night not I for I am stoopid1, but my fiancee figured out who you are. As it turns out you and I have actually met before at your office back in 2002. I had found your web site and was very impressed and then contacted you and we had an hour appointment. The reason I never returned after our initial visit is because I could not afford your retainer fee. I was very impressed with you as a professional and with your knowledge and I knew that you would have been an outstanding lawyer but I was being rushed by a deadline and had no money to aquire your service.

Well let me just say that your ears must ring often as your name comes up often in this house........if only we could have had Jeff..........we should have sold everything and hired Jeff..........we wouldn't be in this mess if we had Jeff........remember what Jeff said............. and on and on. The second biggest mistake in my life so far was not obtaining your service, we all can figure out my first biggest mistake,,,,,the one sending my daughter to Japan.

My divorce has been absolutely unbelivable and could be used as a perfect model as to everything bad that can happen to a guy without a good lawyer. You get what you pay for !!! that is one of the truest sayings in the world.
Anyone who knows even a little about divorce law look at me like I'm crazy when I'm asked to explain our divorce order. But only I the stoopid1 could find himself in such a mess.
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