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General Chat This forum is for discussing anything that doesn't fit into another forum, or for discussing things that are off topic, or just for general venting.

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Old 11-07-2014, 01:34 PM
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Default Some thoughts for the newbies and the veterans

I joined this forum in the spring, looking to at first passively read about how clothes get shared between separate households.

Somehow, it morphed into me contributing a few hundred posts, and passively learning about a lot of ways to manage my own situation in a proactive way (that's why you wont' see my starting many threads, I usually get what I need by reading up on other people's problems, lol). I can't pretend to understand any of the court-related issues that pop up, because I never went to court outside of my ex and I mutually filing our divorce application along with our mediated agreement. I say this not to brag, but to acknowledge that I had a somewhat reasonable person to deal with, and I got lucky in avoiding thousands of dollars in legal costs, so I really can't claim to offer any legal-related wisdom.

What I can offer are my general observations and insights that are based on being a divorced dad of two young kids that has them half of the time, pays almost $1,000 in equalization child support, and only managed to avoid spousal because of a series of large one-time payments, and a relatively short marriage. That being said, I was relatively accepting of that being fair, even though it was a tough hit to take. I like to think of myself as a balanced person, so, coming from that perspective, here are some thoughts for everyone about this site.

To all of you folks that just got here in the last week or so:

1) This place is an amazing source of knowledge and real-life experience. Not just for how to navigate the legal system, but for how to devise creative and collaborative solutions to problems. Even if you're in the throes of legal turmoil, consider ALL of the suggestions offered by members outside of a legal context.

2) If you're here with a wish list of things that you want to get that you think you deserve, whether it be sole custody of a kid, or the lion's share of joint marital property and income from a long-term marriage, you're going to be sorely disappointed. The members here are going to tell you what you need to know, not what you want to hear. They are doing you a favour by giving you a reality check in this anonymous forum, rather than you learning the hard way in a courtroom.

3) Don't be selective in the details you share from your story, as you'll only end up contradicting yourself later, thusly irritating the nice people taking their time to offer you advice. You can BS your counselor and therapist, and get them to tell you what you want to hear, but they're paid to do that. We don't profit from blowing smoke up your ass, so you may as well just cut the BS right off the bast. Our most seasoned members can smell it coming from a mile away anyway.

4) It's okay to admit that you didn't know something! That's why you're here!

5) Remember that the nosier ones like myself will read back into your past threads and posts to get context. It also means that we're going to notice once your story starts shifting around. Conversely, before you make assumptions about the person giving you advice, take a quick read of some of their posts and threads, and understand where they are coming from. Not every poster who encourages equal division of marital property is a 60 year old housewife who never worked, and not every poster who refers to maximum contact is a disenfranchised dad.

6) This is the 21st century, and we have a legal system in Canada that is slowly coming around to that reality. If you are here looking to validate any gender bias you have about the roles of men and women in marriage, go chat with that sympathetic best friend of yours that never seems to disagree with anything you say. We all have one of them, even thought they probably do more harm than good.

7) The past is the past! It gives us context, but it doesn't justify how you want to move forward into the future. At some point, a lot of us are going to try and get you to focus on your next steps, rather than obsessing over perceived wrongs. This is another case of you wanting to get used to that HERE before you find out the hard way in COURT.

To the veterans of this site:

1) You guys are, by and large, awesome. There is a lot of energy, care, and compassion put into your posts, even if you're giving someone news they don't want to hear.

2) However, sometimes, we should just let the newbies vent, and not be judged. Some of them have explicitly said, "I need to vent, please just leave it at that", and some of us, by reflex, have picked apart their vent. Sometimes, we (myself included), should just give these poor guys a virtual hug and tell them we are sorry to hear that they're having a rough time.

3) Let's keep being nice to each other, even though, in some cases, we've had some pretty heated disagreements. I'm guilty of snapping at an experienced user in the past, and regardless of whether it was justified, it wasn't productive, which leads me to the last point:

4) Sometimes, using the 'ignore' button is better than being right. Just sayin'.

Food for thought, take it or leave it. Still happy to be a part of this diverse and supportive community. I think that we're helping improve the family law reality of this country one user at a time.
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Old 11-07-2014, 01:54 PM
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Good post Stait. I'd add one more for the newer people:

You and your case probably aren't unique or special in any way. You are a cog in a huge turning wheel of arguing, divorcing, angry people that have come before you for years and years and years. Most judges have heard it all before.

When first get separated or served with divorce papers...it is a surreal, weird, difficult experience that makes you feel isolated and alone. I remember thinking that I must be the only person who had an ex like mine and was going through what I went through. It actually couldn't have been further from the truth. My case was the typical divorce/custody case.

There's very few unique divorce situations anymore. When you walk into a court room in front of a judge, they often won't even react much to the things that you think are explosive because they've heard it all before and unless its relevant to the issues that you're trying to settle...they don't care and probably don't want to waste time listening to it.

The most important thing you can do as a new litigant to save yourself emotional and financial turmoil is to work with a good lawyer (not a shark lawyer) to sort out the relevant details from the totally irrelevant ones. By the way, the irrelevant ones are often the ones that you're the most pissed about and that you think should matter. But if you continue down the road of bringing up nonsense over and over and over again in court, you can bet you're going to get verbally disciplined by a judge at some point.

Its tough but you need to get OBJECTIVE opinions on your case and remove the emotion. Not opinions from your family or best girl friend but from a good lawyer or someone who's been through it. That's why this forum is a such a great place. The people here are often experienced and objective and scrutinize what you say the same way an impartial judge might. Its hard not to be emotional but you need to work on gathering actual evidence...nor hearsay and emotional drivel. Judges make decisions based on data and on what's in the best interest of the children if they're involved.

Spend some time looking up similar situations to yours on Canlii too.
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post


You and your case probably aren't unique or special in any way. You are a cog in a huge turning wheel of arguing, divorcing, angry people that have come before you for years and years and years. Most judges have heard it all before.
Truer words have never been written!! Yes indeed, we all start out feeling like social outcasts, unique and misunderstood - that there's no way anyone could comprehend the unfairness of our dilemma. Take a number and get in line, that is the reality of family law.

Good post Straighttohell!

Last edited by Janibel; 11-07-2014 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:11 PM
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Excellent advice pursuinghappiness about retaining the right lawyer. Need one that can steer you through everything. 90% of what I wrote to my lawyer during the early stages of my divorce was quietly put in the trash can as it was, indeed, irrelevant.
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:15 PM
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Janibel, please... it's STRAITtohell, not STRAIGHTtohell.

It's not an accident either.

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Old 11-07-2014, 02:26 PM
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Janibel, please... it's STRAITtohell, not STRAIGHTtohell.

It's not an accident either.

Ooops! sorry, I'll get it strait eventually!
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:27 PM
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STRAITTOHELL in crossword
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:29 PM
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Too bad one can't use that in scrabble...
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Old 11-07-2014, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pursuinghappiness View Post
Good post Stait. I'd add one more for the newer people:

You and your case probably aren't unique or special in any way.
I disagree. Your situation/case is likely not unique, but your family is.

There is no “one size fits all” equation. Be flexible, read all advice given here, do your own research. Focus on the best interest of your child, not on the financial best interests of you or your ex.

In all likelihood if pushed to court, what your family looks like on the date of separation, will and should be again represented with what your family looks like immediately post-separation.

Take parenting courses, anger management courses, none of this is about YOU it is about your child. Work towards inclusiveness with the other parent. Attend (and encourage attendance with the ex) of all doctor, dentist, teacher appointments. Attend as many extra-curriculars as you can, encourage the ex to do so as well, the both of you need to be there for your kid. When you exclude the other parent, you harm your child.

You'll find all sorts here on this site, the flavor works on most days and you will receive feedback that should make you re-consider your position(s) I hope. And although we do get our share of cray-cray, overall our discussions and arguments can hopefully move the next reader forward and we provoke some thought.

Pull a chair up, stay a while. Get through the initial perhaps nasty and alternate opinions. And if you have successfully moved through the "system" with any benefit whatsoever from someone on our site, stay and offer your advice. Pay it forward.
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Old 11-07-2014, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straittohell View Post
6) This is the 21st century, and we have a legal system in Canada that is slowly coming around to that reality. If you are here looking to validate any gender bias you have about the roles of men and women in marriage, go chat with that sympathetic best friend of yours that never seems to disagree with anything you say.
I apparently missed your memo at the last meeting. The reality of exactly what?
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