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Old 09-20-2016, 09:04 PM
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Default Greetings!

Hello folks,

New to this site although I have looked around for the past couple of days while my account was validated. I am not divorced myself but I am seeking help and guidance in gaing access and time with my neice and nephew who's mother has taken upon herself to unilaterally alienate my husband and myself as well asvall extented family from the children. This obviously includes their father as well but that is a whole different situation than I am currently having to sort through.

There is obviously alot I would love to discuss and hopefully gain insight and advice on, there is alot more to the story to divulge but dont know wherevto begin or what category to post thisbin.

So I will start here. My question is do aunts and uncles have any rights? Or more importantly do children have the right to a relationship with extended family? Legally speaking.

We have been essentially blocked from a previously loving relationship. There is a huge issue with alienation of the father and everyone else is collateral damage it seems. Mother has issues.

We miss these children tremendously. Any advice? Anyone else in a similar situation? Before I retain an attorney perhaps someone could shed some light.

Thanks!!

Flora
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Old 09-21-2016, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
So I will start here. My question is do aunts and uncles have any rights? Or more importantly do children have the right to a relationship with extended family? Legally speaking.
Technically, even parents don't have rights when it comes to their children, they only have responsibilities. A custodial parent has some rights, but you are not a custodial parent. The proper test is best interests of the children, and the courts generally hold that it is in the best interests of the children to be with their biological parents.

That said, on the rather arbitrary value scale of family, I would say that uncles and aunts are even lower than grandparents, and grandparents have very few rights when a child is living with a biological parent. You can search for grandchildren on Canlii if interested.

Quote:
We have been essentially blocked from a previously loving relationship. There is a huge issue with alienation of the father and everyone else is collateral damage it seems. Mother has issues.
But she has the kids, and she is the custodial parent. The courts will generally assume that she is acting in their best interests.

Legally, you would have a huge mountain to overcome. Victory might be a 4 hour visit, once per month.

Quote:
We miss these children tremendously. Any advice?
I have advice, you won't like it.

The mother has complete and final say over everything at this point. Only the father has a reasonable chance of pulling anything off. I would say that your odds of winning legally are almost zero. The father needs to fight for the kids, and if he won't fight then I don't see how you can win.

You need to suck up to the mother. Offer to take her and the kids to a nice restaurant, or to Wonderland, or something. Offer to bring them shopping so you can buy them some clothes. Take whatever she gives and be super gracious about it.

In the alternative, give up on the relationship. The mother will likely successfully alienate them from you, and you will likely suffer heartbreak. Love is not an infinite resource, spend it wisely.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:53 AM
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Thanks for your reply and advice Janus. Even if it is disheartening.

At this point even a 4 hour visit would be welcomed and a huge victory. There is no possibly of reasoning with the mom unfortunately. She is not a reasonable person.I sent the oldest a text message wishing her well in the new school year and lots of love, the mom then relentlessly called us and left quite a nasty hate filled voicemail. Says she is calling the police, her lawyer etc. Then she followed it up by a letter from a lawyer. This is also the type of drama and conflict those kids deal with on a regular basis. The conflict, alienation and her involving them in matters no child should endure is ruining them emotionally and the stress is causing somatic symptoms as well.

That was the falling apart of us being able to spend time with them as I indicated to her the children told me it was all too much. And I refused to participate in her alienation campaign. I thought I had approched her as non confrontational as a person could because I know it only gets worse for the kids as she takes it upon herself to involve them. Vicious circle. It makes me just sick to no end as the children loved time with us, slept over, did healthy child friendly things, no negatively about either parent ever, etc.our home was a safe haven from their usual insanity as they told me this. I am bewildered how it went from them spending a weekend with us, having fun, then trying to make plans with me for the next weekend, tonnes of hugs and kisses goodbye then the mom calling 10 minutes after dropping them home with her saying that they hate us.

Yes, their dad truly needs to pursue some changes to their current situation.But again, any attempt he makes just seems to make it that much more difficult for the kids. Its like they are punished for loving anyone else in their lives. Yes, its that bad.

Anyways, sorry for the long vent. I don't know how any of you can go through this with their own children. Heartbreaking and I hope that laws change for the better.

I am still open to all advice or recommendations that anyone can give. Perhaps there is hope.

Thanks,

Flora
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:11 AM
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Hi Flora,

I think you will find that this is not uncommon in divorce, sad but true. Sounds like the kids are being brought into this wether dad fights or not so my suggestion to him is to get on these forums and get going and fight for his rights as a parent, he needs to do this for their well being. Hang in there.
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:11 AM
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I havent had a relationship with my siblings kids in eight years. Nothing to do with divorce, simply a family disagreement. Some people are just unreasonable. You will need to just be patient until they are old enough to make the decision on their own. Similar to alienated parent issues, those kids are in a war zone and antagonizing their mother only makes their life more miserable. As hard as it is to miss these years (and I can tell you that I feel your pain) you will have a relationship with them when they are older.

Your best energy is spent helping your sibling fight for a relationship with his children.
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Old 09-21-2016, 06:16 PM
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Again, thank you to all who replied.

I did spend the afternoon searching on canlii as suggested and found a couple of cases where extended family did pursue legal action to obtain time withvthe children. One was relating to a joint application with the uncle and the grandmother. But more importantly I found a wealth of information regarding the position my brother in law is facing and how unfavorable the courts see this type of behavior and antics. One judge's endorsement even referedvto it as emotional abuse. I wholeheartedly agree.

I have given my brother in law links to this website and the canlii website. I have offered assistance in any way I can for him to facilitate time with his children. He has not spent time with them in several years. Not for lack of trying either. He lives in a different province and every time he has driven several thousand kilometers to see them as per his agreement she hides the children away from everyone. My brother in law has felt powerless. Its an unfortunate situation.

Anyways, I hope what I have shared with him helps and he finds it within himself to follow through.

In the meantime ibam have found an attorney that will help both us and brother in law. I have an appointment on Monday. He plans to follow up regarding the letter we received. So fingers crossed this mother realizes that children need love from everyone around them and that they are not possessions.

Again, I am always open to suggestions, advice or just support and hope I can pay it forward to others.

Ironically today is international day of peace so I hope everyone takes a pause from litigation and is kind to each other today.

Thanks again,

Flora.
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Old 09-22-2016, 12:16 AM
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One judge's endorsement even referedvto it as emotional abuse. I wholeheartedly agree.
I've read many cases where judge calls it abuse, but then doesn't change the status quo. Be careful about cherry picking cases and becoming overly optimistic.

Quote:
every time he has driven several thousand kilometers to see them as per his agreement she hides the children away from everyone. My brother in law has felt powerless. Its an unfortunate situation.
Did these denials happen verbally or in writing?

If it is in writing, then your brother might have a good case. If it is verbally, then he hasn't seen the kids in a long time and that won't look good.



Quote:
In the meantime ibam have found an attorney that will help both us and brother in law.
Be careful, lawyers don't help.

Make sure the lawyer doesn't just send letters flying around at $400/hour. I would say maybe one warning letter, and then straight to court. At the very least, straight to serving the mother to start the court process, that often resolves the issue right there. Lawyer letters don't do much.

If the lawyer hasn't acted within a month, then you have wasted your money.

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Ironically today is international day of peace so I hope everyone takes a pause from litigation and is kind to each other today.
This is family law, there is no peace or kindness
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Old 09-22-2016, 06:40 AM
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Thanks again.

The plan of attack is to send mother a letter basically warning her to be reasonable and smarten up, give her a short time frame to do so than proceed to serving her. Its a pretty simple case. We just want access. Lawyers work on your direction and im not going to entertain getting into some back and forth pissing match. Besides, I doubt she can afford it and lacks the wherewithal to do it on her own. Simply put, shutting family out of the kids lives because she is bitter is just unacceptable.

Now as per the brother, the refusals have been like this, he contacts her about the children, makes arrangements to see them over holidays, drives 2+ days to only find out she has secreted the kids away. He has emails, texts, voice mail and many other family members and friends that he stays with when he has come to town. The most recent refusal was in the summer. He requested a couple weeks for them to come visit him. The refusal is in writing. Also she has blocked him and us from Facebook and I also think telephone number on the oldest iPhone. The younest does not have a phone I know of.

He spoke to the oldest briefly. Mom had the child call dad, as he only wants to discuss things with her in email, then snatched the phone away to bitch at him over some child support adjustment.

He wants a relationship with them. Has never missed support payments. He consented on the children moving out of province when they split as he wanted everyone to be happy. Signed agreement so he could have a continued relationship with the kids. She fails to honor it. Its not as simple as just going to the local court house due to distance. But that will be changing very shortly as everyone has had enough.

And yes she was stupid enough to openly put all of her alienation tactics and plans in writing, on voice mail etc. Kids don't need their dad anymore apparently. She has found a boyfriend, and that's their new daddy.

You should hear the things she says. The things the kids told me. Ugg. Sickening. And yes to me, in my opinion, most definitely emotional abuse.

So fingers crossed for these lovely children to get their lives back.

And Janus, if you at least have peace in your own heart and love for your children than that's all that matters.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
The plan of attack is to send mother a letter basically warning her to be reasonable and smarten up, give her a short time frame to do so than proceed to serving her.
I wouldn't plan any attacks unless you want to be attacked back. The vicious cycle of family law requires two parties to take part. I would recommend you take a more structured and calm approach. The fact that a lawyer is getting involved will show the strong intentions you have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
Its a pretty simple case. We just want access.
Actually, this is not true. You are not a parent nor are you a grandparent. Your claim for access is astronomically hard. If a lawyer doesn't tell you this you should consult with a few. Most really good family law lawyers wouldn't take this matter on in my humble opinion.

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Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
Lawyers work on your direction and im not going to entertain getting into some back and forth pissing match.
If I were advising the parent in this matter it would be to disregard your communications until such time you file a motion. You don't have a material claim to access really.

Your case is weak. If you go on the attack you will just be supplying evidence to the other party. Your access should be provided through the living parent whom you are related to. If that parent has no access then you really need that parent to step up to the plate.

The only time you have a reasonable claim is if the parent you are related to is dead.

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Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
Besides, I doubt she can afford it and lacks the wherewithal to do it on her own. Simply put, shutting family out of the kids lives because she is bitter is just unacceptable.
Do you understand the court process. You will not see a motion where a judge could actually order your access for months - possibly years. The cost for a motion is not cheap. The book of authorities for your matter will cost you easily 10,000 unless the lawyer has already participated in a case similar to the one you are presenting. Not many have. Maybe 3-4 in the GTA and they charge 650-800 an hour. So, you will be the one who burns out the money.

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Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
Now as per the brother, the refusals have been like this, he contacts her about the children, makes arrangements to see them over holidays, drives 2+ days to only find out she has secreted the kids away. He has emails, texts, voice mail and many other family members and friends that he stays with when he has come to town. The most recent refusal was in the summer. He requested a couple weeks for them to come visit him. The refusal is in writing. Also she has blocked him and us from Facebook and I also think telephone number on the oldest iPhone. The younest does not have a phone I know of.
The father in this matter has to first bring an application. You could join possibly as a party to that case. But, you are probably a better witness than a party. All of the above is for the father in this matter to resolve through the proper legal means. Not you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
He spoke to the oldest briefly. Mom had the child call dad, as he only wants to discuss things with her in email, then snatched the phone away to bitch at him over some child support adjustment.
The father needs to step up and file an application to resume access. But, if the children are over 14 good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
He wants a relationship with them. Has never missed support payments. He consented on the children moving out of province when they split as he wanted everyone to be happy.
What you are telling everyone here is that the father is an idiot and failed to seek proper legal advice. I can't fathom any lawyer worth their weight not explaining the nightmare mobility matters create. He created this nightmare all by himself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
Signed agreement so he could have a continued relationship with the kids.
I call BS. If he wanted to continue the relationship he would have refused the move and made sure their habitual residential jurisdiction remained the same as it was status quo. In the alternative he would have moved to the same area to insure access was consistent and painless for both himself and more importantly THE CHILDREN.

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Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
She fails to honor it. Its not as simple as just going to the local court house due to distance. But that will be changing very shortly as everyone has had enough.
It is actually quite simple as that. He should move to the jurisdiction and be a parent. He made a huge mistake consenting to the move. You won't get any sympathy from most people on this forum for such a mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
And yes she was stupid enough to openly put all of her alienation tactics and plans in writing, on voice mail etc. Kids don't need their dad anymore apparently. She has found a boyfriend, and that's their new daddy.
Don't focus on the other party. Focus on what your party has done wrong and how to fix the situation. The father in this matter needs to move and now. Access won't be easy to get with distance. It will be scattered and subject to a lot of nonsense. If you live in the same area... You remove the excuses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
You should hear the things she says. The things the kids told me. Ugg. Sickening. And yes to me, in my opinion, most definitely emotional abuse.
Are the children over 14. If so... Good luck! I wouldn't recommend anyone bother with children over 14 that have made a residential choice between parents. It is just heart breaking and by the time it gets resolved the kid will only be older and have more decision making power. 14 is only 4 years away from 18... A matter like this is easily 2-3 years in the making to get a trial completed.

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Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
So fingers crossed for these lovely children to get their lives back.
They have their lives. What they have is a father whom doesn't live in the area. Want things to change fast? Have dad move closer to them and file an Applicaiton on a material change in circumstance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flora13 View Post
And Janus, if you at least have peace in your own heart and love for your children than that's all that matters.
Janus is well versed in many issues regarding family law. I would recommend you consider his advice.
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