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Asphenaz 12-20-2016 02:46 PM

Greetings All - Great site, almost at trial
 
Hello All,

I have been lurking over the past couple days, and found lots of helpful advice, mainly on how to accept and deal with my separation.

I'm a father of two; boy (11) and girl (10), currently I enjoy at week about visitation with joint custody as per a Minutes of Settlement (signed a year ago) but 50/50 was established two years ago.

I haven't been enjoying the last year of court battles as my ex is trying to get full custody. I make approx. 55k a year and she is on ODSP with no intention of working. This resulted in a support motion where I was ordered to pay 75% of my net pay via FRO for three months, along with her lawyers (legal aid) court costs. After those three months it drops to approx. 50% of net pay where most of the payment is spousal and gets clawed back dollar for dollar from her ODSP payment.

I joined as I am lost in the sea of turmoil. I am trying to be positive but I can understand why some fathers abandon the fight especially when up against Family Law courts and FRO. I really enjoyed the 'realistic' advice I have seen. There are many questions that I have, both life questions as well as legal.

At the moment, I am going to my second case settlement, (tomorrow) and then on to trial. I am the respondent and not applicant and she chooses not to mediate. I am not sure if I will continue to fight onto the trial, and not settle and try to get as much visitation as possible. Both my kids have expressed to OCL, and ourselves that they want things to stay the way they are. Only the mother disagrees.

Janus 12-20-2016 03:04 PM

First of all, you have week about parenting. That makes you a full parent. Stop calling time with your kids "visitation". When you are a less than 40% parent, then you are just visiting. At more than 40%, and especially at 50%, you are a real parent.

As an alternative, "the kids are with me on a week about basis"

More importantly, how on earth could you possibly lose 50%? What has changed? On what basis are you supposed to be losing 50%? By "week about" do you mean "every other weekend"? If you have 2 years of 50% status quo, why on earth would you settle for anything less than 50%? Did you take drugs, get drunk, and then sexually abuse your children? If not, I'm not understanding the situation.

How did you lose a support motion, were you not paying support?

undersc0re 12-20-2016 03:48 PM

Sounds like she wants some more easy money....and hopes you will just cave in.

Asphenaz 12-20-2016 09:55 PM

@Janus: thanks for the reminder. I have to stop belittling myself. I'm a good dad. I like your alternative thinking / wording. Most of my marriage was spent being told how bad and unworthy of a person i was.

At the moment, i have no faith in the system. I could write a novel about how I lost the motion if support in approx 30 min and why i think i might lose custody, but i didn't think it belongs in the intro. I was looking at the other sections.

I will try to compress the story down tomorrow.



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Links17 12-22-2016 08:20 AM

I have been to the court of appeal 4 times to get any semblance of justice.

Asphenaz 12-23-2016 03:08 PM

clarifications
 
Sorry for my lack of response, I had my second settlement conference on Wed and as my lawyer said, she's never seen a judge flip-flop on her decision before. It wasn't a surprise to me... but first a bit of history, I will try to be 'vague' as I don't want this to be used against me... :o If you wish further details shoot me a message. Yes, I have been accused of neglect, abuse (verbal) and all the rest all without proof.

I was thrown out of my home by wife (unemployed) a few years ago, and I quickly established a week about routine with my kids (within a month of separation; it was easy since she mysteriously fell ill, quit school and got on disability after throwing me out). I would have them for a week and she would have the other one. About half a year after separation she initiated litigation for full custody as she wanted to move. My lawyer forced her into a minutes of settlement that has been ongoing since, it basically covered support and week about schedule.

Our first settlement conference, all that was done was request OCL. OCL recommended that I have 2 out of 3 weekends (an extra day added to weekend during summer break) and maybe a mid week visit every two weeks. The report, recommendation and the fact that the OCL agent changed custody from shared to full for ex at last minute, floored my lawyer. We filed a lengthy dispute (30+ pgs), OCL reply is pending.

The OCL recommendation is based on NOT having spoken to the children's family doctor, nor their teachers, nor did they take into consideration that both kids want things to stay the same (in their OCL interview), expressed that they feel safe in both homes (OCL interview), that my ex stated she is convinced the children are safe with me and would say something if they weren't (OCL report) ... nor that my ex is diagnosed with mental illness and refused taking medication for it (OCL submitted doctors report) and told OCL it was the doctor who said not to take them... Or that she has alienated me from every appointment regarding kids, changed their family doctor to a new one without informing me, even thought it's an hour long bus ride. Is consistently late on all exchange days, when kids not in school (this stopped when I threatened a contempt order).. I could continue but that's the big points...

Then came the motion of support, despite the fact that I was paying support since separation. After a midnight move, I was served the papers.. Again my lawyer was surprised that the judged after less than 20 min the judged ruled 100% in ex's favor.

And finally, the second case settlement. As we don't have OCL's reply to our dispute, the judge gave her advice based on OCL recommendation. She recommended a schedule that while not not week about, favored me with above 50/50. Judge called a break, to give us a chance to discuss. After discussing it with my lawyer we stayed as close to judge's recommendation but slightly modified for equal access. My ex's lawyer, had other cases on the go, so left to attend his other clients. After returning 10 min before the break ended, we presented our offer and it was quickly rejected.

After returning to the courtroom. The ex's lawyer explained that surely the judge would not want to go against the OCL recommendation, and that they generously offered two extra midweek nights a month above OCL recommendation. The judge glad for a way out of her earlier mistake, pretty much told me that I should take the offer of 1 weeknight a week, and every 2 out of 3 weekends, as I sure would not get that if I went to trial. This is despite status quo of week about and shared custody for 2+ years

After digesting that surprise, I've decided to wait till I hear from OCL and see what I need to build my case. Trial management is set for the new year. I decided to take the holidays for myself and work on me and enjoy the kids.

I understand that while I feel it's not 'fair', if I look at it from a third party point of view and with the 'win-win' mentality, it's easier to stay positive. If I was in jail, and someone offered me to see my kids 2 out of three weekends, I'd be glad for it and make the most out of it.

I hope it wasn't too much of a rant...

Links17 12-24-2016 01:10 PM

So they want to give you 38% custody?

Janus 12-24-2016 06:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Asphenaz (Post 215599)
My lawyer forced her into a minutes of settlement that has been ongoing since, it basically covered support and week about schedule.

So, your ex consented to a week about schedule?

Quote:

Our first settlement conference, all that was done was request OCL. OCL recommended that I have 2 out of 3 weekends (an extra day added to weekend during summer break) and maybe a mid week visit every two weeks.
Why did the OCL feel that the week about was not working? Were there any specific problems?

Quote:

Or that she has alienated me from every appointment regarding kids
Alienation is a big word to throw out, and given that you have had week about parenting it is unlikely to be true. You can't really turn the kids easily against a 50% parent. That fate is reserved for parents who see the kids much less.

If you give up the fight for whatever reason (tired, for the sake of the kids, money, etc.), then your ex might very well alienate the kids, but for now that hasn't happened.

Quote:

Again my lawyer was surprised that the judged after less than 20 min the judged ruled 100% in ex's favor.
Are you at all concerned that your lawyer seems to be frequently surprised, and that you are losing motions that you have no business losing?

Quote:

I understand that while I feel it's not 'fair', if I look at it from a third party point of view and with the 'win-win' mentality, it's easier to stay positive.
huh?

What on earth are you talking about?

Seriously, I have no idea.

Quote:

If I was in jail, and someone offered me to see my kids 2 out of three weekends, I'd be glad for it and make the most out of it.
Do you belong in jail?

If not, I'm not sure I get your point.

Quote:

I hope it wasn't too much of a rant...
Actually, you still haven't answered the most important question. What on earth is your ex possibly arguing (and OCL it seems) that would justify a move from shared to not-shared?

Asphenaz 01-30-2017 02:56 PM

Hello Janus,

Yes, my ex consented and signed (with legal representation) a minutes of settlement for week about access. (The original application states week about started shortly after our separation; Signed MOS was about 6 months after)

My lawyer is surprised that we are losing issues that we have no business losing as you have mentioned.

My ex is arguing that I cannot adequately care for the children, that I neglect their medical and emotional health. As well that I am the spouse that is incapable and unwilling to co-parent. This and a few other points are what OCL is basing their recommendation on.

No, I do not belong in jail, it was just a point my councilor used to help me cope with the stress and feelings of unfairness about the situation.

Janus 01-31-2017 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Asphenaz (Post 217292)
My ex is arguing that I cannot adequately care for the children, that I neglect their medical and emotional health. As well that I am the spouse that is incapable and unwilling to co-parent.

Does she have actual evidence? It is almost a given in a custody battle that a parent will say that the other parent does not adequately care for the children.

My concern is that your lawyer might not be competent.


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