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Old 12-01-2015, 09:28 AM
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Default New Dad here, trying to get 50/50 of my kids

I've been lurking here for the better part of 5 months since I separated from my ex.

Like many of you, I"m currently in the process of trying to get 50/50 residency and custody of my two children, S3 and D6. Even though she wants 75/25 and sole custody (for no good reason), the ex has been going along with 50/50 for the last 3 months and our first case conference is in Feb. Also like many of you, my ex is the my-way-or-the-highway type of person and does not negotiate, she demands. She's also the type that belittles, dismisses and devalues me at every opportunity she gets. She isn't quite as bad as some of what I've read here, but she has made false accusations and tried to exacerbate conflict in an attempt to support her case. I"m currently living alone (with kids every other week) in the matrimonial home and she is living with her boyfriend one neighborhood over.

Anyways, this forum is a wealth of information and it's comforting to see I'm not alone with my struggles and there are many like me out there. Life is stressful for me right now but so far, I'm dealing with it well.
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Old 12-01-2015, 01:55 PM
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document the time you have with them now to show that it has been 50/50. You are in a good position from what you are writing. Do not be alone with her in case she tries some drastic measures to get what she wants (false DV/assault charge)

Divorce is stressful but sometimes its more stressful to stay in an unhappy marriage. You will get through this one step at a time.

Welcome to the forum. Since you are a lurker I am sure that you have gotten a feel for some of the posters on here. There are some bitter people but most are good natured and try to help.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:36 PM
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Thanks. I have been documenting the time with kids and events in my life in a daily calendar since about week 3 on advice from my sister. And yes, I've been warned about not being alone with her and being prepared for her to possibly try more drastic measures. Back in August she tried this tactic and it started to work until I smartened up. At one point she called the Police on me. That was followed up by a subsequent CAS investigation. There were no charges laid and the CAS case was closed as neither of them found anything to be concerned about. This is one of the incidents she used in her answer to try prove her allegation that I have anger management and control issues and why I shouldn't be given 50/50 custody of my kids. There were about 5 issues in total during the first 2 months after we separated. After the police indecent in August, there was one more conflict shortly after and then there's been nothing since. I have no history of any of this sort of behavior prior to us separating. Full disclosure, we were together for 17 years, married for 7 of it, so the "no history" is meaningful here I think.

I'm not sure how much she is going continue to try and press the anger and control allegations against me in court since she doesn' t have anything to work with from what I can tell. To the best of my knowledge, I think she is just going to plead that we are not able to co-operate (because of her unwillingness and dismissals, imo) and therefore joint custody can not work. She may also try to accuse me of parental alienation with absolutely not true.
I've been keeping specific email documentation where we have (sometimes with some arguments) co-operated on child related issues to try to counter the not-able-co-operate argument but I'm not completely sure how to counter being accused of parental alienation. I absolutely value D3's and D6's time with her, which is why I am only asking 50/50. I do not bad mouth her, I encourage the kids to call her if they want to and I tell them to respect her rules and decisions. How do I prove that? I've even made exceptions to the 50/50 time sharing on the few occasions she has requested to take them during my time with them, but those are easier to prove.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:55 PM
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if the kids are happy with her and want to see her then there is no PA going on at all, she would have to prove it. Maybe video tape exchanges or have a witness who can testify that the kids are happy to go to mom when its her parenting time.

Just remember she is going to sling as much mud as she can hoping that some will stick.
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:12 PM
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I'm trying my best to be like teflon and not let anything she slings stick. It's hard, given her actions and having to listen to my kids talk about the new boyfriend so soon, but I have my sights on the finish line which is my life with my kids going forward.

I do question though, if she is able to prove that we can not co-operate, does that automatically rule out joint custody and/or 50/50 residency? Should I then start asking for parallel parenting?

Like I said, in my opinion, we can co-operate. Sometimes there is an argument and both of us are stubborn and usually I'll cave to her demands, but when it comes down to it, we're getting the job done and the kids don't know there is arguing because it's being done over email. They are not exposed to any of it.

I've had D6 tell me that her mother told her she would be able to change her last name to have 2 last names, her maiden name, and my own. Both kids currently have my last name.

Should I be concerned about this? Is there anyway she can do this without my authorization? If she gets sole custody (decision making) does she then have to right to change the children's last name and/or move out of the country?
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Old 12-01-2015, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadianMohawk View Post
I'm trying my best to be like teflon and not let anything she slings stick. It's hard, given her actions and having to listen to my kids talk about the new boyfriend so soon, but I have my sights on the finish line which is my life with my kids going forward.

I do question though, if she is able to prove that we can not co-operate, does that automatically rule out joint custody and/or 50/50 residency? Should I then start asking for parallel parenting?

Like I said, in my opinion, we can co-operate. Sometimes there is an argument and both of us are stubborn and usually I'll cave to her demands, but when it comes down to it, we're getting the job done and the kids don't know there is arguing because it's being done over email. They are not exposed to any of it.

I've had D6 tell me that her mother told her she would be able to change her last name to have 2 last names, her maiden name, and my own. Both kids currently have my last name.

Should I be concerned about this? Is there anyway she can do this without my authorization? If she gets sole custody (decision making) does she then have to right to change the children's last name and/or move out of the country?
Look at it this way, some day you will meet someone else and then the kids will have (hopefully) two more people to love and care for them.

There is nothing wrong with the kids having their mothers last name also. I know my friends ex wants to change the daughters last name (not the two boys) and it is written into their separation agreement that she cannot do that. She needs him to sign the papers to do it and he refuses. Mind you she doesn't want to hyphen the name, she wants to change the daughters last name fully to her maiden name and totally get rid of my friends last name.

You need to have a mobility clause in your agreement so she cannot move a certain distance.

The one thing that bothers my friend. His ex has broken the agreement so many times (yes I told him to document) but he feels like the courts wont do anything. So no matter how well your agreement is written, it takes two to follow it. Its best to be very detailed about holidays, make up time, vacations etc. Don't have phrases like "they will split equally" (set out specifics like Christmas day in even years you get and odd she gets) get travel covered and every little detail you can think of. Don't leave stuff open-ended "to be decided by mutual consent" type of thing. Face it if your ex is this bad then she will ask for you to consent to stuff but when you want the favour returned, she wont be so courteous to you.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:28 PM
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Changing the name will be unlikely given the age of your kids, they are established in their communities with those names.

You are doing great so far, keep it up.

Does she work? Is she going to have more babies or any other excuse to stay home?

Psychologically delete her from your mind and focus on your kids, career and everything else. She sounds like a pathetic terrible person and will no longer be able to generate misery in your life unless you let her to.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:42 PM
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I have another question and its be a big one:

Currently, I am living at the matrimonial home "alone". She moved out on Nov 1 to her boyfriends, however, she didn't move all of her stuff, hasn't changed her fixed address and still uses my insurance policy for her car (She pays me her portion). She also entered the house last friday without notice and took some property (That was hers). Does this count as having moved out?

I ask, because of 2 things. First, I pay ALL the bills and always have. She would cover childcare expenses, food and entertainment and I would cover the mortgage, taxes, insurances, car payments, utilities, etc. All the bills for everything. When we separated, i still paid ALL the bills and she would still pay all the child care expenses while she started paying her own cell phone bill, car payment and car insurance and I started paying for my own entertainment and clothing as well as my own food when I was without the kids. I would like to attempt to recoup half these costs of maintaining the home since separating. I'm fuzzy on what parts I can attempt to claim in light of the new living situation. She doesn't sleep at the house, but her stuff is there and it's still her fixed address and she comes in without asking.

Since she started not sleeping at the house (has she or hasn't she moved out?) she has also asked me to pay Child Support (both basic and 50% of the extra expenses) in addition to now being responsible for covering the Children's food and clothing needs when they are with me. It seems like a reasonable request, however, the problem I have with this is that because I am still burdened with the costs of maintaining the matrimonial home of which she is paying nothing towards, and now I have to pay for food and clothing and other items to provide for the kids when I have them, i just don't have the money to give her for CS right now. She doesn't even need it. She's living with her new man (for free, no doubt) and is able to buy gym membership and go on Caribbean vacations. I'm barely scraping buy paying for the house and caring for the children. She is actually making/has made the selling of the home difficult but putting it up for sale at a price far too high and also has rejected requests to hire a realtor to assist with selling because she doesn't want to pay their fees. Financially, it's just too much for me to cover the house, raise children AND pay her child support. Money was tight before when she was covering food and clothing and care of the children and it's even less so now that I have no help from her anymore with these item. Once the house is sold and I can move to a more reasonably priced home for a single parent, I won't have any issue paying CS, but for now, where do I stand? How much can not paying this before we get to court hurt my chances at getting 50/50 access and joint custody?
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Links17 View Post
Changing the name will be unlikely given the age of your kids, they are established in their communities with those names.

You are doing great so far, keep it up.

Does she work? Is she going to have more babies or any other excuse to stay home?

Psychologically delete her from your mind and focus on your kids, career and everything else. She sounds like a pathetic terrible person and will no longer be able to generate misery in your life unless you let her to.
Yes she works. She makes about $10K less than I do (and she is requesting spousal support as well). I'm very confident there are no babies for her in her future. She's turned far to selfish for that, although, you just never know!
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:04 PM
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Welcome to the Forum CanadianMohawk.

It sounds as though you are a very well-organized individual who received good advice from a sibling. Divorce/separation tends to bring out the very worst in people. It very well may be that your ex is stumbling along with simply trying to justify the reason for the end of the marriage (to herself as well as peers). While you were good enough to be with for 17 years she is likely being peppered with the old question "what went wrong?" - a question many of us face after the end of our divorces. In many instances people lash out at others rather than look at themselves to answer this question. It is much easier to blame someone else for our lot in life rather than to face up to reality.

You are going through the problems that most people face when a marriage ends. How to do the best for the children while dividing up the assets/debt.

In Alberta it is mandatory that people take a "parenting after divorce" course prior to any case conference or litigation. I don't believe it is mandatory in Ontario but it is nevertheless a valuable course to take. Perhaps you could take the course and suggest your ex do likewise?

While you are still communicating with your ex you might want to suggest to her that the two of you use Our Family Wizard program to communicate? I believe it keeps communication child-centred and might assist the two of you. I think if you can get her on board with this (before a judge orders it) you both would be ahead of the game.

Are you planning to self-represent or use legal counsel?

Last edited by arabian; 12-01-2015 at 07:08 PM.
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