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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calicodacat View Post
I guess from what I'm reading, I've pretty have to take whatever she gives mefor acces atm. And hope that mediation goes well?
No you don't.

You don't have to fight with your ex. But you do have to consistently ask for access, and document every time you get turned down. Asking in email has a better audit trail. Show yourself to be committed to your child, flexible, and open to doing whatever you can to facilitate access and make things better for the child. And document it all, so that when you go to court, you can clearly demonstrate that you wanted to be involved, and your ex denied your requests.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:22 PM
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Does that include them staying with me? I would like them to stay with me during the school week. She really has no reason to refuse except that she says it would be too hard on the kids, which honestly I think would be good for them.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:24 PM
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Chris,, this site is a great site for advice, and you have gotten some amazing advice. I wish I had come here 3 years ago, my situation would be a lot different. Follow this advice,, it will pay off. Invest time and read like crazy and take notes, Get organised and dont fall for incompetent lawyers that will take your money and do nothing for you. All the best to you.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2013, 05:54 PM
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I can see that. Have gotten lots of great advice already. Been reading a lot, can be a tad daunting at times. Any suggestions on stuff I should be reading? Anybody have a good lawyer in toronto?
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2013, 07:12 PM
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So you're both moving out of the apartment into your own, but you haven't got a legal separation agreement detailing your planned custody arrangements. She has the attitude that she controls the kids' time and where they spend it.

This is WRONG! But letting her do it will make it reality anyway.

You have exactly as much right to their time as she does, and as much right to dictate that to her as she does to you. If she says that you can only have them for the weekend, you don't have to listen. If she's had them for a week, send her an email saying that you now understand that she has chosen a week-about 50-50 time schedule, and keep them for the next week.

I'm sure you can see how this is going to turn into a fight over the children. Pretty soon, one or both of you will be stealing them from school, hiding out at family members' places so as not to be home for exchanges, and generally hiding the kids from the other parent. It's going to suck for your children to be caught in the middle like that.

You don't want that.

Your alternative, as the more reasonable parent, is to roll over and take your ex's attitude, whine and beg for whatever time she permits, and by the time you get to court, she's established a status quo that the judge won't want to mess with, to avoid stressing the children further.

You don't want that either.

Move back in until the lease is up on your shared place. That secures your 50-50 for now. Do your best to convince her to come up with an access arrangement. Tell her about week-about and 2-2-5-5 schedules and ask which she likes best. Give her every opportunity to leave the home to be with her boyfriend. Document and photograph all your moments with the children because you may have to prove you are an involved dad. Have a digital recorder running to help defend against lies about domestic violence on your part, or to help you if she or her boyfriend get violent on you.

If she's offering every other weekend and one night a week, ask for an extra night a week. It doesn't sound like much when you put it that way, but that's actually 50-50 on the 2-2-5-5 schedule. Or tell her that starting with 50-50 is easiest for the children to adjust to, as they are used to seeing each parent equally, and that this is what you should stick with till you can get to court.

It should go without saying to keep your calm at all times around the ex and her boyfriend, and especially the kids. Focus on your planned apartment, remind yourself that this is temporary and hang in there.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:07 PM
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Throwing this out there -

could it not be argued that his moving was in the best interests of the children considering the volatility of the situation. He's a recovering alcoholic and she's still drinking, I can only imagine how difficult that would have been on the children, an incredibly strained environment.

These people know their stuff, that's for sure.

I so empathize with the emotional aspects of it all. Even without addictions it's overwhelming and I can't imagine how living in that chaos was good for you at all. Now you have the ability to do the right thing by the kids. They need their dad.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:11 PM
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Thanks Rioe, great suggestions. I am working on a few. I have already sent her all the options for shared custody, of which I found online here (she just ignores those emails but at least I have proof they were sent). I will consider moving back in if she doesnt come around in the next week, I have only been gone 2.5 weeks. Going to buy a recorder tomorrow for sure.

Ms Mom,
Thats what I'm going for. I only left on 1 condition that her Mom stay there with her, as I didnt feel comfortable leaving her alone but I needed to get my head on straight and it wasnt going to happen there. After 15 years she had a pretty good grip on me emotionally and it was taking it's toll. I now have found my zen and if I need to move back in I will but it will be very different.

I really appreciate all the advice and will continue to work day in and day out to make sure I am prepared and organized. You guys have really given me a boost, I need to really get my ass in gear and make sure I dot all the I's and cross the T's.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 11-01-2013, 09:52 PM
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Honetly I could care less who she is shagging but I do care who is around my kids. This guy has criminal record for beating up his ex, is a drug dealer and is an all around idiot. The reason I was freaking out in a nutshell! Unfortunately I couldn't deal with my emotions in a reasonable way and instead would fight with her about it. Those days are over, now it's time to focus on getting those kids and making sure they are loved and safe. I really don't want to take them away from their Mom as they need her too and she is a good mom, she just makes stupid decisions. Honestly the last thing I want is to have a war about this but I will prepare for one anyways, better safe than sorry.
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Old 11-01-2013, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MS Mom View Post
Throwing this out there -

could it not be argued that his moving was in the best interests of the children considering the volatility of the situation. He's a recovering alcoholic and she's still drinking, I can only imagine how difficult that would have been on the children, an incredibly strained environment.
^^^ This adds a whole new priority to the situation. If the OP is getting sober and his ex is not the most important thing he can do right now is maintain his sobriety. Without that, he can't be a good father and he will not be able to fight for his kids. Moving back into an apartment with a hostile ex who is still drinking could be disastrous - all kinds of cues and triggers that could lead back to addiction.

If the OP believes he can handle returning to the marital residence without falling back into alcohol, then now is the time for him to leverage whatever support systems (AA, friends, etc) he has to help him stay sober throughout this.

If he has any doubts about his ability to maintain sobriety while living with his ex, he may be better off to stay where he is and instead work on being the most involved, active father on earth. Document every moment spent with the kids, be there for every school event and activity, whether the ex invites him or not, be diligent in pushing the ex to agree to a written 50/50 parenting schedule (Rioe has some good suggestions for how to "sell" 50/50 to the ex), put all his requests in writing so he can document that he has been actively seeking shared parenting from the get-go, and remember that she has no more "right" to the kids than he does - the kids have a right to be parented by both parents.
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