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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 11-28-2005, 06:46 AM
Melania Melania is offline
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Default Very confusing

I am not certain if this is the right board for me to be using. Please forgive me if its not. Please bear with me as i explain whats going on and has been going on.
4.5 years ago, i seperated from my commonlaw husband of 10 years. Our relationship was started and maintained for many years as we have a daughter. I was a teen mother, so as i grew up my interests changed. My partner and I were successful in business ventures, and i had an inheiritance so we were well off.
When i left it was messy, but i signed basically to what he wanted. In our seperation agreement, i gave him everything, house, boat and gave up any rights i had to business shares. We agreed on joint custody, with him being main caregiver to daughter as i was starting a life in another country and could not take daughter with me.
Daughter finished school year and came to be with me. After a small series of events, where partner and i tried to get back together.
Daughter arrived in europe 2.5 years ago, with permission from her father. Since then the calls have been sporatic. He misses birthdays, has missed christmas both for calling her and sending gifts. He has only once split the cost of eye glasses for her, and has no in the past contributed to clothing or needs for her, nor even for schooling costs. So we get nothing. Which is fine. Irritating, but fine. His mother called twice the first year daughter was here and was rude to my husband both times, though we said nothing.
Each summer daughter has gone to visit father and (g/f, as of past summer) wife. Each visit has been fraught with teary calls to myself from daughter.
the first visit he had her write an essay on shopping as he belives myself and my family have a shopping problem and spend too much money. Wife has put daughters toys in a garbage as punishment for daughter not cleaning. During conversations when she cried to me, father forced her to hang up phone. Clothes that she brought for summer vacation were wrecked, and had tar and caulking on them. She was yelled at, and when she behaved badly they sat her down and extensively went into her behavioral issues.
Summer just past daughter was "smacked upside the head" for questioning saying prayers before dinner. (which is new and perfectly fine of course)
Each phone call that they make to daughter this year, they question extensively whats going on. Email that wife sends and is not recieved by my daughter is then excused by them that i am going into daughters email account and deleting it.
Now due to several different reasons, we are planning on moving back. And though i am looking forward to it, i am reluctant as any communication with father so far is terrible. To an email that i wrote them explaining why i sent back a parcel sent with added costs i could not afford, i recieved back an email asking to explain (which i just had) then i recieved an email saying that i blame them for my mistakes and that i am tired(email appears to have been written possibly not by him, but signed by him). Which is confusing as i have only been back to Canada once in 3 years or so, what mistakes? and i get enough sleep. Although i listen to what my daughter says i have tried to talk to ex about issues. (those issues were confirmed last summer when they "surprised daughter with a trip to councellor).
Daughter is 13.5 years old. Has had excellent grades in this country, despite having to learn a new language and change schools once when we bought a house. She is well mannered, polite, not into boys. She is hard working and studies daily.
I dont want to have much to do my ex unless there is a major concern. But its looking like i get harrassed more and more. And daughter wants to live me. I dont know where to start or what to do. To her complaints i find i am still sticking up for ex and his wife. MY excuse is that cheapness is a small flaw and that the wife is young and trying her best. (ex's wife was sexually abused as a child)
I figure my best bet would to put daughter into councelling asap on return to Canada.
Is there any other ways i can protect myself beforehand and right away when i arrive? Should i just ignore everything? Should i seek a lawyer? WIth daughter being nearly 14 does she have more valid say?
Its so sad, I feel I did everything to ensure a better relationship. I gave away everything, and I am still being blamed.
Any thoughts or words of wisdom?
Old 11-28-2005, 11:41 AM
lammie lammie is offline
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Sorry to hear about your predicament. One thing I would be wary of is that children can be very crafty, and will often try and play one parent against the other in order to make the best situation for themselves. So be careful that your child is not making things out worse than they are in order to get your sympathy and curry favor with you.

Your daughter being the age she is, is likely to be struggling against the bonds of her parents. With feelings that her dad sort of forgot about her, it is likely that her relationship with her father is an issue, and she might be acting out. You have to accept that it is probably a two-way street and there is not necessarily a right or wrong in this issue.

You need to be understanding but firm with your daughter. I think you need to try engage your ex in a rational discussion of your daughter's behavior. If both of you can work together towards the common goal of what is best and right for your daughter then everyone wins. That even means disciplining her when necessary.
Old 11-28-2005, 09:11 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Sorry to hear about your circumstance.

Not sure if I comprehended your thread right but I understood you to be moving back to your previous location. I suspect that this alone would construe to mean a material change of circumstances.

A fair amount of weight would be given to your daughter's choice of residence. A judge would not ignore her views considering her age.

The other thing to keep in mind is the law in Ontario is that a child may withdrawal from parential control at the age of 16, that is not too far off. She could decide on her own where to live and your ex could do nothing to stop this.

Just a comment on " a smack in the head" for not reciting prays before meals.
This is unacceptable behaviour by a parent unto a child of any age. This is not discipline this day and age. It is wrong to strike a child period.

Document the incidents ie: that you feel are unjust such as putting toys in garbage bag etc. Even though this is heresay evidence it may be acceptable to a Judge to allow it. I would also request to have the office of the children's lawyer involved which would represent your daughter. Most likely a parential assessment would be completed. Your daughter could voice her views to her own lawyer.

On arrival to this jurisdiction, I advise to retain a lawyer and seek an immediate application to the courts for custody on the grounds of the material change and emphasis placed on the child's views. It appears that your x and yourself are having difficulties on determining the best interest of the child and is leading to conflict.

If you are having problems with monetary issues to retain a lawyer, Legal Aid is available if you qualify financially and they will find you a lawyer that can represent yourself in legal action.
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