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  • What Are My Legal Rights?

    I have sole custody of my 2 kids, with my ex having "access as agreed between the parties." I have tried to be reasonable and to set up a schedule, but he repeatedly ignores my requests to have the kids home by a certain time. This evening, we had a special Thanksgiving dinner planned with friends and my daughter was very excited about it. I had told my ex ahead of time, so he was aware. When he hadn't shown up at the time I had requested (5pm) I called to ask where they were. He told me they were having dinner and would be home in 2 hours. Obviously, our plans were ruined and the dinner cancelled. When my daughter came home she was devastated. I know that he did this to get at me - but why involve her in this, and spare no thought for how she would feel? What are my options at this point? I really don't want him having access unless he can agree to and stick with days/times - the court order says "agreed upon" but if we don't agree am I within my rights to withold access until we can get it court mandated? We have a court date set for Oct 15th - hopefully this will come up at that time, but in the meantime what can I do?

  • #2
    Withold access because he returns child 2 hours later than you want?

    "I don't want him to have access unless he can agree and stick to times/dates"

    These would be the times and dates you say?

    Why not kill a mosquito using a cannon?

    You two need to stop the conflict, not raise it.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by ceilidh1 View Post
      I have sole custody of my 2 kids, with my ex having "access as agreed between the parties." I have tried to be reasonable and to set up a schedule, but he repeatedly ignores my requests to have the kids home by a certain time.
      Have you tried finding out what his plans are and weeing if you can come to some kind of compromise or are you just dictating what needs to happen to suit your schedule?

      This evening, we had a special Thanksgiving dinner planned with friends and my daughter was very excited about it. I had told my ex ahead of time, so he was aware. When he hadn't shown up at the time I had requested (5pm) I called to ask where they were. He told me they were having dinner and would be home in 2 hours. Obviously, our plans were ruined and the dinner cancelled.
      You cancelled the entire dinner because one person couldn't attend? Seems a bit (read: a lot) extreme to me - wasn't your turkey pretty much done by then?

      When my daughter came home she was devastated.
      How old is your kid? I get the impression she is quite young.
      I know that he did this to get at me
      You 'know' this as in you have it written from the horse himself or have some other factual way of proving it?

      - but why involve her in this, and spare no thought for how she would feel?
      Perhaps he felt she would enjoy and benefit from a family dinner with him or his family. Why is it you think that she would only be excited to have your dinner with you? I suspect the kidlet had a good time where she was and only realized their was something 'wrong' when she got home and was told there was.

      What are my options at this point?
      Have your SA updated in include a specific access schedule. I would suggest starting with a minimum 50-50.

      I really don't want him having access unless he can agree to and stick with days/times
      You don't want your kids to have a father unless he agrees to the times you dictate and the demands you make? Who is involving the children NOW??

      - the court order says "agreed upon" but if we don't agree am I within my rights to withold access until we can get it court mandated?
      You do not have the rights to withold access for any reason unless there is a reason to believe the children are in danger. How would you feel if he just decided to not return the children after her next trip there because the two of you can't agree?

      You really need to stop and think before pulling this kind of bullshit with your kids. In one breath you're saying he isn't thinking of the children and and is getting them involved in your divorce because he had a dinner with them and didn't return them when you TOLD him to - which, by the way, he doesn't have to.

      In the next breath you are asking if you can remove him from their life because he won't agree with you. You can't suck and blow at the same time.

      We have a court date set for Oct 15th - hopefully this will come up at that time, but in the meantime what can I do?
      In the meantime, spend some time thinking about it and hopefully come to the realization that he has the exact same rights as you do, the children are not YOURS alone, the children are YOURS together. It is your job as a responsible (one would assume) parent to encourage the relationship with the other parent as much as possible and do absolutely NOTHING to hinder the relationship in any way.

      Hopefully you realize that before you do something as stupid as what you're asking about and lose custody of your kids altogether.

      Comment


      • #4
        So it's unreasonable to ask for my 5 year old and 1 year old to be home no later than 6pm so they can have dinner, bath, and get to bed ready for school and daycare next morning? Today was an exception as we had dinner plans - the agreement was that he would have them back by 5pm so I could have them for Thanksgiving dinner and then he would take them for the day tomorrow (Thanksgiving) to have his celebration with them. I don't think that's being too unreasonable, do you? I 100% agree we need to stop the conflict, but how do you propose doing that if he refuses to respect any of my requests? Tonight was all about him getting back at me, there was no special occasion or valid reason for him to keep the kids for an extra 2 hours. He just wanted to spoil the plans I had made. That's fine, dinner parties come and go. However, my 5 year old was truly devastated - she had been planning and looking forward to it for weeks and I cannot forgive him for not thinking about her in these stupid little games. There is way more to our story than what you are seeing here - all I'm asking for is some advice as to the legalities of my stopping access UNTIL it is written and signed by us both (not just me) that these are the days/times we agree upon. I didn't ask to be judged or if you think it's right or wrong - we all have our own views, but I'm not asking for your opinion on what I'm doing. I was hoping to get some input into the legal side since it is a long weekend and no lawyers will be open until Tuesday!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by ceilidh1 View Post
          So it's unreasonable to ask for my 5 year old and 1 year old to be home no later than 6pm so they can have dinner, bath, and get to bed ready for school and daycare next morning?
          I'm sure he's quite capable of providing them with dinner and a bath, so yes I do think it is unreasonable.

          Today was an exception as we had dinner plans - the agreement was that he would have them back by 5pm so I could have them for Thanksgiving dinner and then he would take them for the day tomorrow (Thanksgiving) to have his celebration with them. I don't think that's being too unreasonable, do you? I 100% agree we need to stop the conflict, but how do you propose doing that if he refuses to respect any of my requests? Tonight was all about him getting back at me, there was no special occasion or valid reason for him to keep the kids for an extra 2 hours. He just wanted to spoil the plans I had made.
          You start by understanding that your requests are just that: a request. He does not have to kowtow to your requests. You have nothing in writing aside from that you must agree. Which you don't - but that doesn't give you the power to dictate.

          I don't blame him for pushing back and establishing his EQUAL right to parent.

          I cannot forgive him for not thinking about her in these stupid little games.
          I do not think that whether or not you can or will forgive him is or should be an issue for him.

          There is way more to our story than what you are seeing here - all I'm asking for is some advice as to the legalities of my stopping access UNTIL it is written and signed by us both (not just me) that these are the days/times we agree upon. I didn't ask to be judged or if you think it's right or wrong - we all have our own views, but I'm not asking for your opinion on what I'm doing. I was hoping to get some input into the legal side since it is a long weekend and no lawyers will be open until Tuesday!
          That's nice. In the meantime, you get what you get when you post on a public forum. There aren't a pile of lawyers sitting here waiting to give free legal advice on the weekend.

          You got your advice; take it or don't, makes no difference to me. But it will make a hell of a difference to you if you choose to ignore it and do something stupid anyways.

          Have a great long weekend!

          Comment


          • #6
            it is illegal, and immoral.

            I'm sure there are lots more reasons you have, that were left unsaid. I'm sure I've personally been through most of them, and then some.

            Your post asks the wrong questions. It is not up to you to police, control, or otherwise dictate the terms of access. It is up to you to ALWAYS do the right thing for your children. This may include swallowing your pride, and maybe allowing yourself to feel stepped on, in order to rise above the occasion.

            Conflict is a two way street. Mind your p's and q's for long enough, and I bet the sentiment is returned, eventually.

            And quite frankly, once you do get a court order stipulating return times of, say, 6pm. there's diddly squat you can do about it if he returns them 2 hours late anyway. Your best course of action is to get yourself and your ex to a point where you can be civil and work together.
            Last edited by wretchedotis; 10-08-2012, 01:06 AM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by blinkandimgone View Post
              Have you tried finding out what his plans are and weeing if you can come to some kind of compromise or are you just dictating what needs to happen to suit your schedule?

              Not at all. I send him a schedule of days/times according to the kids' availability. He lets me know within these days/times what he wants - but then never sticks to it. For the record, he sees our 5 year old every day and our 1 year old 3 times a week. I don't think that's being too dictating is it?

              You cancelled the entire dinner because one person couldn't attend? Seems a bit (read: a lot) extreme to me - wasn't your turkey pretty much done by then?

              Yes, since the dinner was set up specifically for my 5 year old and her best friend. She had been planning it for a couple of weeks and it was set up as a fun date night - the fact that she wasn't going to be home until 7pm and her date would have been ready for bed at 8pm made it kind of pointless!

              How old is your kid? I get the impression she is quite young.

              I have a 5 year old and a 1 year old.

              You 'know' this as in you have it written from the horse himself or have some other factual way of proving it?

              He told me on the phone. Did I get it in writing? No...

              Perhaps he felt she would enjoy and benefit from a family dinner with him or his family. Why is it you think that she would only be excited to have your dinner with you? I suspect the kidlet had a good time where she was and only realized their was something 'wrong' when she got home and was told there was.

              He wasn't having dinner with his family - it was at one of his friends places (someone my kids don't even know) and wasn't even a special dinner. And yes, I do think my kids would benefit from a special dinner with him - which is why we agreed that they would have dinner with me this evening and with him tomorrow. The first words out of her mouth when she returned were, "Did I miss the dinner party?" She told me she had asked daddy lots of times throughout the afternoon.

              Have your SA updated in include a specific access schedule. I would suggest starting with a minimum 50-50.

              We have no SA as he refused to agree on anything. He didn't even turn up to court for the custody hearing. He has been out of the country for 3 months, pays no child support, and now comes in and thinks he can just take them whenever it suits him.

              You don't want your kids to have a father unless he agrees to the times you dictate and the demands you make? Who is involving the children NOW??

              As I said earlier, I give him all of the days/times available and HE chooses when to see them. I don't dictate anything. I also don't say anything against him in front of the kids - wish that were true for him - and just want a written agreement where we all know where we stand.

              You do not have the rights to withold access for any reason unless there is a reason to believe the children are in danger. How would you feel if he just decided to not return the children after her next trip there because the two of you can't agree?

              I DO fear for their safety. I do not know where he is living or where he is taking them - and if that place is even safe for a 1 year old. He is known for violent outbursts, doesn't deal well with stress, and has shown some unpredictable and unstable behaviours. My fear tonight was exactly what you just said - that he wouldn't return the children - and I would have NO IDEA where he was since he refuses to tell me. Would you allow that with YOUR children?

              You really need to stop and think before pulling this kind of bullshit with your kids. In one breath you're saying he isn't thinking of the children and and is getting them involved in your divorce because he had a dinner with them and didn't return them when you TOLD him to - which, by the way, he doesn't have to.

              In the next breath you are asking if you can remove him from their life because he won't agree with you. You can't suck and blow at the same time.

              This is not a one off, isolated incident. This happens EVERY time he sees them. I don't usually make a big deal of it, but this time it has really affected my daughter and I refuse to let her suffer in all of this anymore than she already has.

              In the meantime, spend some time thinking about it and hopefully come to the realization that he has the exact same rights as you do, the children are not YOURS alone, the children are YOURS together. It is your job as a responsible (one would assume) parent to encourage the relationship with the other parent as much as possible and do absolutely NOTHING to hinder the relationship in any way.

              I have tried to do this, by letting him have open, reasonable access - he is the one that simply refuses to bring them back at a reasonable hour (surely it is in the best interests of the kids to be home by 6pm so that they can get enough rest before getting up for school/daycare?) He actually sees them more than I do - I work fulltime as I support them by myself -he refuses to work and pays nothing for their support. I see tham for an hour in the morning and an hour at night and a few hours at the weekend when they are not with him. How much more encouragement do you suggest I offer?

              Hopefully you realize that before you do something as stupid as what you're asking about and lose custody of your kids altogether.
              I actually have sole custody - he didn't even turn up at the hearing and walked out of their lives for 3 months when our son was only 9 months old. Really, you think this is a person who would be granted sole custody?

              Comment


              • #8
                from complaining about lateness to fearing for childrens safety.

                you are too conflicted to help.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wretchedotis View Post
                  from complaining about lateness to fearing for childrens safety.

                  you are too conflicted to help.
                  Except I have all the necessary paperwork to back up my fears for their safety - right down to the one where we were almost evicted when he threatened our landlord and her family. Hmmm....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by ceilidh1 View Post
                    Except I have all the necessary paperwork to back up my fears for their safety - right down to the one where we were almost evicted when he threatened our landlord and her family. Hmmm....
                    because, eviction and threats to a unrelated 3rd party have everything to do with the capapbilities of a parent. you're right! how could I have missed that!

                    Look, I'm sorry I'm so sarcastic. It's poor personality trait of mine. But really, you need to loosen the reigns. He is their father, and always will be. Deal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ceilidh1 View Post
                      I actually have sole custody - he didn't even turn up at the hearing and walked out of their lives for 3 months when our son was only 9 months old. Really, you think this is a person who would be granted sole custody?
                      Try witholding his access and find out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wretchedotis View Post
                        because, eviction and threats to a unrelated 3rd party have everything to do with the capapbilities of a parent. you're right! how could I have missed that!

                        Look, I'm sorry I'm so sarcastic. It's poor personality trait of mine. But really, you need to loosen the reigns. He is their father, and always will be. Deal.
                        But violent outbursts have a lot to do with one's ability to parent, as is the inability to work and provide shelter or food for your children. He is couch surfing right now (God knows at which friend's place this week) - you think that's a stable home environment for a 1 year old and a 5 year old? He hasn't worked in 10 years - I have financially supported the entire family for that length of time and still continue to do so, so forgive me if I get upset when my ability to parent is questioned - if it were left to him my kids would be on the streets!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ceilidh1 View Post
                          But violent outbursts have a lot to do with one's ability to parent, as is the inability to work and provide shelter or food for your children. He is couch surfing right now (God knows at which friend's place this week) - you think that's a stable home environment for a 1 year old and a 5 year old? He hasn't worked in 10 years - I have financially supported the entire family for that length of time and still continue to do so, so forgive me if I get upset when my ability to parent is questioned - if it were left to him my kids would be on the streets!

                          And yet there are a million welfare Moms in Canada. Probably half of them with criminal records.
                          What of it?

                          I have not (nor has Blink) questioned your parenting ability. We have questioned your state of mind.
                          Last edited by wretchedotis; 10-08-2012, 01:30 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            What!!?? Y'all aren't a pile of lawyers on this site??

                            "Violent outbursts" and "fears for their safety." The Court allowed for liberal but undefined access to this person?

                            Your daughter was 'devastated.' - So was she being kept against her will? I think until you and your ex can agree to be reasonable with one another - there's going to be problems. If you do not have any relevant, factual evidence that he's a "danger" to THEM, you can't go into Court waving your sole custody wand.

                            Without your anger and disdain for him (eachother), you two apparently need a more defined access agreement and you both need to be reasonable.

                            Hey, I can't stand my ex either. We don't even talk. I get all of that. My child is a teen now though. With a 1 year old and 5 year old, you're going to have to deal with him in a calm, reasonable fashion. I suppose it sucks, but what's the alternative?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by hadenough View Post
                              What!!?? Y'all aren't a pile of lawyers on this site??

                              "Violent outbursts" and "fears for their safety." The Court allowed for liberal but undefined access to this person?

                              The only reason it was that broad was because he had left the country on a one way ticket and said he was never coming back!

                              Your daughter was 'devastated.' - So was she being kept against her will? I think until you and your ex can agree to be reasonable with one another - there's going to be problems. If you do not have any relevant, factual evidence that he's a "danger" to THEM, you can't go into Court waving your sole custody wand.

                              She actually didn't want to go today at all - she was too worried about missing her dinner party. I persuaded her to go! More fool me! She told me that she asked over and over if it was time to leave - but that's just the word of a 5 year old!

                              Without your anger and disdain for him (eachother), you two apparently need a more defined access agreement and you both need to be reasonable.

                              That's exactly what I want - I just want to know when he is coming and when he is returning. That's it. Until this evening, I wasn't even angry at him - ironically, I almost invited him to dinner when he came to pick up the kids this morning. I haven't stopped him seeing them whenever he has asked - I've just asked that they be home by 6pm on school nights (and no, he can't give them a bath/dinner as the homes he couch surfs at are at least an hour away and I'm not even sure they have baths...LOL) As it is, if you total the hours he sees them for more hours than I do - since most of my "time" with them is while they are asleep!

                              Hey, I can't stand my ex either. We don't even talk. I get all of that. My child is a teen now though. With a 1 year old and 5 year old, you're going to have to deal with him in a calm, reasonable fashion. I suppose it sucks, but what's the alternative?
                              I wish I knew...I'm just so sad that it has come to this. I guess in my idealistic view of things, we would be able to sort it all out amicably and go on with life without anyone getting hurt and without the kids stuck in the middle. I couldn't have been more wrong. I'm not saying that I'm not at fault, too, it does take two after all...I'm just at my wits end and leaving it all to the courts/lawyers at this point.

                              Comment

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