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  • Access to Non-bio Child

    I am posting this question for a fellow co-worker.

    He has been married to his wife for 7 years (dated for 2 years prior), his wife has had 50-50 of her twins with her ex since they split (they were never married, short term relationship). This man has been in the children's lives since they were just over a year old and he has acted like a parent to them over the years.

    According to him, in the past all he and his wife got along just fine with her ex and his new wife, there were very little disagreements about the twins and she pays support to him, offset.

    Six months ago, his wife was diagnosed with cancer... it has been very aggressive, but she continues her treatment. During this time, the kids have spent a little more time with their bio-father, due to the amount of appointments, however he has stated that the children still remain in their mother and his care at least 40% of the time.

    A couple weeks ago the bio-father stated he needed more CS, due to the children being in his care more than 50% of the time, Mom is not working due to her condition but does have some income coming in, however she told bio-dad that there is no way they can afford more CS due to the increases costs of her illness, but also because they are still in an offset situation. Bio-dad responded that if that was the case he was no longer going to be so helpful and look after the children. He then went on and told non-bio dad, that if anything were to happen to Mom he would not permit the children to see him any longer, as he is not their parent.

    This guy is obviously crushed by this, as he has always treated those children as his own, on top of dealing with his wife's illness he also has to worry about losing the twins.

    What happens in a situation like this? Does he have any right to see the twins, should something happen to his wife?

    ***Note: This is all coming from my co-worker, therefore I have no direct knowledge of the things said or the actions performed***

  • #2
    What happens in a situation like this?
    He could bring a claim for custody of and access to the children. If their mother has a short prognosis then this is something he may wish to pursue while she is alive. Speaking to a lawyer may be helpful.

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    • #3
      One would also assume the obligation to pay support to the bio-dad would fall to the step-dad if the bio-mom passes away and he wishes to exercise custody.

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      • #4
        he has been apart of the kids lives since birth. i find no reason to change that. unless the bio dad was never made aware then that can get ugly.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FightingForFamily View Post
          One would also assume the obligation to pay support to the bio-dad would fall to the step-dad if the bio-mom passes away and he wishes to exercise custody.
          I would assume this as well, which I am certain is not an issue. His issue is the fact that he has been with the children for 10 years and has spent 50-50 with them since that time.

          He has an appointment set up next week to speak to a lawyer regarding this, so hopefully he can get some answers. Sad situation for everyone involved.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by OrleansLawyer View Post
            He could bring a claim for custody of and access to the children. If their mother has a short prognosis then this is something he may wish to pursue while she is alive. Speaking to a lawyer may be helpful.
            I agree. The key point I think to this (OrleansLawyer correct me if I am wrong) is that you would want testimony from the biological mother before the court regarding the role that the step-parent has played.

            This would be a rather complex one to deal with but, if the testimony of the bio-mom can be put forward to demonstrate him as an in loco parent. The thing I don't know if an affidavit is enough in a matter like this and if oral testimony would be required.

            Depending on the condition of the bio mom, it would possibly constitute an urgent matter before the court depending on the age of the children involved. If the are over 14 or around the age of 14, then it isn't as much of a challenge as their views and wishes could be heard.

            If they are 11 or younger and the prognosis is critical and there is a clear path to the unfortunate, it may be wise to talk to a lawyer and see how to proceed. With younger children who often have no voice, this can be a challenge possibly.

            This is a really difficult situation as well as the biological mother (custodial parent) in the matter is in poor health. A complex case before the court, even settlement offers etc, would be highly stressful. Especially if in intensive treatment.

            I wish I had better advice...

            Good Luck!
            Tayken

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            • #7
              Thank you, I will pass this along to him...as I said he is going to see a lawyer, but until his appointment, everyone is really upset over this. Not once has he mentioned not wanting to pay support, as I can only assume currently he is paying the child support, as she is not working. The children are just during 11 (I think- possibly 12)... non-bio Dad says they have a strong relationship, I just could not imagine losing a parent, plus a close step parent...

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              • #8
                Quote by Oink: "hmmmmmm...the fact that the bio dad looks after them to and has 50-50, might put the stepdad in a tough spot"

                It is so glaringly obvious that you see only potential dollar signs and have demonstrated that you lack even basic compassion for the situation that was described by berner_faith.

                Your true personality has really emerged quickly on here, in recent weeks.
                Speaking of keeping the "assumptions flowing" - you seem to be pretty good at making assumptions.

                At least the others who responded here were willing to offer solutions to a sad situation in which a parent may be terminally ill and there are young kids involved, and sensitive family dynamics to be considered.
                Last edited by hadenough; 01-21-2013, 07:27 PM.

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                • #9
                  Oink: it's "look what the cat dragged in." It sure will be interesting to see what the proverbial "cat" drags in when it's your turn to go up to bat in your upcoming mediation.

                  My mantra? I humbly disagree. In fact, there are many more of your own statements posted on here that would suggest that the "my way or the highway" thought process is one that you subscribe to.

                  Have a great evening, going through garbage cans and back packs sniffing out bongs.

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                  • #10
                    I'm thinking two things in this situation:

                    First of all, this woman NEEDS a will. A will is not just about the distribution of your money, it's also about the arrangements for care of dependants. It can also include her desires about the children's continued contact with her side of the family. It's awful to think about when she's trying to fight cancer, but if she wants any control over what happens to her children after her possible death, she needs to get her affairs straightened out ASAP. Before she becomes too debilitated by her illness and/or medications. It may help her emotionally too, be one less thing for herself and her husband to worry about.

                    Second, the biological father sounds kind of like he's putting himself and money ahead of the best interests of his children. He's demanding more CS because he's picking up some slack looking after the children? Unless he's been consistently over 60% for the last six months, there is not any new status quo established yet. I'm assuming that if/when the mother recovers, that the old status quo will resume, instead of the new arrangement being maintained. So the ex doesn't have much of a case in this temporary setting. Plus, if he went to court to demand they change from offset to full CS, the mother could just counter with a request that it be based on her current sickness income, not her previous employment income. And the ex threatens that, in the event of her death, all contact with the step-dad will cease? How cruel to the children! Does he realize that being torn from their third parent right after the loss of the second parent will not be good for them? Are there half-siblings involved as well?

                    Hard as it is for step-dad, he may want to suggest that, in the event of the mother's death, that there be a gradual phase out of his involvement with the children. It could mollify the ex if it's timed over the next few years, until the children are old enough to decide for themselves how much continued contact they want with step-dad. Presumably her life insurance will cover the CS obligation.

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                    • #11
                      It looks like nobody thought about one more issue what may arise. Step dad can end up with CS (in addition to mom's). I was just reading cases about situation when both mother and step dad were ordered to pay CS... Yea I was amazed too.

                      WD

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by iceberg View Post
                        The bio dad had 50% custody while step dad did so because he lived with their mom. Most likely scenario step dad gets EOW. Would be best for the kids if bio dad gives lots of time with step dad and doesnt alienate kids against the man who acted as a father for so many years
                        We actually do not know why bio dad was out of picture. Was it actually his choice or he just got screwed in court. I think that may very well dictate his actions in this unfortunate situation.

                        Hopefully all adults will be able to put kids first and mom get better soon.

                        WD

                        edited:
                        I read one more time original post. Looks like it was ok all the way so may be there was no bases for my thoughts. Let's hope it will stay like it was.
                        Last edited by WorkingDAD; 01-22-2013, 11:30 PM.

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