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  • #31
    Originally posted by Rioe View Post

    So to us it looks like you made choices that are now returning to haunt you, but not accepting responsibility for them; instead blaming it all on your ex's actions.

    You chose not to have independent legal advice (unless I'm mixing you up with another poster), you chose to believe your ex would be reasonable, you chose to continue on the career path you had set during the marriage instead of being flexible with the end of the marriage, you chose to set a status quo of your ex having the children, and you chose to become involved in a new relationship before the previous one was legally closed off.

    So now you are faced with the situation that you are trying to rectify this series of mistakes, which is an uphill battle.

    If you haven't moved to Canada before you hit court, there is no material change in circumstances, and your ex will very likely successfully argue that there is no guarantee you will do so, so nothing should be changed. Do things in the right order and you are far more likely to succeed.

    Tell the judge you made these mistakes, but now want to do right by your children and be a more involved father. Don't badmouth your ex or whine about how she's manipulated things and just wants more money. Focus on how your move to Canada (which should be in the PAST by that point) has benefited the children.

    Unfortunately, he's running into the wall of being expected by most of society, especially the legal part of it, to have a normal CS calculation, and to remain fully employed as long as he has dependents, despite any plans to the contrary while the marriage was solid.
    You raise several good points and bring logical recommendations. I only quoted a few of them above.

    If I sound like I am blaming everything on my ex, then I will be careful with my tone in court. For certain things I cannot avoid the finger pointing because actually I need to bring up what I think is wrong (cut off communication with children for example) in order to get it fixed. Also regarding the financial issues discussed in the other thread, I need to prove the numerous ways how she lied under oath, in order to undermine her credibility and have her claims (or some of them) dismissed. But for a lot of the other stuff, indeed I can accept responsibility. For example, I did not move to Canada immediately when we separated. Why? Because it was the deal. We had a separation agreement where both parties made concessions, and one of them was that she asked me to stay employed with high income in my previous country for a little longer, in order to guarantee years of future CS. Sure I could have refused and the dispute would have been in court back then. But I accepted to buy peace which I thought would benefit the children rather than years of court battles. Perhaps wrong choice, but I made that choice and I accept it. And yes I did not have a lawyer back then, you are not mixing up different posters. Now I have a lawyer.

    Hopefully the residence situation can be done in steps, for example:
    1. I give assurance to court that I will find reasonable accommodation for children if I get one week per month.
    2. Court gives me one week per month.
    3. I rent a furnished apartment on a temporary basis and host children there.
    4. By the time we go to trial, if all goes well by then I request joint custody.
    5. I am granted joint custody.
    6. I buy a permanent residence.

    If #6 needs to come first, that will be a problem.

    Regarding my employment, that is a separate issue from custody which was partially discussed in the financial thread, but since you bring it up, I pay CS based on an imputed income far higher than what I can make in Canada, so I do not see what it would achieve if I was working other than enrich myself, which I don't want to. There would not be more money paid in CS since my actual income would remain below my imputed income per the terms of the separation agreement, so all that income would go only in my pocket. That makes it an entirely personal decision if I work or not, in my opinion. But you are correct that I am running into the wall of what society expects. Canada's society I would point out. Opinions are very different elsewhere, but that is part of why I want to seek feedback from people on this forum because after all, the case will be in Canada's court, not elsewhere. I am at odds with several aspects of how things work in Canada. I can put my concerns aside to some extent, but as I stated before, I am not 100% perfect dad and I do not pretend to be 100% perfect dad. If the system and society put too many hurdles in front of certain people, then the system and society will have to accept that some people might not behave in the way that you would have wanted them to behave, and that the end result could be sub-optimal, for the children included.

    Comment


    • #32
      Originally posted by SadAndTired View Post
      Is the new girlfriend/fiancťe pregnant?
      Not now, but it is possible in the future. How would it affect the legal ramifications of the situation today?

      Comment


      • #33
        I really appreciate your honesty! And my heart goes out to your daughter who is struggling. Has Child Protection opened a file? Because thats a whole other can of worms.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by arabian View Post
          You have intention of remarrying but will not commit to moving to Canada unless it benefits your new wife and will ensure you have increased access to your children. You feel that obtaining more access and then purchasing/renting a home in Canada will benefit your new spouse's ability to come to Canada so you're ok with that (and it would not be hard for a judge to surmise that this is the true reason for your application).
          There are two separate issues here.
          1. The divorce being granted before trial
          2. Having more access with children

          #1 is what will make it easier for my new wife to have a travel or residence visa in Canada because it then allows legal remarriage. #2 is unrelated.

          Generally speaking, my new wife is not particularly for or against moving to Canada and we would not move to Canada if I did not have children in Canada. It is backwards to state that I am asking for #2 to allow my new wife to come to Canada. It is rather that if I get #2 then she will accept to come to Canada.

          But if we get #1, then she *could* get a residence visa and elect to move to Canada if she wanted to, regardless of any decision on #2.

          Hopefully this makes sense or I am clear as mud?

          Comment


          • #35
            Originally posted by kate331 View Post
            I really appreciate your honesty! And my heart goes out to your daughter who is struggling. Has Child Protection opened a file? Because thats a whole other can of worms.
            Thank you kate. I do not know if Child Protection is involved. I have not been able to get the police report and I am unable to get doctor reports about children because my ex is blocking information. Which is another thing I need to ask court to allow, which will give us a clearer picture of what is going on. But I do know that a social worker is involved in school.

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            • #36
              Is your family in Ontario? If Police where involved its a mandatory report to CAS. I believe you have the right to contact the school and get the information yourself. You can also contact CAS yourself, and ask about the file.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Istanbul View Post
                But you are correct that I am running into the wall of what society expects. Canada's society I would point out. Opinions are very different elsewhere, but that is part of why I want to seek feedback from people on this forum because after all, the case will be in Canada's court, not elsewhere. I am at odds with several aspects of how things work in Canada. I can put my concerns aside to some extent, but as I stated before, I am not 100% perfect dad and I do not pretend to be 100% perfect dad. If the system and society put too many hurdles in front of certain people, then the system and society will have to accept that some people might not behave in the way that you would have wanted them to behave, and that the end result could be sub-optimal, for the children included.
                I am far from the perfect parent either. You brought up an interesting point, I do feel our culture plays a role. I am a Canadian girl, from Irish decent, my ex is Greek. His views on "hands on Dad" differ from mine. His view is Mom's take care of the little ones, then Dad steps in when they reach an older age. He was dumbfounded when I asked for 50/50 custody. What kind of Mother doesn't want her young ones with her 24/7, that's her role. His parents where shocked as well, how will their son manage with 2 kids on his own? Who will cook for the children, clean, do their laundry, Yaya lost many sleepless nights over this

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by denbigh View Post
                  A judge is not going to take a child who is running away, and has anger problems and order the child to live in a hotel for a week at a time once every month. That is not a stable envirnment. Can she bring her toys to the hotel and put a poster up on the wall of her bedroom and have a private sleeping area, and decorate the bedroom so it feels homey, at a hotel? Now if you already had an apartment, a stable residence, a home, then that would be different and you might possibly have an argument for increased access.
                  Perhaps you are right, and itís possible that a Canadian judge would think more like you than like me. But for what itís worth, I would note the following. My daughterís life is stable now, yet things are not going so well. She says she is misbehaving at home because she is not happy that her mother is blocking my time with children. So itís not a huge leap of faith to assume that a decent solution would be if she had more time with me, rather than the solution being to make her life more stable than it is. In my opinion the issue is more about how often I see the children, rather than where I see the children. In addition, none of this is a precise science. What works for one child might not work for another. Some children donít even live in the same city for more than 6 months at a time and can have a happy life nonetheless and see the world and learn a lot more than if they stay put for the first 18 years of their life.

                  In addition, itís not like a judge would be making a call that locks things up for years to come. What is the downside of giving me one week per month with children for 6 months, and if itís not working well then no need to renew the experiment. Or the judge can tell me no, and ensure that status quo continues, and status quo ainít going very well at the moment.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    I would suggest that you have your lawyer request regular Skype time. This is a pretty standard request for parents who live long distances apart.

                    You indicate that you do have some vacation time with your children but this time is at grandparents place. Why not plan a summer vacation where you do an activity such as camping? See how receptive your children are to being responsible for some chores and participate in simple things such as cooking. Alternately, you could find another activity such as a horseback trip into the mountains for a week or a canoeing trip. This might be a bit of a reality check for everyone that room service is perhaps not in the future?

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Remember too that kids say what people want to hear and kids also start acting out around 10-12. It could be that she doesnít like the rules at home and is acting out. There are a a-lot of kids of divorce who play one parent off the other to get what they want. You may also want to speak to your ex about helping her with the issues. She will probably say no but it goes a long way to a judge that you want to work with her. Having a situation where there are no rules at dads house so kids can be free to come and go isnít a solution to bad behaviour.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Istanbul View Post
                        Not now, but it is possible in the future. How would it affect the legal ramifications of the situation today?
                        I don't believe it has any legal consequences a Judge's only concern is the children before him in a legal dispute. Lots of people move on and start a second family. Emotionally your children may have a hard time accepting it though, especially if they are already some emotional issues. There could some jealousy that this new child gets all your time and attention.

                        A new child will be a sibling, do you plan on flying in every month with a baby to bond with their siblings if you dont get shared custody of the older ones, or raise them completely separately on 2 different continents?

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Originally posted by kate331 View Post
                          Is your family in Ontario? If Police where involved its a mandatory report to CAS. I believe you have the right to contact the school and get the information yourself. You can also contact CAS yourself, and ask about the file.
                          School has been tight lipped. They told me they are aware of the police incident, but they did not say anything else or how they found out. I also asked them if I could call children during lunch break since I cannot talk to them when they are at home, and school said I need a court order for them to facilitate a phone call. School has given me report cards however and I have met with teachers with no restriction.

                          I called CAS and they said they did not receive a police report (at least, not yet) and that if I want the CAS file, I need to get a court order.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by arabian View Post
                            I would suggest that you have your lawyer request regular Skype time. This is a pretty standard request for parents who live long distances apart.

                            You indicate that you do have some vacation time with your children but this time is at grandparents place. Why not plan a summer vacation where you do an activity such as camping? See how receptive your children are to being responsible for some chores and participate in simple things such as cooking. Alternately, you could find another activity such as a horseback trip into the mountains for a week or a canoeing trip. This might be a bit of a reality check for everyone that room service is perhaps not in the future?
                            Yes, Skype + phone + emails is part of my lawyer's motion. I cannot see how I will be denied on this point.

                            A different kind of summer vacation for the children is a very good idea indeed! They enjoy the restaurant but we keep limit it to weekends during the school year

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by rockscan View Post
                              Remember too that kids say what people want to hear and kids also start acting out around 10-12. It could be that she doesn’t like the rules at home and is acting out. There are a a-lot of kids of divorce who play one parent off the other to get what they want. You may also want to speak to your ex about helping her with the issues. She will probably say no but it goes a long way to a judge that you want to work with her. Having a situation where there are no rules at dads house so kids can be free to come and go isn’t a solution to bad behaviour.
                              Interestingly, I think the issue is that there are not enough rules when they are at home, and/or that they are not being enforced. Before separation, I was usually the "enforcer" and my ex would call me at work and ask me to come back home to put order in the house because so and so was naughty and needed to be put to bed.

                              Post separation, children told me that in their opinion I am strict and that their mom is not. I asked them if it's better for a parent to be strict or not? And what about if it's better for a teacher to be strict or not? They said strict is better. So yeah maybe they tell me what I want to hear, but by acknowledging that strict is better, I got them on board to make rules. There aren't as many rules in a hotel room for a weekend, but during March break, Christmas / New Year, or the summer at my parents house, we made a list of rules which is on the fridge and they frequently refer to it. They actually enjoy improving themselves to follow the rules. Small steps I know, and not the daily grind of school life, but better than nothing.

                              Their bad behavior with their mother goes way back many years even before separation, it is just that now for a 10-12 year old it's worse plus there is only one parent around so alone is more difficult.

                              Based on everybody's advice here, I will be very careful not to present the behavior issue in court with the angle that I am great and my ex is bad. Because as you pointed out, at the moment I have the fun stuff now and she has the daily stuff. I will do my best to present it such that I offer a credible case that the situation will possibly not be worse if I have more time with children, and that there is a realistic chance that it might actually be better.

                              If I take the situation of someone like @kate331 as an example, despite the fact that she does not believe her ex is anywhere close to being a perfect dad, she thinks 50/50 is best for children anyway, and she asked for it. So does it not apply to my situation as well? Even if my commitment is not entirely convincing so far, if you were a judge, would you not think long and hard before telling me that status quo will remain, mostly because of a (temporary) housing issue or because I have never been the primary caregiver?

                              To make matters worse, my ex stated that she is going back to school and intends to join the workforce. She will have even less time available for children and I am retired, so status quo does not seem like a slam dunk to me, regardless how bad a father I might be, or how committed I am.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by kate331 View Post
                                I don't believe it has any legal consequences a Judge's only concern is the children before him in a legal dispute. Lots of people move on and start a second family. Emotionally your children may have a hard time accepting it though, especially if they are already some emotional issues. There could some jealousy that this new child gets all your time and attention.

                                A new child will be a sibling, do you plan on flying in every month with a baby to bond with their siblings if you dont get shared custody of the older ones, or raise them completely separately on 2 different continents?
                                My children asked my fiancťe if she wants children, she said yes, and I said I don't know, we will see in the future They got all excited and they want a new sibling. So it could turn out that they would have trouble accepting, but at the moment they are strongly in favor.

                                I have not given it much thought so far because there are too many unknowns, for example what will be the outcome in court, or whether I will even have a new child at all. But my gut reaction is that if I do not have shared custody in Canada, probably I would continue the monthly visits in Canada, some of them alone, and some of them with the baby. The frequency of when the baby travels to Canada would depend how good a traveller the baby is, which tends to vary based on age. Taking the plane with a 2-year old is far more difficult than with a 6-month old or a 4-year old, in my experience. Once that child goes to school, then the only time the new child would come to Canada would be during school holidays.

                                It's only a hypothetical discussion at this point, but I would also question why would a judge not consider the life situation of all parties involved on a holistic basis, rather than only think of the children of the divorce. Does a judge think I would relocate to Canada with my new wife and baby if I only get one or two weekends per month in Canada? I will not. That baby would have a family in Asia too, so if the situation is not very attractive to trigger a move to Canada, then that move simply won't happen. Does the argument in favor of shared custody in Canada not become stronger if there was a new baby in the picture? Does a judge think it is irrelevant whether my current children grow up separate from that baby or close to that baby? It seems it should be a factor to consider, but I am not a legal expert. Anyway I have a lot of other things to worry about for the moment

                                Comment

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