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First Appearance - Next move advice?

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  • First Appearance - Next move advice?

    Good day all,

    I'm looking for some advice on what options I have for my first court appearance this Thursday May 16th.

    A little background first...

    I have 3 daughters (currently age 22, 19 and 15) who were residing with there mother for the last 8 years.

    My middle daughter began living with me at the end of her high school year on a permanent basis on at the end of June, 2018. After her falling out with her mother (who kicked her out of her home in March of 2018) she split time at my house and with her boyfriend from March 2018 - June 2018. In an effort to have the least impact on her final semester at school and to be able to continue to work at her part-time job I arranged to allow my daughter to drive my fathers (he's retired and rarely drives) vehicle to commute back and forth.

    She successfully passed all her courses and was accepted at the university of Guelph for the Fall 2018 semester.

    I paid the entire university costs for the year including tuition, residence, books, meal plan, etc. to the tune of $22,000. I'm now paying for my daughters off campus home for her 2nd year of school. My daughter stayed with me on breaks during the year and I encouraged her to have a relationship with her mother. They made up and throughout the year she would visit with her mother but never stayed overnight with her.

    I attempted to reach out to her lawyer in August of 2018 to indicate the change in circumstance regarding my oldest daughter working full time after graduating from university and living arrangements with my middle daughter.
    I received a response a month later from her lawyer later indicating that he would be retiring and that he would not be taking on any other issues. I tried to work things out with my former spouse outside of the court process to update the court order around child support for our eldest and a change w.r.t. our middle daughter and post secondary expenses.

    Fast forward to the end of September 2018 and I receive a letter from her new lawyer indicating that she is now representing my former spouse and that she intends to work outside the court process to resolve the issues.

    At first I'm please to hear that and optimistic this will not require the family court system. I send detailed correspondence of the costs of university and the proportionate share owed by my former spouse along with requests for any outstanding s7 expenses they may have (dental, extracurricular, etc). I receive no reply's.

    I receive excuse after excuse (other cases, tied up in a trial, vacation, etc) about why there is no meaningful response from them.

    I send them an affidavit of residency signed by my middle daughter (and sealed by an attorney) stating that her settled intention is to remain living with me for the duration of her post-secondary studies and that she began living with me on a full time basis on July 1st 2018 (just to simply things).

    Again, no responses from them (former spouse and her new lawyer).

    Finally, in April of this year I serve them with a motion to change form (Form 15 and 15a) as I can get no response from them. I'm basically looking to have child support officially dropped for my 22 year old (which they agreed to in e-mail exchanges over the last 9 months) and child support changed for my middle daughter and her share of expenses paid for university.

    My daughter has told me that her mother has attempted everything under the sun to get her to come back and live with her. I won't go into the details but it suffice to say it involved anger, guilt, manipulation...

    They did not consent and we have our first appearance this Thursday. Will a case conference automatically be setup or is there any other option?
    I'm self representing.

    What a colossal waste of time over something so basic. I can't image how they could not consent to this. Definitely not in my daughters best interest to have to be dragged through this. As I indicated above, my daughter is 19 and just wants to stay with me when she is not in school as it is drama and stress free, (her words).

    Also, do I have to fill out any form indicating that I will be there on Thursday?

    Sorry to be long winded and thanks in advance

  • #2
    You need to file a confirmation. Look it up in the court forms.

    Have you served them with an offer to settle?

    You may want to do that prior to the conference.

    At that date the judge will try to get you both to settle. Ignore all the drama and timelines etc. figure out when cs should have stoped for both kids, what your exís share of the expense should have been, off set that with what has been paid, settle on the amount.


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Rockscan,

      Just to confirm, I need to file a confirmation for the first appearance?

      I have already calculated the cost breakdown of the university expenses and offset child support amounts while my daughter is not attending university and living with me from May-Sept.

      I have tried on several occasions to communicate and provide all the details to them in the way of emails and detailed spreadsheets. I have also asked for there input and to correct any figures they didn't agree with. I received nothing from them for over 8 months, hence them being served.

      I'm assuming at the first appearance I will get a future date for a case conference and see a DRO or Judge. I will further assume I will have to prepare a case conference brief for that date?



      • #4
        This week is the first date since filing your motion? It was the date given when you filed? If yes then it will just be a date to set the first conference and then you will know if its a dispute resolution or case conference. I donít think you need to file a confirmation. Those are just for motions. I could be wrong though.

        Nothing stops you from making an offer. The other person is unreasonable which is what happens most of the time. As long as you have the offer out, it insulates you for costs.


        • #5
          Hello Rockscan,

          Yes this is the first appearance since filing the motion and yes this was the first date given to me.

          Ok, thanks for the information, I appreciate it.

          I'll see what they have to say on Thursday and attempt to put a offer to settle together, although I can't imagine them agreeing to it even though it is just the facts and the most basic cost scenario with the least amount of s7 expenses.

          My daughter already provided a residency affidavit and will also do another one (statement of facts affidavit) refuting the statements made in their response to motion change which are complete fabrications.

          Thanks again


          • #6
            If she was living away from home for school cs is not payable.

            Your offer can be simply what the court would rule. They donít have to accept it. The point of the offer is for you. If you achieve the same results or better, she pays your costs.


            • #7
              Thanks Rockscan,

              All my calculations did not include any child support offset while my daughter was away at school. Only the months in July-August of 2018 and going forward from May-September 2019 while out of school and living with me.

              I will draft up an offer based on the facts I have provided since day one in September of 2018.

              Thanks again


              • #8
                What costs could would I include as I represent myself? Would it be time off work to attend court?

                How do other people that represent themselves receive costs and what would they include?



                • #9
                  Go and search workingdad on this forum. He self repped and got costs. There should be some info there.


                  • #10
                    Perfect, thanks, much appreciated.


                    • #11
                      Track your time spent on everything and keep receipts for photocopy fees/ink/fax transmissions etc. But put them all aside in a folder. Costs will not be discussed at your first appearance, nor will they be at the case conference. If they agree to settle, you will not get costs (and they would be stupid not to settle from the sounds of it) however it is still a good idea to keep track of everything if they do decide to drag it out


                      • #12
                        And yes, you will need to file a confirmation of attendance at the court house for all conferences/motions. You must file it by 2pm three days prior to your scheduled appearance. If you are self repping do not forget this as it can be a pain in the butt over one little piece of paper.


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