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Sole vs. Joint Custody?

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  • Sole vs. Joint Custody?

    Hi all,

    -False domestic violence criminal charges have been stayed (withdrawn) after 2 years due to a technicality. We did go to trial but due to an unforeseen circumstance (not due to her credibility), it was dropped. Unfortunately, this may mean in Family court that I have not been proven innocent.

    -In the meantime, young kids (under 11) have had supervised access with me for 2 years for once a week as per court's order. I was heavily involved in their lives prior to the false charges.

    -We have a 8 day trial coming up ranging from parenting, custody, equalization, etc.

    Question:
    Is JOINT custody with every other weekend a reasonable request for me to make?
    She wants SOLE custody and has been making decisions for the children the past 2 years while I was busy dealing with the criminal courts.



    Thank you in advance

  • #2
    Given your history and the established status quo you may have an uphill battle getting joint custody. Speak to a lawyer they can review your file and give you a realistic assessment of what is reasonable given your circumstances.

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    • #3
      My 2 cents reading your posts.

      Fight for time with your kids. You'll spend time/money seeking decision making when what you probably need right now is access/more days. I would build the relationship with your kids as the first step and maybe seek it later.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Stillbreathing View Post
        Given your history and the established status quo you may have an uphill battle getting joint custody. Speak to a lawyer they can review your file and give you a realistic assessment of what is reasonable given your circumstances.
        Thank you - just asked my lawyer for advice.

        Historically, I was equally involved in my children's lives until my ex walked into the police station over 2 years ago.

        It just seems crazy I can lose my joint custody abilities even though I am not found guilty of anything given this new status quo that she has built for her self.

        Comment


        • #5
          Follow your lawyer's advice.

          If it is as you say, then there's no reason why you wouldn't get shared custody at trial. Only way you'll get less is if you agree to it.

          Doesn't seem like you want that though, so I would offer a gradual start leading to eow, trading final say for the most access you want.

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          • #6
            If this is about who makes decisions then you need to decide if this is a hill to die on. She will have to ask you about activities that are a section 7 expense but do you really need to be consulted on minor medical decisions, education and religion? Or is this just a control thing? You could also word it as both parties will discuss but one party will have final say if there is an impasse.

            If you know you aren’t going to get shared 50/50 right away, why not offer that the decision making moved to shared at steps.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by rockscan View Post
              If this is about who makes decisions then you need to decide if this is a hill to die on. She will have to ask you about activities that are a section 7 expense but do you really need to be consulted on minor medical decisions, education and religion? Or is this just a control thing? You could also word it as both parties will discuss but one party will have final say if there is an impasse.

              If you know you aren�t going to get shared 50/50 right away, why not offer that the decision making moved to shared at steps.
              Correct, most people don't understand what is actually meant by sole vs joint custody. Sometimes decisions are no-brainers, such as religion if you are both of the same religion. Or school if you live in a small town with limited schooling options. Most people aren't doctors so just agree to follow whatever the doctor recommends in terms of care. In fact, you can raise kids all the way up to 18 and barely have to make any major medical, education and religion decisions.

              In my experience, my ex was bent out of shape in trying to get sole custody because she treated our kids as "her possessions". She viewed them as "hers" and not "ours" which became very apparent in court----and the judge ordered joint custody to ensure that kids see parents in equal light and that my relationship with our kids is preserved because it was apparent my ex wanted to cut me out.

              What counts most is parenting time in terms of having good quality relationships and memories with your kids.

              But careful when it comes to offering your ex decision-making. There are reasons why joint custody is important. If your ex has sole decision-making, they can come up with an excuse to put your kids in a new school that makes it unfeasible for you to exercise your parenting time properly. That is one example of how someone with sole custody can disrupt and potentially alter your parenting time.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by helenj View Post
                It just seems crazy I can lose my joint custody abilities even though I am not found guilty of anything given this new status quo that she has built for her self.
                Your ex "creating a situation" does not equate a status quo. The status quo is that the custody of your kids is in dispute, and while it has been in dispute, your ex has been undertaking unilateral decision-making and not consulting with you on anything as a parent to the kids involved.

                Judges can smell an artificially created status quo from a mile away, and your lawyer should argue that there was never a status quo as its been in dispute and your ex has taken matters into her own hands and been unilaterally acting like custody and/or access has been decided.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by helenj View Post
                  Thank you - just asked my lawyer for advice.

                  Historically, I was equally involved in my children's lives until my ex walked into the police station over 2 years ago.

                  It just seems crazy I can lose my joint custody abilities even though I am not found guilty of anything given this new status quo that she has built for her self.
                  At this point you have no other option than to go with what your lawyer advices.

                  I don't know how you got into this mess or why you lost decision making in the first place. In a few years the kids may be with you all the time.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi all and thanks for response. This was my lawyer's response:

                    Joint decision making I think will be difficult to obtain at trial, but not impossible. One of the requirements for true joint decision making (that is where you both make major education, medical, and religion decisions for the boys) is that you're able to communicate with one another about those decisions. That may be problematic. Another option is that, for example, you have education and she has medical but that is not a certainty either.

                    My understanding was that status quo is what it was BEFORE separation, and before separation is that we made decisions equally. So I'm surprised with this response.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am surprised by your lawyer's statements. Read Warcop v. Warcop, 2009 CanLII 6423 (ON SC).

                      That was a classic case of high conflict. In the end, joint custody and 50/50 parenting was awarded- as the best interests of the child. Ensuring that the child sees both parents as equal parents, and not one above the other in any regard.

                      For parents who claim they cannot communicate with the other, there is a wonderful thing called "technology" these days. In Warcop v Warcop, a log book was utilized. In most cases nowadays, judges order the use of a platform such as Our Family Wizard, which ensures that discussions are child-focused and friendly in tone.

                      Moreover, should it happen that you disagree with your ex on a decision-making situation, court orders generally include a dispute resolution clause where you seek mediation. The courts do not want to re-see people on every issue that arises, nor should you go running to court over decision-making aspects of parenting your kids. You are expected to learn to set aside your differences and do whats best for your kids.
                      Last edited by Brampton33; 11-22-2021, 09:28 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Brampton33 View Post
                        I am surprised by your lawyer's statements. Read Warcop v. Warcop, 2009 CanLII 6423 (ON SC).

                        That was a classic case of high conflict. In the end, joint custody and 50/50 parenting was awarded- as the best interests of the child. Ensuring that the child sees both parents as equal parents, and not one above the other in any regard.

                        For parents who claim they cannot communicate with the other, there is a wonderful thing called "technology" these days. In Warcop v Warcop, a log book was utilized. In most cases nowadays, judges order the use of a platform such as Our Family Wizard, which ensures that discussions are child-focused and friendly in tone.

                        Moreover, should it happen that you disagree with your ex on a decision-making situation, court orders generally include a dispute resolution clause where you seek mediation. The courts do not want to re-see people on every issue that arises, nor should you go running to court over decision-making aspects of parenting your kids. You are expected to learn to set aside your differences and do whats best for your kids.
                        Thank you for citing the case! I'm going to look it up and send her the case. I've had some trust issues with this lawyer on several things and am considering a change of counsel, although my trial is like 3-4 months away :-S

                        Thanks again!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Brampton33 View Post
                          I am surprised by your lawyer's statements. Read Warcop v. Warcop, 2009 CanLII 6423 (ON SC).
                          I am not it is "Parallel Parenting" which is a very common option order by Justices and a great option for high-conflict parents.

                          Start here: V.K. v. T.S., 2011 ONSC

                          FYI: V.K. v. T.S. the father knows WorkingDad and this case was cited in the EPIC Izyuk v. Bilousov, 2011 ONSC 6451. Which BTW, as you are new, was crowd sourced on this very forum. You should look up WorkingDad and read every post he ever made.

                          200+ citing's on Izyuk v. Bilousov and number of articles written about it all. This case CHANGED family law and probably influenced the outcome of your own case Brampton33. This case sent ripples through the entire family law system. Doubt there is a lawyer who hasn't read this case law... OCL changed how they made recommendations... It was a major major case that is studied by law students.
                          Last edited by Tayken; 11-23-2021, 10:33 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tayken View Post
                            I am not it is "Parallel Parenting" which is a very common option order by Justices and a great option for high-conflict parents.

                            Start here: V.K. v. T.S., 2011 ONSC

                            FYI: V.K. v. T.S. the father knows WorkingDad and this case was cited in the EPIC Izyuk v. Bilousov, 2011 ONSC 6451. Which BTW, as you are new, was crowd sourced on this very forum. You should look up WorkingDad and read every post he ever made.

                            200+ citing's on Izyuk v. Bilousov and number of articles written about it all. This case CHANGED family law and probably influenced the outcome of your own case Brampton33. This case sent ripples through the entire family law system. Doubt there is a lawyer who hasn't read this case law... OCL changed how they made recommendations... It was a major major case that is studied by law students.
                            Yes, this forum is quite amazing. I am a member of several other websites, and there is nothing as unique as this site, in-part thanks to members like yourself.

                            I will get started on this case today and the other one as well and lookup WorkingDad.

                            Thanks so much!

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