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  • #16
    I have a journal that I have been recording all conversations as well as all my time spent with the kids, pick ups, drop offs, times, medical appts, anything they say, everything!! Unfortunately, I only started doing it two months ago. I just got back from the legal aid office and now qualify as long as i assist with contributions. I wil be getting a lawyer again. I want this over as quickly as possible. Does anyone have any advice on how to ensure my lawyer does this, that it does not drag, that issues are dealt with promptly. Any advice is greatly appreciated!! I know I should trust my lawyer but I will only have legal aid as long as I am on short term disability (3 mos) so I need to do as much as possibly with the lawyer!

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    • #17
      suchislife, thank you for your words, I will be asking for sole custody, that does not reflect the access. I want the OCL to investigate what the children are saying. If it is true, then I will look at custody issues. But are they exaggerating, just unhappy with these arrangements, or is it actually happening? Talking to mom or dad is not impartial and children know what to say to who to get what they want. I have my kids signed up and on a waiting list for counselling through Kinark to look into this and give them another outlet to talk. My experince has been he is a great father, and the children exhibit affection when they see him. But I know he has a short fuse and can lash out verbally.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Suchislife View Post
        ...

        I think billm is a man posing as a man. I think he's a father with a little bit of mother thrown in. I think he's a civil, insightful poster. I think he might even cook.
        Thanks suchislife. But you are wrong, I can't cook! Though as with all things in life I am getting better. I still haven't crossed the line from cooking to survive (and feed the kids), to cooking to live and enjoy, but I am getting closer...

        I considered FreeNow's gender confusion with me to be a compliment actually.

        Gotta go now, off to the gym to work on my pecs...

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        • #19
          This situation smacks of strategy by Dad. Based on the story so far, Dad has clearly positioned himself as the primary caregiver and the status quo is unlikely to be changed but...

          ...the Mom will get sympathy in the courts for being Mom so...

          Mom has to fight for joint custody and shared parenting. But Mom has to be very careful because the existence of conflict, real or contrived, will cause the court to lean towards sole custody for one parent. And that almost certainly would be awarded to Dad given that Mom left the house and the kids need stability.

          Mom needs to be very wary of falling into a conflict trap, only to have it argued against her later. That means trying triple, quadruple hard to get along with her ex despite his behaviour, hardly something she sounds comfortable doing.

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          • #20
            I am not stooping to his level. I continue to inform him immediately of all appointments or illnesses and keep him in the loop at all times. I do not want him coming back on me saying i have denied him information. I am treating his role as I would like to be treated. Yes, I continue to request more time and I am documenting all converstaions and responses. I maintain my "end" of things. The conflict does not have to be there. It is not necessary. I am easy going and open to anything. All I want is to ensure that the kids have time with me. They need BOTH OF US!!!!! But when your 8 year old asks you what a slut is...because that is what daddy called you...I do tend to get my back up, just a weeeee bit.

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            • #21
              This is a battle about who will pay CS. In 99% of cases men pay. In this case I think the woman will pay.
              billm, why don't you jump in and take the women's position.

              FN
              Last edited by FreeNow; 05-08-2009, 11:11 PM.

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              • #22
                I think the court will realize that this woman did not leave her children on a whim or because she didn't want them. There is clear evidence that there was and still is vile emotional abuse from her stbx and that the children are being emotionally twisted.
                If all women who fled the matrimonial house because of abuse lost primary custody the current state of divorce would be very different. 90% of primary custodial parents are women. This man is extremely controlling and using tactics intended to destroy you and damage your children .In any toxic divorce situation which may include abuse,the OCL may ask for a psychological evaluation of you,your ex and your children.Your children's wishes will be paramount in an OCL evaluation.Joint custody is almost never suggested if the two parents cannot get along.
                For extra support if I were you, I would contact your local womens shelter and ask to speak to the legal coordinator for assistance.
                Best of luck ...

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                • #23
                  Thank you for your advice. I will do that!

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                  • #24
                    [QUOTE=fyrephoenix;23194] I will be asking for sole custody, that does not reflect the access. I want the OCL to investigate what the children are saying. If it is true, then I will look at custody issues. QUOTE]

                    This statement alone shows much confusion on your part. Asking for sole custody IS looking at custody issues and if your Ex does not consent you will be in for a long battle.

                    Like I said in an earlier post, you must go into court with a clear plan. You need to speak to your legal aid lawyer and get their advice on how best to proceed.

                    Dadtotheend is correct in saying that joint/shared parenting plans are NOT entertained when there is ongoing conflict.

                    If you involve the OCL this will take months. If you and your Ex cannot come up with a mutual agreement it will take months.
                    When deciding CS the courts will need financial disclosure. If you say your Ex is not forthcoming this could take months.

                    Resonsiblemom says denial of access is emotional abuse but you do see your children 38% of the month. This is not denial of access. You do not have anything to prove you did not agree to this when you left the home.

                    Nobody can predict what will happen in court but to leave your kids then turn around well after the fact and file for sole custody doesn't make sense. If you had left the home and immediately filed it would look different.
                    It's a little late to argue that he lashes out at them, calls you names (he said, she said), and has a short fuse.

                    If you are going for 50/50 none of this documentation, OCL involvement, past abuse scenarios or anything of the like backs up your affidavit and will only sabotage it in court.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by ResponsibleMom View Post
                      For extra support if I were you, I would contact your local womens shelter and ask to speak to the legal coordinator for assistance.
                      Best of luck ...
                      That is very irresponsible advice by ResponsibleMom, in my opinion. First of all no judges care about emotional abuse allegations because almost every woman does that in family law cases. Second, by going that route you are literally killing all of your chances of getting a joint or shared custody. My ex too tried that route after giving me the sole custody first. She even abducted our son and presented him as witness. 2 years later after all investigation was over it was found that it was actually her who was emotionally abusing both of us (father and son) and physically abusing our son. It was so shocking that even her own lawyer, with unlimited legal aid hours, is giving up. As for me, I have always shown my focus on the child and not on my ex's present or past behaviour. That is why, OCL gave me pat on the back and recommended me as sole custodial parent. Kids need stability and the court always admires the parent who does not engage into petty war of allegations and non cooperation. My ex on the other hand kept accusing me and painting me as bad parent so much so that she forgot all about our son. You can figure out how much judges hate this practice from this that one judge, at a case conference, said the mom shouldn't have overnight access at all. Of course, I did not take advantage of the situation and kept my focus on long term well-being of our son.

                      You said yourself that you left the kids with him because he was a terrific father. What changed now? If you are to base your whole story on what your kids are telling you now you are taking a huge risk and it could be used against you by your ex. It does not matter why you left the kids. What matters is that the kids are doing well in current living arrangements and the court is very hesitant to change that unless there is very solid evidence that kids are in danger.

                      So if I were you I would pay my child support obligation voluntarily because that would make me look like a responsible parent. Then I would move towards increasing the access gradually. In the meantime, work on your communication/cooperation with your ex to show that you two can share parenting in a civil manner. I can guarantee you that your kids will thank you for that and that will in turn make you better good about yourself.

                      Just my two cents, of course.

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                      • #26
                        i appreciate your comment. But why do most people seem to be painting me as a mom just trying to g et out of child support ? I am not!!! But I do not feel i should be reponsible for the full table amount when i provide everything for the childrenwhile they reside with me, boots, clothes, food, school expenses, birthday presents for parties. While they are with me, I am their sole provider. as for communiction, I have tried EVERYTHING from a book that we can communicate in, to phone calls to emails. Nothing is returned. How much can i do? And yes he is a great father and he loves them dearly, but I know first hand about his temper and manipulations. When I left, he had never focused them on the children. But I want to ensure that is still not happening. I am NOT LOOKING to find something. I want to ensure the children are safe! If nothingis there, then THANK GOD and let's go on.
                        I want the judge to realise that despite no written order, he has assumed the role of soel custody, going so far as to tell the school and medical prefessionals that, telling them I have no rights. I then have to go and tell them there is nothing in writing. I am heavily involved in my children's lives, school trips, extracirricular activities, playdates etc. They are my focus. I am NOT a mom who just passes through on her days!!
                        I realise that there are many dads who have gotten shafted due to the courts. I work with one who fought and gained full access and custody. And I applaud you. It is about time that dad's had as much rights. But for the PARENT that is making it difficult for the other, then they should be examined. And it could be a mom just as much as a dad or vice versa. To me, gender doesn;t matter. To the courts though, apparently it does.
                        Sorry for my rant.

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                        • #27
                          my apologies, i meant access not custody at the last part.

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                          • #28
                            [QUOTE=fyrephoenix;23220]i appreciate your comment. But why do most people seem to be painting me as a mom just trying to g et out of child support ? I am not!!! But I do not feel i should be reponsible for the full table amount when i provide everything for the childrenwhile they reside with me, boots, clothes, food, school expenses, birthday presents for parties. While they are with me, I am their sole provider. QUOTE]

                            Sadly, this is the case for all non-custodial parents paying CS. You virtually have to maintain 2 sets of furniture, clothes, toys etc..
                            One set through support, the other directly while the kids are in your home.

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                            • #29
                              I have had MANY consultations with lawyers and it is split about whether to use the emotional abuse or not. I can certainly see the pros and cons of both. And frankly, i just really want to get the counselling and move on.
                              As for the CS, I am really hoping that they will see that it is very close to the 40% and that if anything, I will be required to give the difference. I have no issue with this. I am just really worried that being required to pay the full table amount will in reality, put me on the streets. I net 1900 a month, rent and utilities are 1100, groceries are 300, gas is 200. That is the basics to be able to live and get to work. If I am required to pay 840/mo, I honestly have no idea how I am to do it.
                              It makes me upset becasue I know he makes so much more and he hides it and i cannot prove it. Other then the verbal conversations while we were married about how important it was to show that he made below a certain amount. And how he showed me how he fiddled with numbers. He is a very smart man.

                              Comment

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