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becoming unsure of my lawyers advice

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  • becoming unsure of my lawyers advice

    Basically she is steering me in the direction of allowing my wife to have sole custody.Saying that any of my concerns over religion/school/travel/residence can be addressed in a 'co-parenting' plan.

    Anyone I have mentioned this term 'co-parenting' to ,have never heard of it
    as far as it being a legal phrase.

    Is it just a 'catch' phrase?

    I haven't asked lawyer directly but because neither of us have money to litigate-she seems to be trying to keep it out of court by getting me to be the nice guy...and concede sole custody to my wife.

    I have been a semi stay at home Dad the last 9 years working freelance/part-time from the past few years my work load has doubled-continues to.But I still dont see why I should be conceding my equal rights as a parent..

    Any thoughts?

  • #2
    Get a new lawyer? If she is unwilling to work for you, you don't want her representation.

    But for now, be clear with her that in no way will you ever consider any sort of provision that provides that your ex have sole custody. You want a shared parenting scenario with up to 50% of the time with the kids.

    Unless there is some detail being left out like you are a chainsaw massacring mass pedophile who decided to nearly kill your ex infront of your children, I can see no reason why your lawyer wouldn't be actively working for you. Yes, being the nice guy will get you some distance. But there must be areas that you are not willing to negotiate and sole custody is on those areas.

    You could be willing to concede to joint custody with her residence being the primary residence (for school registration purposes generally) but out side that, if you give her sole and state in another agreement you are allowed input, it basically comes down to she has to ask you, but ultimately gets final say. And if you don't like her decision, you have to take her to court for a remedy.


    • #3
      My lawyer suggested this as an option when my ex-wife filed for sole custody, and I refused to accept this under any circumstances. Yes, from a practical perspective you can put provisions into an agreement which address 95% of whatever concerns you might have, but at the end of the day it's still not joint custody. The attitude seems to be "it's so close to joint custody why go to court essentially for the semantics of calling it joint custody" to which your response should be "if it's so close to joint custody, why won't she just grant me joint custody?"

      Having a court order which reads "joint custody" or "shared custody" in black and white will make things much easier when dealing with your kids' teachers and doctors, and give a much different impression if you are dragged back into court. I only get my kids alternate weekends and holidays, and I still refused to budge one inch until I was granted joint custody.

      Draw your line in the sand on this issue. If your lawyer is willing to respect it and fight for it, then keep her. Otherwise, find someone else.


      • #4
        Originally posted by About_Time View Post
        will make things much easier when dealing with your kids' teachers and doctors,
        This is so true. Teachers and doctors understand and recognize the terms "joint custody" and "sole custody". if you have joint, they are more compliant about informing you on things.

        If the ex has sole the school is more likely to placate you to get you off the phone and then call your ex to see if they are allowed to tell you anything. And if the ex ever says no, they can't tell you anything, you're going to have a hell of a time to try and get them to read your agreement.


        • #5
          If you're not 100% confident in what your lawyer is doing for you then it's time for a second opinion. You need to be comfortable that yoru lawyer is working towards an end result that you want.


          • #6
            From experience as an NCP (my lawyer advised against fighting for custody), CP indeed can block you from receiving info / communication with health/education professionals. Another issue is that the country's various privacy of info laws prevent NCPs from obtaining info that they SHOULD have access to under the Family Law Act (and/or Children's Law Reform Act, not sure). Supreme court is your only recourse. See here for discussion on the problem

            AND even if you have joint custody, some schools can refuse to talk with the non-primary parent if the primary parent so requests. And what are you gonna do? Sue them? Fire them? It is very difficult to do anything about it without painting yourself as the bullying, overbearing, controlling, problem causing, i.e. TYPICAL male. Better idea is to make sure your court order SPECIFICALLY indicates that you are permitted to meet with and receive info from these various professionals.

            On hindsight, I wish I had fired my lawyer and continued the fight for joint custody.
            Last edited by dinkyface; 08-19-2010, 07:05 PM.


            • #7
              Tell your lawyer that she is not the one getting divorced, you are. The decisions made don't affect her life, they affect your life. You will make the decisions on the case, not her. If she can't live with that, she can explain why, in writing.

              All that said, she is correct, if your ex won't budge you will have to go to court. When you go to court there is a long process with many conferences between you and the trial. During that time you will repeat to your ex and her lawyer over and over, "If it is so close to joint, why don't you just sign joint?"


              • #8
                Hey thanks everyone-great answers advice/sharing.
                I will get back with more info..I already have another lawyer set up for a second opinion or switch to.



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