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-   -   Disclosure meeting with children’s lawyer (https://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23339)

EspoirN 10-05-2020 11:02 AM

Disclosure meeting with children’s lawyer
 
What can be expected at a disclosure meeting with the children’s lawyer? Will there be anything negotiated? Can the opposite side put pressure for me to agree to something?

My ex has supervised access, 3hrs per week, supervised by a mutual friend endorsed by a judge during an access motion. We have the disclosure meeting tomorrow with CLO. Meeting should have taken place this morning but ex has retained a lawyer just this morning, so the meeting has been adjourned. I am unrepresented due to financial reasons, as I cannot afford a lawyer. Is it important to have legal representation during the disclosure meeting with CLO or could I navigate the meeting without a lawyer and maybe retain one later on.

CLO was appointed at my request. We had a case conference a year ago, and two motions settled, his for access and my cross motion for child support.

I have been able to navigate the process so far, and was successful in imputing income to my ex, since he lies about his self-employment income (lies that it’s under $5000), I asked the judge to impute minimum wage income, and he has imputed, so I started receiving table amounts.

I ask how important it is to have a lawyer at the CLO disclosure meeting because I am scared of the potential pressures of the ex’s new lawyer. I do not know what I could be pressured to do by the ex’s lawyer.

rockscan 10-05-2020 01:59 PM

From what I have read from others, the disclosure meeting involves the CLO reading out their findings and possible recommendations. You may be able to ask questions about elements of the report but that is it.

Depending on the contents of the report, your exs lawyer may send a request to change some element of supervised access (ie the CLO found no concerns and recommends supervised access ends) or on any further therapy for anyone involved.

There is no situation where you have to agree on the spot. If your exs lawyer tries to do that you simply advise you need time to discuss with counsel and will respond accordingly. You can also tell the lawyer you want all requests in writing. You do not have to agree to anything at this meeting.

EspoirN 10-05-2020 02:23 PM

Thank you so much for your response, it helps me greatly. I will see what happens tomorrow at the meeting and take it from there then. Good to know that I will not have to agree to anything on the spot. Just wondering, why is the CLO’s disclosure of out daughter’s voice not done in writing? We had the second hearing of the access motion in July, and the CLO has then provided a written statement of her first interview with our daughter. Why couldn’t the CLO do same for the disclosure meeting? It would make it so much easier to take a written report to a counsel, rather than me taking notes and possibly it capturing everything.

Also, the 3 hr supervised visits were endorsed pre Covid. During Covid, the father downplayed and mocked the pandemic and social distancing measures so the judge ordered him and our daughter to social distance from one another. He also lied about where he lives and who he lives with, which was a concern to the judge so the judge in July maintained the same 3 hr supervised visits it now with social distancing. Now with cold weather coming, 3 hr visits outdoors are not realistic. Would I have to go through a motion to change them? Or through mutual consent is possible, if the other party agrees?

rockscan 10-05-2020 02:58 PM

There should be a written report that they provide in addition to oral disclosure. I believe the oral disclosure is to answer questions and provide any additional info. Dont quote me though as I havent been through it. I just know others who have.

I would ask them what they recommend for supervised access during the winter. If they know of any locations. You may have to look for a supervised access center or consider other options. It may be his responsibility to do that as well as he is the one with the order against him.


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EspoirN 10-05-2020 04:55 PM

Thank you again. I spoke with the CLO this morning, and CLO states that there will not be anything in writing, just oral disclosure.

We are on a waiting list for supervised access program at the family centre but due to Covid, there has been delay. I was told this morning that in the next two months we should hear from them to know where on the list we are.

pinkHouses 10-05-2020 09:30 PM

Does the other party have a lawyer?
If so both lawyers will want to show up. If they don't show up then they wont know what is disclosed. They can always asked for the written report but that can be a lot of work.
Usually the disclosure happens and then the lawyers work out what will happen based on that disclosure.

iona6656 10-06-2020 06:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pinkHouses (Post 244051)
Does the other party have a lawyer?
If so both lawyers will want to show up. If they don't show up then they wont know what is disclosed. They can always asked for the written report but that can be a lot of work.
Usually the disclosure happens and then the lawyers work out what will happen based on that disclosure.

yeah, no. I have not heard of a single case where the lawyers work out "what happens next" on the spot. Many assessors already have written reports ready to go, they'll hold them and allow the parties to discuss but many of them have them ready.

listen to rocksan- her advice is spot on. they will often tell you what the assessors current findings are; however, you may want to ask what they are recommending in the future. if they say "supervised access should continue"- the other side is going to want to know 'until when?'...in that case- you may want to ask what conditions does your ex need to fulfill. For example, in my case- the assessor said my ex shouldn't have unsupervised, and his lawyer asked "until when?"- and then the assessor said after he had more counselling and we should get reassessed. Well- that's a lot of time, and a lot of extra $$$ and frustration. My lawyer asked what she would recommend as a course of action- later, you can use that as a basis. In my case- the assessor said something like "6 more months and the his therapist should give written documentation that he has dealt with the situation, etc etc".

you don't need a lawyer- but you can ask to have a support person with you; this is esp. true in the case where there has been previous domestic violence. If you do have a support person- ask them to take notes if allowed. You're not allowed to record the meeting- will it be virtual, or in person?

If you're on your own-don't try to furiously write down everything the assessor is saying- note your questions as they come up- I wouldn't interrupt. Also key is to note and record their recommendations. Oh- and also note if their is any factual discrepancies. For example, if your ex has charges against him- if the assessor mischaracterizes those charges- ask them to clarify that. If they still get it wrong- you should ask for a correction on the file.

Stillbreathing 10-06-2020 10:27 AM

Remember that anything the assessor says or puts into writing are recommendations only. Take it all with a grain of salt. If you disagree with their recommendations they can not be implemented until trial when you are given the opportunity to cross examine the assessor and challenge their report. Getting to trial can take a long time. However, that being said, with Covid there have now been several cases where a judge has ordered the recommendations or part of the recommendations to be implemented at a motion without the benefit of a trial due to the unknown time line until trial at this time.Bottom line, the recommendations can only be implemented if you both consent or a judge orders it at a motion or trial.

pinkHouses 10-06-2020 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iona6656 (Post 244052)
yeah, no. I have not heard of a single case where the lawyers work out "what happens next" on the spot. Many assessors already have written reports ready to go, they'll hold them and allow the parties to discuss but many of them have them ready.

To be clearer....the lawyers will discuss it at a later time after the meeting. Sometimes they just demand stuff from the other side, sometimes they just want the report and use it to harm the other side.

Yes, they are recommendations only and the assessors are far from infallible so avoid getting upset or excited about things, it makes you look bad.

LovingDad1234 10-06-2020 02:25 PM

Often the OCL worker will have the written report with them at the meeting. They will go over their findings and recommendations. There is an opportunity to ask questions. The disclosure meeting is not a time to start sparring with the OCL or the other side. Afterwards, the OCL will file the report with the Court and objectors have 30 days to file their dispute. The OCL will respond to the dispute, but will 99.9% of the time stick to their report.


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