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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #81  
Old 09-28-2019, 11:27 PM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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Just did a google search on step parents legal rights. Turns out they have none, Nadda, zip unless they legally adopted the stepchild which would require one of the parents to consent to giving up their rights. Furthermore, they have no say in anything to do with the child including who does or does not have access. On the other hand the mother has the fundamental legal right to determine who has access to her children. When a bio parent dies custody automatically passes to the remaining bio parent unless the court deems them unfit.
Here are the quotes I unearthed in my search:

“The United States Supreme Court ruled that parents have a fundamental right to raise their children how they see fit, meaning if a custodial ( or non-custodial) parent denies visitation between a child and grandparent or STEPPARENT, the court presumes the decision is in the child’s best interest.”

Does the stepparent have rights if the bio parent dies?

“If your partner dies, you don’t automatically get parental responsibility for your stepchild. Parental responsibility passes to your stepchild’s surviving biological parent. Even after bio parents separate they still have shared parental responsibility.”

“Unless a stepparent has legally adopted a stepchild, they likely have no legal right to make decisions on behalf of the child’s well being. They have no say in the child’s medical decisions, who has access to the child, or educational decisions regarding the child.”
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  #82  
Old 09-28-2019, 11:43 PM
tilt tilt is offline
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Stillbreathing, it is very important to be aware of laws that are valid in your own jurisdiction. I doubt the opinion of the US Supreme Court matters to the Judge that the OP will be before.
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  #83  
Old 09-29-2019, 12:17 AM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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I’m well aware that US law and Canadian law can differ on some points.
In searching Canlii I did find some interesting cases.

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/oncj/do...&resultIndex=2

In the above case the stepmother is awarded some access to the children despite the objections of both bio parents because historically she fostered the relationship between the children and bio parents as well as had a good relationship with the children and was willing to pay child support.

https://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/do...&resultIndex=8

in the case above the stepmother was denied access to the children. This last case also mentions a case in Saskatchewan where the bio father died and the children where living with the stepmother. I couldn't find that case, maybe somebody else can find it as it sounds applicable to the OP's situation.

Last edited by Stillbreathing; 09-29-2019 at 12:46 AM.
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  #84  
Old 09-29-2019, 10:50 AM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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considering the 14 year old has been refusing to go to the bio mom for access when the father was still alive, does that not count for anything? There is more to the story then a bad stepmom if the child doesnt want to go.
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  #85  
Old 09-29-2019, 02:52 PM
Helpmyspouse Helpmyspouse is offline
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14 year old doesn't want to go for access because of parental alienation suspicion. That needs to be explored. You can't just leave that. Child had no issues before and suddenly became afraid of mom. We know what is clear. Stepmom is unhinged. Kids are in her care and she is refusing to facilitate any kind of access with mom. No decent human being does that. The children need to be interviewed so they can speak freely. They could be afraid and just following stepmom's order. These kids voices need to be heard and as long as they are under step mom's roof they will not speak up. I agree with other poster. Let CAS get involved and take them to foster care becwuse Mom is willing to do what ever is necessary for family reunification.
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  #86  
Old 09-29-2019, 03:15 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helpmyspouse View Post
14 year old doesn't want to go for access because of parental alienation suspicion. That needs to be explored. You can't just leave that. Child had no issues before and suddenly became afraid of mom. We know what is clear. Stepmom is unhinged. Kids are in her care and she is refusing to facilitate any kind of access with mom. No decent human being does that. The children need to be interviewed so they can speak freely. They could be afraid and just following stepmom's order. These kids voices need to be heard and as long as they are under step mom's roof they will not speak up. I agree with other poster. Let CAS get involved and take them to foster care becwuse Mom is willing to do what ever is necessary for family reunification.
only on the moms part. If I remember two other entities said they did not suspect any parental alienation.
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  #87  
Old 09-29-2019, 03:21 PM
Stillbreathing Stillbreathing is offline
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The email response from the girlfriend alone gives credibility to the mother’s allegation of PAS.

As for the OP not going to the police or CAS or doing an emergency motion to get the kids to safety because she expressed that she doesn’t want them hating her more... newsflash... kids hate their parents all the time anyways. When you give them a curfew, say no to their demands, enforce the rules of the house. I have a teenager who lives with me and hates me frequently. Especially when she has to do chores when it doesn’t suit her or the fact I won’t let her get her learners until she can show me good behaviour for 6 months straight. It’s normal , especially for teens to hate their parents but as a parent you don’t walk on eggshells around d your kids or let the fact they might be angry with you prevent you from doing the right thing! They are children. You are the adult and it’s up to you to do the right thing by them whether they like it or not. Too bad if they get mad.

Who knows maybe the kids don’t really hate her after all. Maybe they are afraid of the nutbar unhinged girlfriend and in reality hate the OP for not having rescued them already from the clutches of the girlfriend. Worrying about how hurting your children’s feelings should not be a consideration when their safety is at stake. They’ll get over it.

Last edited by Stillbreathing; 09-29-2019 at 03:46 PM.
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  #88  
Old 09-29-2019, 04:03 PM
Helpmyspouse Helpmyspouse is offline
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Stillbreathing, you are spot on. Thanks for putting it so clearly. It's what I have been thinking as well. These kids could be waiting for Mom to rescue them. I have enough on my own plate but honestly I have been losing sleep over this situation. So heartbreaking.
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  #89  
Old 09-29-2019, 06:38 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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We obviously only know one side of things.

If mother doesn't have anything to hide, one would hope that she does the right thing and calls Children's Services for assistance. I think it would be better for professionals to do their analyses of both homes and position the children in the best place until such time as the court makes a decision. I have no personal experience with Children's Services but one would hope that they interview all involved parties; inspect homes; do criminal checks of people living in homes, etc?

I recall when I was 10 my parents told me, prior to their extended European tour, that if anything happened to them I would go to live with relatives in another province. I was mortified. These people were bible-thumping types who lived on the farm. I told my parents that I would NEVER live with them. I meant it. It would have been horrible. I'm sure the Children's Services will spend time with the children and try to do the right thing. Losing a parent is a very tough thing.
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  #90  
Old 09-29-2019, 09:54 PM
Mummaa222 Mummaa222 is offline
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Thank you all for your advice and thoughts. I just wanted to take a minute to say that I am reading the posts but just haven't had time to post myself since I'm still trying to get my material done for tomorrow...not easy with a chatty 4 year old, A.D.D., a cold which I think has turned into bronchitis and a nasty sinus infection ugh! I'm actually surprising myself at how calm I am and proud that I'm still standing and fighting because the me at the beginning of this battle 9 years ago was a mess and when I got knocked down that's where I stayed for way too long.

By the way, I want to let people in on a site I stumbled across a while back...it's called Big White Wall. Big White Wall is a digital mental health support service which is available online, 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly. Professionally trained Wall Guides monitor the community to ensure the safety and anonymity of all members. In addition to BWW’s online community, you will have access to a wealth of useful information and can work through tailored self-help programs covering topics such as anxiety, sleep, weight management, depression and many more. I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't benefit from face to face counselling or just doesn't have time during regular business hours. . It has been a great help for someone like me.

To the ones who said that maybe my girls are wanting to be saved...that's exactly what I feel in my gut and my heart. My mother's instinct is telling me there is something off and it's something big. Many studies also say that 80% of kids suffering from PAS want someone to call their bluff and save them. I truly believe that's the case with my girls.

The extent of any "investigation" has basically been one 15 minute conversation with each girl.

My babies deserve to have a full and happy life and that includes their siblings, their nephews, grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins on both sides and as long as they're with the step mother they won't get that. She has cut off even my mother who she pretended to like before. It's time for my girls to come home and for us to be a family.
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alienated, death, p.a.s., sole custody, step-mother


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