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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 07-24-2016, 03:39 AM
4mylove 4mylove is offline
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Default sole custody

If there are always conflict over decisions with the children that cause the ex psrtner get verbally abusive/controlling and there is proof, can that be justified to ask for sole custody as I feel that this behaviour will not change when time comes for twins to start school /activities /mobility /travel?
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Old 07-24-2016, 09:41 AM
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You've described his behaviour with you, but what needs to be considered is his parenting. Is he a good parent but just doesn't agree with you or do things 'your way'? If that's the case, an agreement that is based on parallel parenting and very clearly and specifically details what happens with the above issues may be the way to go.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:04 AM
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Were you the parent making most of the decisions for your children historically? You will need to prove that as you can say you were the primary caregiver of the children and he can say the same. It is very common at marriage breakdowns that the decisions concerning the kids takes an overturn only from the date of separation. Take note that the Court will emphasis on the Maximum Contact Principle. Your children have a right to see both parent as much as possible.

Have you considered parallel parenting where one party would have major final decisions on items such as health and religion and the other parent would have final say on the education issues? Keep in mind it is very important for the development of your children to have both parent very involved and present during their lifetime.

If communication is an issue, it should be made only via emails and texts and should be related to children only. No phone calls as they cannot be use as evidences. "Our Family Wizard" is also a good tool for communication purposes as it keep tracks (subjects, issues, date, time, answers... etc..) It keeps the other party's behavior at a respectable level.
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Old 07-24-2016, 10:09 AM
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I forgot...

Please do not engage a fight to restrain the father to see his kids for your selfish interest and for the purpose of causing more damages that will be financially unmanageable. Only the twins will suffer....
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Old 07-24-2016, 12:33 PM
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I have been the primary and only real caregiver until 2 months ago when he started taking them on his own for a few hours a day. He has never made decisions regarding the twins as we separated a year ago and they live with me. Because he is verbally abusive and controlling I gear that having joint custody will cause a lot of problems when it comes to school or mobility. Even in regards to support, he refuses to help with the girls financially and if he does its a couple hundred here and there. I've asked him several times and he would just tell me that we will go 50 50 if I ask for support or that he will just take the girls from me if I can't afford to take care of them myself.
He wanted me to move a few months ago closer to him and when I said no he threatened to take them away and said he could legally make me move (which I found out later, that's not even possible )
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Old 07-24-2016, 03:34 PM
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I believe on other posts you were given good advice to find a lawyer. If you can't afford one you might be able to obtain a Legal Aid lawyer. (You can look on Legal Aid website for more information).

You would be making a mistake if you took the stance/role of being a "gate-keeper" for your children's right to have their father in their lives. You might have been the primary care-giver but that doesn't mean that the father cannot play a significant role in the future lives of your children. There are many people who have posted on this forum who have started out as fathers who spend limited time with their children (due to the gate-keeper mother) and who end up with sole custody. If you deny the father parenting time the court very well could intervene (rightfully so unless children's safety is an issue).

I don't believe a court would entertain your argument that you are able to predict the future. You may not get along with the father but that has little bearing with his right to have access to his children on a regular basis.

Again, seek advice from a lawyer. He/she will put you on the right course, particularly with regards to your receiving child support. Child support is the right of the child and the courts take this very, very seriously.

Consider seriously having the father spend more time with the children. This way, if you end up with shared custody, the children's adjustment will be minimal. You can do this voluntarily or the court will stipulate it. Your choice.
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Old 07-24-2016, 04:57 PM
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The father does see the girls on all his days off. I haven't denied him any day of seeing them since we moved away a year ago The only thing I have limited I guess has been the amount of time as he only started taking them on his own a couple months ago and there are some mental health concerns so he has them for 4 or 5 days in a row for 3 to 5 hours each day which as they get older would definitely increase to more hours but less days i am not trying to remove him from their lives.
I've been to a few lawyers for free consultation and they have different advise. I'm stuck in between not having enough for a lawyer as I just recently returned to work from mat leave and I make too much for legal aid. I suggested mediation with him a few times as it would be more affordable but he refused and has a lawyer which is why I was asking about self repping in a previous post.
I wasn't trying to predict the future but just going by how it's been going so far and wondered if sole custody would prevent the threats or controlling over our parenting.
It's hard to hear that a father that hasn't stepped up from birth and the mother does everything then when the father one days just decides to come in and take over that the mother is called a gatekeeper. There is a point when the mother is just protecting the kids. I would understand those that tell the father that he cannot see his kids at all or once a week but I am not doing that.
Thank you for the advice though, so sole custody does not seem to be the way to go. One of the lawyers suggested it out of the 3 I saw so I was a little nervous about that suggestion
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Old 07-24-2016, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mylove View Post
I've asked him several times and he would just tell me that we will go 50 50 if I ask for support
Call his bluff. Offer him 50/50. Two possible outcomes:

1) He agrees to 50/50. Your kids get to see both parents, and have a much better life overall.

2) He declines. He can't threaten you any longer, and you get to extract full CS from him and make him pay (literally and figuratively) for not really wanting shared custody.

Either way, you win! And most importantly, it gives your children a small chance of winning.
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Old 07-24-2016, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mylove View Post
The father does see the girls on all his days off. I haven't denied him any day of seeing them since we moved away a year ago The only thing I have limited I guess has been the amount of time as he only started taking them on his own a couple months ago and there are some mental health concerns so he has them for 4 or 5 days in a row for 3 to 5 hours each day which as they get older would definitely increase to more hours but less days i am not trying to remove him from their lives.
I've been to a few lawyers for free consultation and they have different advise. I'm stuck in between not having enough for a lawyer as I just recently returned to work from mat leave and I make too much for legal aid. I suggested mediation with him a few times as it would be more affordable but he refused and has a lawyer which is why I was asking about self repping in a previous post.
I wasn't trying to predict the future but just going by how it's been going so far and wondered if sole custody would prevent the threats or controlling over our parenting.
It's hard to hear that a father that hasn't stepped up from birth and the mother does everything then when the father one days just decides to come in and take over that the mother is called a gatekeeper. There is a point when the mother is just protecting the kids. I would understand those that tell the father that he cannot see his kids at all or once a week but I am not doing that.
Thank you for the advice though, so sole custody does not seem to be the way to go. One of the lawyers suggested it out of the 3 I saw so I was a little nervous about that suggestion

I would suggest that you investigate the Legal Aid option a little closer. You can get partial assistance and make a payment arrangement for the remainder. I would opt for a lawyer any day over mediation. Whomever told you mediation was less expensive? If you have problems communicating with your ex now it is doubtful that mediation will help the two of you. Of course, the two of you should have both completed the Parenting After Separation Courses in your region. That would be one of the first things I would ask my lawyer to request.

It's pretty natural for a mother (of twins no less) to spend primary time with babies particularly if the father is working. If your roles were reversed and the father of your children stayed home with the children while you worked you would likely need time to adjust should you take on more child care responsibilities.

Most of us dislike our ex's and think they are deranged. This is a pretty common thing when people separate, even if they avoid litigation.

You mention that you moved away a year ago. Did you do this with the knowledge and agreement of the father? How far away did you move?

Sounds as though you need some sort of a schedule arranged and child support put in place. Once you retain a lawyer you will proceed through sets by way of case conferences to get these things in place.
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:19 AM
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Default Some points to consider

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4mylove View Post
If there are always conflict over decisions with the children that cause the ex partner get verbally abusive/controlling and there is proof, can that be justified to ask for sole custody as I feel that this behavior will not change when time comes for twins to start school /activities /mobility /travel?
No. What you consider verbally abusive and controlling may in fact be subjective interpretations of a failed relationship. This does not grant you justification for sole custody.

Additionally, there are alternatives such as "Parallel Parenting", "www.ourfamilywizard.com", etc to limit contact with him while still allowing the children a healthy relationship with both parents.

Quote:
He has never made decisions regarding the twins as we separated a year ago and they live with me.
My ex used that line too. Be careful that he can't prove that he has in fact made many decisions with the kids while you were together. My ex also tried the "he wasn't involved" route. That blew up in her face also as I provided an immense amount of proof that I was extremely involved.

Also, even if he wasn't as involved as he wouldv'e liked to be .. as Arabian and many others have often pointed out .. now's his chance to step up to the plate. Why not let him?

Quote:
The only thing I have limited I guess has been the amount of time as he only started taking them on his own a couple months ago and there are some mental health concerns so he has them for 4 or 5 days in a row for 3 to 5 hours each day which as they get older would definitely increase to more hours but less days
Mental Health Concerns for who? 4-5 days in a row for 3-5 hours a day is a good "allowance" of access by you I guess. This of course should be placed on a graduated scale. When do you anticipate you will "allow" the children overnight's with him? Why would you increase daily hours but less days?

Please take in to consideration the "Maximum Contact Principle http://www.ottawadivorce.com/forum/f...eration-18320/
Of course it's not a standard for everyone .. but a good majority. Judges lean on this principle heavily.

Quote:
I wasn't trying to predict the future but just going by how it's been going so far and wondered if sole custody would prevent the threats or controlling over our parenting.
You use the word "threats" loosely, but that's a very significant and powerful term. Are you or your child scared? Have your sought a restraining order? Is CAS involved?

Your disagreements about parenting does not give you leeway for sole custody, please remember that.

I'm postulating that he probably finds you to be controlling as you "control" his access, only allowing a few hours/week, no overnights, etc. How would you feel if he were doing that to you? (Perspective-Taking goes a long way).

Quote:
He has never made decisions regarding the twins as we separated a year ago and they live with me
Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't you take off with the kids? Leaving dad high and dry with no contact (eventual few hours/week)? Hope you have lots of police reports, CAS records and can prove way you felt entitled to do this. Sound like you've made some very significant, unilateral decisions.

Quote:
've asked him several times and he would just tell me that we will go 50 50 if I ask for support
Yep, no acquiescence or implied consent on his part. He's not okay with the current situation and access you've forced him to endure. He wants 50/50 and the children deserve this (unless there are extenuating circumstances).

Quote:
He wanted me to move a few months ago closer to him
Good for him for trying to make it work. He wold be smart to make the move himself closer to you. But you were the one it seems that left the children's HABITUAL home. Many justices frown upon this.

Quote:
There is a point when the mother is just protecting the kids.
Protect the kids from what? If you feel the children require protection then why allow so many hours of access during the week? Also, that's what CAS is here for. Forgive me but it doesn't really sound like they require "protection" based on your posts.
Quote:
I suggested mediation with him a few times as it would be more affordable but he refused and has a lawyer which is why I was asking about self repping in a previous post.
Please answer this ... if he agreed to mediation, entered the room and asked for 50/50, everything split, had an AMAZING parenting plan, looked you in your eyes and said he wanted to begin co-parenting in a mature, amicable manner and leave your past disagreements behind ... what would you say?
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