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Common Law Issues The law regarding common law relationships is different than in cases of divorce. Discuss the issues that affect unmarried couples here.

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Old 07-17-2009, 02:48 PM
riverbag riverbag is offline
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Default first post, couple of questions

Have 2 children (5yr and 9 months old girls) from 10 yr CL relationship, Ex left, took the kids. We do not have an agreement, but I get the children 2 days a week for 2 hrs a day and every second weekend currently. I want shared access, she won't negotiate this. 3 months ago, she filed bankruptcy which forced me to do the same. I cannot afford any lawyer, and legal aid has refused me. I am not comfortable representing myself, but see no other options.
I easily can claim for SS when she returns to work in October, and perhaps equalization (not sure about that one), though all I want is to be my children's Father equally. Any suggestions or referrals?? I have the links for court docs and the family law act etc, which is why I'm not really comfortable representing myself.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:49 PM
riverbag riverbag is offline
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Default Sorry left out some info

I'm in Ontario, london specifically
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:06 PM
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Time is of essence.

Get a place for the kids to stay with you.

Then if she will not accept your rights as a parent, you will have to go to court to get an interm order for shared access. She does not have a right to deny you 50/50, but being a man you have to fight harder for it.

Why is it something to be negotiated? Don't negotiate just do it. Tell her you want to raise your kids equally, and if she inteferes then you will both have to go to court which will not do anyone any good.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:10 PM
riverbag riverbag is offline
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Default I agree

Thanks Bill, the question here is do I represent myself in court as I have asked for shared access and she won't even discuss it. I have a place where the children can stay with me, it's 3 blocks from her place, 2 blocks from the school, 2 blocks from the daycare provider she set up for when she goes back to work. I have been actively involved in both my children's lives and even now my 5yr old is asking for more sleepovers but the Ex claims she wants to stay with the consistency we have...I know that I need to make it happen soon before the "Status Quo" becomes an enemy of mine, but with her going back to work in October, would that not affect the "Status Quo"?? Going to court by myself with a Duty Counsel scares the crap out of me.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:34 PM
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I don't know about courts, never been - sorry.

The 'Status quo' as far as I am concerned is the last 5 years, not the last 3 or 6 months.

Your ex is thinking about herself, not the kids. It is not her decision to make. Imagine if your mother intentionally kept you and your father apart?

Lots of people seem to represent themselves. I understand that it is so important and you feel you only have one shot so you don't want to blow it. From what I have read here if you go in prepared you will be as good as having a lawyer - it is a simple thing, you want your kids 50/50 and you have a place for them etc. The only reason (not knowing your situation) that you would be denied this is discrimination against men as parents.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:44 PM
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Default FLIC visit in order then

Thanks again, will visit FLIC on Monday to investigate the procedures and hopefully speak with a Duty Counselor. will post what I find out and any further questions.

Wish me luck
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:48 PM
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Default

BillM has good advice, stay involved, keep a diary of all communications and contact with the ex and the kids. You are in a great position both physically (close to all the kids daily activities and home) and parentally.

Status quo can be established in a short time frame as well depending on the seriousness of the issue at hand.

I think you can represent yourself, consider taking on a lawyer for reviewing and direction not actual representation since you are the best judge of your case you can best demonstrate your position to a court. We have in the past represented ourselves, had a lawyer who would offer us direction, IE what forms to file, when and how for each step. The occasional review all at cost of course, but far, far less then having a lawyer on retainer. Another good thing about self rep is that all written material and court actions go to you directly no waiting on someone to relay info to you second hand.

Educate yourself by reading and getting to know what the family law judges have ordered for cases similar to yours. I think you can do this, and this is a good site for answers on forms and procedures as well.
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Old 07-17-2009, 03:54 PM
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Default thanks

Thanks FL,

I will do what I have to, with no abuse in our case I feel she has nothing to keep these kids from me, but because they are currently living with her, she has the control so I need to take that away by going to court. I took some advice which hasn't worked for me, by trying to negotiate with someone who did not want to negotiate....now 4 months later, we are no closer to an agreement and she's still got the kids living with her.

Should I apply for an interim order, or go for the full Shared Access??
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:36 PM
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I don't think that your x has a good chance to keep your kids form you, but since one of your kids is really really young if I were you I would be very careful of her using the 'we can't communicate, therefor we can't have shared custody' argument.

I was told by a few different lawyers that shared 50 50 custody for very young children is rare (are the lawyers telling me the truth? who knows?!?), as the kids can't communicate their own needs so if the parents can't communicate with each other it is a real problem. So, since you are a man and the odds are stacked against you, make sure that all communication with your x is very respectful, even if hers isn't.
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Old 07-17-2009, 06:50 PM
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Default Excellent communication

Thnx Daba, I have over 200 e-mails back and forth with amicable communication between the 2 of us regarding the children. My only concern is her using the "but this is working well" statement, as it's working well for her but I believe the children deserve more and my oldest has already asked for more sleepovers and has been refused by my X on the basis of "maintaining consistency", though in the same e-mail she offered them to me for an extra hour during my evening visits, which of course I gladly accepted. I also get extra time with my oldest on Soccer evenings (Not my regular visitation night) when it rains as she doesn't like dressing the youngest up to take her, but won't give me the youngest so she can go out in the rain. It's all very frustrating, but I'm keeping my perspective on the kids and what I believe is best for their long term development. I do love them and they love me, in the end I believe it will work out, but I have to fight. Thank you all and I'll be back with more questions I'm sure and hopefully some positive updates
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