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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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  #1  
Old 05-27-2009, 11:26 PM
mona_c mona_c is offline
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Default Self-representing..where to start?

Although I am appealing it, I have been turned down for legal aid. I don't expect to actually be able to get legal aid, so *shrugs* I'm preparing for self-representation.

The issues are:

A) custody and visitation of the five children. I have had de facto custody since Nov. 08 and although the option was made available to my ex to see and/or speak to the children through Children's Aid, he has made no move to do so. Neither has any of his family. Given things that have either happened or been found, I want supervised visitation, no overnights. The children have not suffered for lack of their father being here, to be honest. Quite the opposite.

B) Child support. I'm willing to settle for what he is able to pay rather then insisting upon table amounts, as long as it's an honest effort. He is on ODSP and I understand the limited income. But I don't feel he should be permitted to go about life without having some responsibility towards the children.

C) Division of assets. There is little that was bought by us together during our common-law relationship (Mar. 95 - Sept. 07) or the marriage itself (Sept. 07 - Nov. 08). Most was given by my parents..living room and bedroom furniture, miscellaneous things like dishes, cookware. In reality, what was bought during the marriage was a dining set ($80), a computer
($200), the bunkbeds for the two oldest children (over a thousand) and some cast iron cookware which didn't even top 50 dollars. There is also a van which was in his name, but in writing, he gifted it to me expressly, along with the ownership that was in his name. The only item bought during the marriage was the kitchen set.

D) Debt. I am in it up to my eyeballs with credit cards. I have three in my name. One is now in collections (account cancelled by me). One is at a manageable level and the other is maxed out and not being used..I'm just doing my best to pay something on it each month. Although he never had any access to these accounts through a courtesy card, etc, some of the debt is his, I feel. The one that is now in collections was used to pay for the wedding and things like groceries and things that he wanted. It wasn't just for me. The first of the three accounts was started in 2004 or 2005..I do have the records, just a bad memory.

In a nutshell..where do I start?!

We are not able to sit down together to figure this out because right now he is still in the hospital from his suicide attempt in April and there is a no contact order in place restricting him from speaking to me or contacting me in any way except through the Children's Aid and then only to speak to or see the children.

His personal belongings (clothing, etc) are finally being picked up tomorrow, in spite of being ready since the middle of March, by his family. As much as I don't like it, the police are involved in this because they say I will cause trouble and I say that they will. I have no reason to cause trouble..I need his things out of the garage, but if they wish to think that way, that's their choice. The children will be at my mothers for the day, just in case.

The issue of the divorce itself..I simply want an uncontested divorce after everything is settled. I don't want it to be dragged out, etc.

So I'm trying to figure out where to start.

Thanks,
Mona
  #2  
Old 05-28-2009, 12:08 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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Mona,

If your going the self rep route, a good place to start is to read the following guides:

Ministry of the Attorney General - A Guide to Procedures in Family Court

which give explanation in detail of the process. You will want to start with an Application.

Court forms can be found here:

Family Law Rules Forms — Ontario Court Services


A good resource with Questions and Answers can be found here:

Ministry of the Attorney General - Family Law Resources

By the way if the other party is receiving ODSP -- By default they will qualify for legal aid.


lv
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:32 AM
mominont mominont is offline
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I'm not sure how much debt you have but it might be wise to speak with a credit counselling company and check your options. If your already not paying one card - I'm sure there is already damage to your credit rating. From what you have stated if you did declare bankruptcy there wouldn't be anything to repossess

You probably won't have an issue with getting supervised visits, especially with his mental state. I would get a copy for your records and to add to your court documents on the CAS involvment before the case is closed.

Child support - Good luck. I don't recieve child support, ex is on ODSP but I didn't make it an issue as I understand its hard enough to survive - that depends on where you live but in a city, rent is expensive.

Its certainly not worth a court case to argue over belongings..

I thought you had to wait a year before applying for a divorce?
  #4  
Old 05-28-2009, 12:57 AM
mona_c mona_c is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logicalvelocity View Post
Mona,

By the way if the other party is receiving ODSP -- By default they will qualify for legal aid.


lv
Thank you again, LV. And I am aware that he qualifies. *shakes head* My bf and I have less to work with then what my husband and I did on ODSP and neither of us are able to work. Although I must admit, I am happy to be out of the system, I do feel it is unfair that he automatically qualifies when he has no bills, no rent and no responsibilities. He is living with his mother, so only gets the basic amount at this point and is able to do as he wishes. Meanwhile, my bf and I are trying to save up the money for vehicle repairs, my daughter's braces, dental work for myself and the youngest of the boys...it is frustrating.

I don't want to self-rep...but I don't think the appeal will work, which leaves me with no choice. I can't afford the fees for a lawyer.

Mona
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:17 AM
mona_c mona_c is offline
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Total debt right now is over 10,000 and encompasses more then just the credit cards. The one credit card that went to collections...I was paying what I could, but when the amount wanted each month just kept going up and up, there just wasn't enough money. There are no jobs to be had around here, so I can't even get a job. If I could, I am not sure how well that would work..I was working up until Sept of 06 and destroyed my knees doing it.

CAS has been involved with my family for years..it is not a recent thing. My worker is pushing to close the file now, though. He has made it clear that his help is there if needed, though.

With child support..shoot. I'd be happy with $100 a month. I don't want huge amounts or extravagance..I just want him to take some responsibility for the children he helped create. I have no wish to leave him impoverished or anything like that. Same with the debt..I wouldn't ask for a huge amount or such..just what can be afforded by him as an acknowledgement that although it is not in his name, the debt is partially his as far as the credit cards go. The rest of the debt is for things that I take full responsibility for...that is not his concern.

The only issue with declaring bankruptcy is the house. My parents put a ten thousand down payment on it and took out the mortgage in their names back in 04. In April of this year, my name was added to the deed and mortgage so if something should happen to them, I wouldn't lose the house. I pay the mortgage, bills, insurance, etc..as well as paying off the original down payment to my parents each month.

I agree that there is no reason to go to court over the belongings...that would be a waste of time and money on both sides.

Mona
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