Ottawa Divorce .com Forums


User CP

New posts

Advertising

  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Parenting Issues

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 10-28-2013, 12:40 AM
dadtotheend72 dadtotheend72 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
dadtotheend72 is on a distinguished road
Default How do I tell my 8 year old that his parents are in custody proceedings?

I started custody proceedings in June 2011. In March of this year, OCL got involved. Now they want to interview my son. Thus far, neither his mother nor have told him that there is any court proceeding over custody or that we are even in any conflict about it. Now I'm told that when the OCL investigator interviews him, they will "have" to tell him one way or another that they are here to possibly help a judge decide where he should live, etc.

I have a few ideas about how to explain this to my son before the interview so that he doesn't learn about this the first time from the OCL social worker. Has anyone else out there been through that process? Any suggestions on how I can explain this to my little boy without upsetting him or making him worry about hurting one of us, or feeling a lot of pressure?

He has to know something about it before hand and it's coming this week but I don't want to make it any harder or scarier for him than it needs to be. I also don't want risk seeming as though I want him to say anything to the investigator but what he really thinks and feels when the investigator asks him questions.

Finally, I don't want to run the risk of seeming as though I have in any way coached him for the interview beforehand. I just want to make sure he's prepared for this before hand.

Any thoughts anyone?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 10-28-2013, 12:51 AM
Mess Mess is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,448
Mess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the rough
Default

Call the OCL and ask them.

No matter what you say, you will run the risk of appearing like you coached him.

An 8 year old may say anything at all. He may say you give him live frogs for breakfast if he thinks it's funny. I know mine would.

So ask the OCL what they recommend, and then you are being up front with them that you are having the conversation and trying to be co-operative.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 10-28-2013, 01:15 AM
dadtotheend72 dadtotheend72 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 11
dadtotheend72 is on a distinguished road
Default

Thanks. That was my initial intuition. But a lawyer friend of mine suggested that asking the investigator about it might suggest that I can't handle certain things. That answer didn't feel right to me at the time. How can anyone fault anyone else for asking advice on something a important as this?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 10-28-2013, 01:38 AM
Mess Mess is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Toronto
Posts: 5,448
Mess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the roughMess is a jewel in the rough
Default

If we go through life absolutely paranoid that if we step one foot out of line we will be perceived as failures, then what we end up doing is acting in completely contrived ways.

Be open and honest. If you are concerned about biasing the investigator, call the OCL office and ask for general advice.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 10-28-2013, 11:45 AM
blinkandimgone's Avatar
blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Lucknow
Posts: 5,406
blinkandimgone is a jewel in the roughblinkandimgone is a jewel in the roughblinkandimgone is a jewel in the rough
Default

You could just tell him someone is going to be talking to him to find out how he's feeling about everything going on with mom & dad?

I'd leave out anything about if he's feeling ok as he may feel he needs to pretend to be ok if he's not. If he asks questions, answer only what he asks and nothing more, and try not to overload him with info that might confuse him. I'd liken it to launching into a birds n bees conversation when a kid asks where he came from, when all he wanted was to know what hospital he was born at. Make sure you understand what the kid is ACTUALLY asking before answering.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 10-28-2013, 12:40 PM
Tayken's Avatar
Tayken Tayken is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 7,091
Tayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant futureTayken has a brilliant future
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend72 View Post
I started custody proceedings in June 2011. In March of this year, OCL got involved. Now they want to interview my son. Thus far, neither his mother nor have told him that there is any court proceeding over custody or that we are even in any conflict about it. Now I'm told that when the OCL investigator interviews him, they will "have" to tell him one way or another that they are here to possibly help a judge decide where he should live, etc.
A "good" OCL investigator will ABSOLUTELY NOT do this. Let the OCL investigator handle any questions from the children. Generally they present themselves as "Family Helpers" at most and will not talk about anything regarding court and legal proceedings. ESPECIALLY with an 8 year old child.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend72 View Post
I have a few ideas about how to explain this to my son before the interview so that he doesn't learn about this the first time from the OCL social worker.
Here is an idea. Let the professional do their job and handle the situation and have less ideas about this topic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend72 View Post
Has anyone else out there been through that process?
I have walked a number of people through OCL investigations. My advice to you would be to NOT say anything to the child. Let the OCL investigator do their job. They should be (many are not though) trained to deal with this very common situation. They see it every day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend72 View Post
Any suggestions on how I can explain this to my little boy without upsetting him or making him worry about hurting one of us, or feeling a lot of pressure?
You let the professional, who I hope is a clinician (social worker) handle the questions if any actually arise. You don't need to "worry" about it this way. It will only make matters worse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend72 View Post
He has to know something about it before hand and it's coming this week but I don't want to make it any harder or scarier for him than it needs to be.
No, the child does NOT have to know something about it before hand. I advise you to NOT broach the subject and allow the professional to do their job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend72 View Post
I also don't want risk seeming as though I want him to say anything to the investigator but what he really thinks and feels when the investigator asks him questions.
They are trained to interview children. The child interview and parental time is so limited that very few justices rely upon even the material gathered by an expert witness. 45 - 1h "home visit" is not enough "evidence" for a justice to make a substantial order. Also, the OCL is just one opinion and the justice in the matter has to make the order based on evidence.

Have as much (as possible) of a normal experience as possible. Home visits and child interviews are about as useful as asking an 8 year old child what the moon is made of.

I could rant for hours on the topic of better clinical guide lines required for "custody and access evaluations" but, just realize that the home visit although is important is easily argued into oblivion by a good and well educated person. 45mins-1h visiting in a time of high stress for the family does not DEFINE the parent-child dyad. Any "clinician" who bases their opinions on this in my opinion isn't much of an "investigator".

Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend72 View Post
Finally, I don't want to run the risk of seeming as though I have in any way coached him for the interview beforehand. I just want to make sure he's prepared for this before hand.
Then DON'T prepare him for the interview. Let him be an 8 year old child and not a pawn in your litigation.

Good Luck!
Tayken
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 10-28-2013, 01:13 PM
paris paris is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 575
paris is on a distinguished road
Default

Let the investigator handle it. That's what they're trained for. You can talk to him after the interview... ask him if he has questions.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10-28-2013, 10:26 PM
Rioe's Avatar
Rioe Rioe is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Ontario
Posts: 3,347
Rioe will become famous soon enough
Default

I'm going to go out on a limb and disagree with the previous advice. Obviously you have to tell the kid something; I know my eight-year old would freak out if I sprang an appointment on him without any warning.

It might be wise to make a general inquiry with the OCL to find out how they recommend introducing the child to the idea that he's about to be interviewed.

But I imagine a simple explanation like "Someone is going to talk to you for a little bit to see how your life is going, and help your mother and me figure out if there's anything better we could be doing about how you go back and forth between houses. It's nothing to be worried about, just be honest about your feelings when you answer their questions."

That ignores any adversity between you and his mother, reassures the child that it's being done for good reasons, doesn't coach the kid to answer in a particular way, and doesn't make any promises about outcomes.

That said, however, I have not personally experienced this.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10-29-2013, 12:49 AM
stripes stripes is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2,838
stripes is on a distinguished road
Default

^^ I think Rioe is right. Having a stranger turn up with no warning and start asking questions could be very unsettling, but if the kid knows that this is coming, and more important, and knows that it's okay with mom and dad for him to talk to this stranger, it might be easier for all concerned. Depending on how observant he is, he may well have picked up on nonverbal cues that there's something weird going on, and a few words from dad may be enough to normalize the process and settle his anxiety. I like Rioe's script - it provides a context for the kid to place the interview in, but doesn't sound alarmist.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10-29-2013, 07:15 AM
DunnMom DunnMom is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: On-Tar-IoOoO
Posts: 294
DunnMom is on a distinguished road
Default

I agree with Rioe as well although I've never dealt with the OCL either.

Knowing how my boys' were at 8, they'd be more anxious if put in a car and brought to an appointment or visit with a stranger or if a stranger suddenly showed up at our house and I made them talk to them alone.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
custody, ocl, talking to young children


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Communication & Custody CatvsLion Divorce & Family Law 10 08-08-2012 08:32 PM
Courts from hell: Family InJustice In Canada WorkingDAD Divorce & Family Law 10 05-31-2011 01:51 PM
Shared custody, letting lower income person have child tax all year. kevinspencer Divorce & Family Law 15 09-28-2010 10:17 AM
4 year CL relationship ending - custody of child, house, possessions etc. Itiq Common Law Issues 2 09-12-2008 07:23 AM
How credibility is affected in the eyes of Judges. gooddadgoingmad Divorce & Family Law 12 03-12-2006 04:05 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:14 PM.