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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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  #31  
Old 07-12-2019, 05:28 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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I was an alienated child (as were my siblings) and we have all had varying mental issues as a result. Its terrible for both the alienated parent and the child. Just keep re-iterating to him that you love him and have a place for him. Hopefully in a few years he will get out for school and see some positive change.
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  #32  
Old 07-15-2019, 12:15 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Originally Posted by shepherd View Post
Iona, I can appreciate your skepticism. I am in fact the stereotypical suit wearing father who wasn't home until 6 or 7 pm most week nights.
I'm not talking to you in particular...but I've seen this sentiment from many of my divorced/divorcing male colleagues and my best friend's male colleagues as well (legal and health professionals)- this idea of "I was at work, earning a living for my family- and she was at home with the kids...and now I'm getting screwed because I was the provider, and I was out there grinding for my family". I call bullshit. Really really loudly.

First of all- "stereotypical suit wearing father"- does not abrogate you from parenting your kid(s). I'm a suit wearing mom. I was/am the breadwinner AND the primary parent. I wake up at 5 am to ensure I get my work hours in during the day- so I can be home by 5-6pm, to feed and parent my kid. And the days I have to work late? Oh yeah, I don't get to do that...hence I've chosen to have my career take a backseat to my family. I bring my work home and do it after my kid is asleep. My best friend has three- and she does the same thing in her practice. Yes I have help through my parents when I need it- now...but my ex (who was also a suit wearing professional) used to use this excuse of "having" to work. Nope. You don't HAVE to work late- you choose to.

/rant.

Last edited by iona6656; 07-15-2019 at 12:18 PM.
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  #33  
Old 07-15-2019, 01:31 PM
shepherd shepherd is offline
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Iona, I don't know your particular circumstance, but I am also fairly sure you don't know mine. I don't mean to argue with anyone on here, and I appreciate your feedback on my question.

I was not using my job as an excuse, and I would not say that I was not parenting my kids either. Once home, I would spend all evening with my kids when they were younger, and less absorbed into their iPads, etc. If there was homework to be done, I would often be the one pushing them to do it, because mom didn't bother. And I agree with you, there is no reason that a working parent can't parent their kids and manage their career; my circumstance however is that for many years I had assumed that I was sharing the responsibility with my STBX. It turned out that I was wrong. As Rockscan pointed out, alienation can begin long before the separation.

Last edited by shepherd; 07-15-2019 at 01:32 PM. Reason: add
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  #34  
Old 07-15-2019, 04:10 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Originally Posted by shepherd View Post
Iona, I don't know your particular circumstance, but I am also fairly sure you don't know mine. I don't mean to argue with anyone on here, and I appreciate your feedback on my question.

I was not using my job as an excuse, and I would not say that I was not parenting my kids either. Once home, I would spend all evening with my kids when they were younger, and less absorbed into their iPads, etc. If there was homework to be done, I would often be the one pushing them to do it, because mom didn't bother. And I agree with you, there is no reason that a working parent can't parent their kids and manage their career; my circumstance however is that for many years I had assumed that I was sharing the responsibility with my STBX. It turned out that I was wrong. As Rockscan pointed out, alienation can begin long before the separation.
I'm not singling you out in particular- which is why I said I'm not directing my rant to you....but I meet a lot of suit wearing dads who complain about the parenting split when they get divorced.

I'm a feminist. I believe women and men are equal in their ability to be both the household provider and/or the primary parent/caretaker at home. In an ideal partnership- both parents would be able to do that equally where there are two career individuals...one picking up the slack for the other at various points in their career or child-rearing....however I have rarely, if ever, seen that work out in reality.

What I'm really grumbling at is that society says it's okay for men to sacrifice child rearing to get ahead in their careers when the children are young - if it's to further their families' prosperity. And many men and women happily eat that up...but if the marriage goes south- a lot men somehow want to bemoan the fact that they were out there hustling and now they've lost shared parenting time with their kids for it. When in reality- you could've hustled and maintained the same connection to the child(ren)- you may not have gotten as far in your career...but that's a choice.

The converse is also true...I've seen friends of mine who had great careers but pulled back to raise the kids- and maybe because for the same effort- their husbands had the higher paying jobs. So when the split comes- they're bemoaning losing a cushy lifestyle because their jobs don't pay as much.

I'm not speaking to the alienation part at all- because I have don't have any context or knowledge about that... other than what I've seen on this forum. It's heartbreaking actually.

Last edited by iona6656; 07-15-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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  #35  
Old 07-16-2019, 10:53 AM
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Janus Janus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
but I meet a lot of suit wearing dads who complain about the parenting split when they get divorced.
I'm not a suit-wearing dad, I did more parenting than the mother. I still do more parenting than the mother, and I work full time. I'm just throwing that out there to stave off the inevitable ad hominem attacks.

Great parents are not born, you learn by experience. The most inexperienced fathers can certainly learn how to be good parents. Also, let's be honest, parenting is not that hard. Anyone who believes the meme that "parenting is the hardest job in the world" has simply not had a real job.

Divorce is a time for both parents to change:

For the working parent: Work less, spend more time with kids
For the stay at home parent: Work more, spend less time with the kids

How does this harm the kids? If the suit can hold down a job, then he can also parent. Parenting is unskilled labour, worth something less than minimum wage. Within a year any competent father can be a great parent. I'm not talking about "build up to get the kid comfortable time" bullshit either. Newborns are the hardest age, do parents get "buildup time"? Obviously not. Make the fathers full equal parents, and they will become equally competent parents.

But what we do instead is we fossilize the structure. Mom gets to stay home with the cushy "watch the kids" non-job, while Dad has to work and doesn't even get to keep his money or see the kids.

It isn't fair. The suits have the right to complain.


Quote:
I'm a feminist.
A true feminist would never support a woman deciding that it is reasonable for her to stay home and hang out with the kids while her ex provides for her. Everyone should work.

If a guy wanted to stay home and watch the kids, he would be laughed out of the room. Fathers are expected to work. Until mothers have the same expectation we have not yet achieved equality.
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  #36  
Old 07-17-2019, 02:38 PM
shepherd shepherd is offline
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This is my view as well Janus. Had we had equivalent career/employment opportunities when we married, I can appreciate the opportunity loss argument for staying at home. However, setting parenting time based on pre-separation schedules seems completely unfair.
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  #37  
Old 07-17-2019, 02:48 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shepherd View Post
This is my view as well Janus. Had we had equivalent career/employment opportunities when we married, I can appreciate the opportunity loss argument for staying at home. However, setting parenting time based on pre-separation schedules seems completely unfair.
Unfair to who? the parent (let's be real- the fathers) or the children?

That is exactly my point. Parenting time SHOULD be based on pre-separation care of the children. You don't get to say "well, now that I know I have to step up to keep shared parenting time- I will". Nope. You could've done that before. You could've taken a job to allow you to be home at 5pm, to share the responsibilities of parenting equally. But I'm guessing that wasn't what you chose.

If you did equal parenting before separation- then that will be reflected in how it should be post separation. It's arguable. Can people step and get better? Yes. I don't disagree with Janus in that sentiment. But it should be done with the kid(s) in mind.

edit- your situation, however, seems to be different because of the parental alienation. That's separate. But I mean- you don't get to cry unfair because of a choice you made pre-separation. You get to change it though.

Last edited by iona6656; 07-17-2019 at 03:07 PM.
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  #38  
Old 07-17-2019, 03:05 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
I'm not a suit-wearing dad, I did more parenting than the mother. I still do more parenting than the mother, and I work full time. I'm just throwing that out there to stave off the inevitable ad hominem attacks.

Great parents are not born, you learn by experience. The most inexperienced fathers can certainly learn how to be good parents. Also, let's be honest, parenting is not that hard. Anyone who believes the meme that "parenting is the hardest job in the world" has simply not had a real job.

Divorce is a time for both parents to change:

For the working parent: Work less, spend more time with kids
For the stay at home parent: Work more, spend less time with the kids

How does this harm the kids? If the suit can hold down a job, then he can also parent. Parenting is unskilled labour, worth something less than minimum wage. Within a year any competent father can be a great parent. I'm not talking about "build up to get the kid comfortable time" bullshit either. Newborns are the hardest age, do parents get "buildup time"? Obviously not. Make the fathers full equal parents, and they will become equally competent parents.

But what we do instead is we fossilize the structure. Mom gets to stay home with the cushy "watch the kids" non-job, while Dad has to work and doesn't even get to keep his money or see the kids.

It isn't fair. The suits have the right to complain.
Let me ask you- how did you get 50/50 with your kids? Was it because you were really involved before and your ex would've had an near impossible task to prove to the court that you weren't involved? Right.

I agree with you that anyone can learn to be a great parent.

The problem is that your timeline seems to start post-separation. Mine starts before. You want to ensure you keep your kids 50/50? Get involved with them before separation so you don't have to play catch up.

My ex is the perfect example. He keeps singing on and on about how he "checked in with me" while we were married to see if he needed to go to our daughter's medical appoints- of which, there were many. She had 27 before she was 2. He never even met her pediatrician before we separated- she's 3, he's met her dr. once. Then he's crying about how he's not allowed to be involved now- and how unfair it is that I'm doing most of the parenting. Hey- no one stopped you before. And before you say it was because I was on maternity so it made sense that I went to the appointment (because that's what he's raised as his argument)- again, I call bullshit. Somehow, all of a sudden- he has SUCH a flexible work schedule- why didn't you use that flexibility to attend some of her appointments before? I went back to work- and worked more hours than him, and STILL handled all her appointments.

If the suits want to cry about the "fossilized" structure. Change it. Partner with women who want to do the heavy lifting when it comes to supporting the family financially. OR both of you do it. Although- truthfully, I would never partner with someone who made less than me again. I've been burned now twice doing it. Fuck that shit.

The "suits" are the reason the system is fossilized. When it works in their favour- it's great. When they separate- it's unfair. That's what we call sucking and blowing. And I call bullshit on it.


Quote:

A true feminist would never support a woman deciding that it is reasonable for her to stay home and hang out with the kids while her ex provides for her. Everyone should work.

If a guy wanted to stay home and watch the kids, he would be laughed out of the room. Fathers are expected to work. Until mothers have the same expectation we have not yet achieved equality.
first of all, a "true" feminist would call bullshit on everything you just wrote.

I know two dads who chose to stay home and do most of the childcare duties when their wives went back to work- both moms were lawyers- one was a partner at a Bay street firm. One dad didn't give a fuck what people thought of him- and luckily- I think Toronto is progressive enough that honestly I don't think anyone really blinked an eye. The other guy? yeah, he had issues with how people perceived him- or rather- how he THOUGHT people perceived him. He couldn't handle it. Their marriage couldn't either. The issue is not the people in the room- it's the person making the choice. That's what it is to be a feminist. Men have the right to equally want to share in the nurturing of their kids.
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  #39  
Old 07-17-2019, 03:10 PM
shepherd shepherd is offline
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Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
Unfair to who? the parent (let's be real- the fathers) or the children?

That is exactly my point. Parenting time SHOULD be based on pre-separation care of the children. You don't get to say "well, now that I know I have to step up to keep shared parenting time- I will". Nope. You could've done that before. You could've taken a job to allow you to be home at 5pm, to share the responsibilities of parenting equally. But I'm guessing that wasn't what you chose.

If you did equal parenting before separation- then that will be reflected in how it should be post separation. It's arguable. Can people step and get better? Yes. I don't disagree with Janus in that sentiment. But it should be done with the kid(s) in mind.
I would agree with you given my original premise that BOTH parents have equal earning capacity. If you agree that either spouse has equal parenting capabilities, the greater good is achieved through the higher income spouse being the one to work and the lower income spouse staying with the kids. I would have been more than happy to have my STBX return to work, but her income would not have even covered childcare. Could I have accepted a less profitable role with less demands and spent more time at home? Of course, I would have loved that, but to me that is more selfish as a parent than doing everything you can to secure your children's well being and future.

Also, how to calculate "equal" parenting is another matter altogether...is it hours in the day? Waking hours? Waking hours that don't overlap with the school day? I know post separation, the legal definition is based on overnights....However, just to say that I worked and she stayed at home means she did most of the parenting is a gross generalization, IMHO.

At any rate, this discussion started with the fact that I have not seen my kids at all since separating, and not by my choice.
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