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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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Old 05-19-2011, 01:25 AM
mommaofthree mommaofthree is offline
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Default Custody Assessment

Has anyone else had a custody assessment done? What was your outcome? I am in the middle of a long and drawn out divorce / custody battle that has been thrown for a complete loop due to a crappy custody assessment. My daughter of 8 who has always lived with me has now been awarded to live with her father. We still have joint custody but he has day to day care. Our entire world has been flipped and I now find myself completely in his shoes. He left the marriage and did not have anything to do with our daughter until I became involved with another partner when she was 5. Since then it has been one big battle. He hired a psychologist to do a custody assessment and after one and a half years and $41,000.00 later everything that I had to offer was ignored or turned around and he got everything he wanted. Just wanting to hear if there are any others out there who have had similar experiences and what you did about it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:47 AM
mommaofthree mommaofthree is offline
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I didn't lose custody. We still share joint custody. To be honest I am still a little confused on what has happened. I read the report and it seems like I provide a good home and am a good parent but that he has the ability to provide "more". With that being said he provides everything a "disneyland dad" provides every second weekend and what kid wouldn't prefer to be there. I have a new partner (past 5 years) and we have children as well. My ex has been everything but easy and claimed my partner abused my daughter. Social Services and RCMP were involved. Agreed it was nothing. He has complained many times since and has been told to drop it. There is a huge history of harassment and restraining orders, parent alienation, lies etc so I am really not sure why the assessor agreed with him. But with $41,000 gone it is really tough to redo and I am tired.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:34 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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The courts don't change a child's primary residence because of "Disneyland Dad".

No one can offer you any advice here unless you are open and honest with the facts about your situation.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:22 AM
staysingle staysingle is offline
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Can you supply the assessments rationale for the change in primary residence? How often do you see your daughter since the assessment result? Are there any supervision requirements?
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:11 PM
mommaofthree mommaofthree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mess View Post
The courts don't change a child's primary residence because of "Disneyland Dad".

No one can offer you any advice here unless you are open and honest with the facts about your situation.
I actually think that is the issue here, being open and honest. That is exactly what I was but the other party was not. I have nothing spectacular that has happened in my life that can or will paint me as a bad parent. Unfortunately you are wrong and a child can be removed from their primary residence because the other parent "played the part better" in the immediate eyes of the money orientated psychologist. Walk in my shoes and I think you will be shocked what can actually happen during this process they call divorce.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:32 PM
mommaofthree mommaofthree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staysingle View Post
Can you supply the assessments rationale for the change in primary residence? How often do you see your daughter since the assessment result? Are there any supervision requirements?

The psychologist felt that she would be better served in a home where she would be raised as an only child. I have two other children and apparently that is an issue. They are younger and for the most part they all get along. They have been my dd siblings from the start so it is not like they were brought into the relationship. Her father lives in a nice, new house and there is even a comment on how he has provided her with a beautiful bedroom furnished with new furniture and space. I do live in a smaller, older home that dd shares a room with her other sister. It is comfortable and clean. My dd did comment during a joint interview with her dad that she would like to live there, but who wouldn't. She has been promised a puppy and they will move out to an acreage. She has been promised a phone in her room, a cell phone and her own computer. She is nine. Who wouldn't want to live there! I have had no issues while she has been in my care, aside from trying to joint parent with her father.
She is still in my care until the end of the school year. We then split the summer and she will start the school year with her dad. Please keep in mind that he lives 2 hours away. She will then come back home every 2nd weekend. There are no supervision requirements. We have basically switched what we were previously doing. What I have issues with is our past shows that he is manipulative, has continued to try and alienate her from me, and is very controlling. He was arrested and sent to intake for a week due to threats and I have had a restraining order on him for the last 6 years. I have taped phone calls he has had (he knew I was taping) with dd where he is calling me names and calling her sister bastard baby. This just goes on and on. He was on the clinical high end for all of the testing where all of mine were in the normal range except the parental stress test (I was on the high end). I live in a small community and those that know the results are flabbergasted. Trust me, I know this sounds crazy, but I am living it.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:51 PM
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You might want to ask the Court for the Office of the Children's Lawyer to be involved. OCL represent and look at the "children's best interest" and not what the parents wants; looking at the whole picture, including reports from any third party.
Was the psychologist assessment ordered by the Courts or he went on his own to find this psychologist? Is the psychologist a child psychologist?
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:07 PM
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I'm am really sorry to hear your story and I believe all of what you've said. I have heard of this happening before unfortunately. I agree with above that maybe OCL could get involved but this is a long process and doubtless more $. If your x paid for the psychologist, I would question the bias of the opinion. I've heard from other psychologists that it happens that if people don't like the report, they don't pay so there may have been incentive to sway the argument to the x.

Otherwise, you grin and bear it. Your daughter may just find out the every other weekend "disney dad" is not the same as every day dad. Either he'll be a great parent and she'll be happy and relationship with you will still be strong, or he'll be an a$$ (sounds like he's already shown that he is), she'll eventually see it and wish to come back to your home on her own. She's 9 so only a few years until her opinion is heard. If she says she wants to live with him, not allowing her to go may fuel the fire and she'll possibly resent you and WILL go once she turns of age for a court to listen to her wishes. Even OCL may recommend him primary residence if that's what she's saying she wants....

Some food for thought anyway. Again, sorry to hear about the situation. Sounds like it's been a long and bumpy road with your x all along.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:01 PM
mommaofthree mommaofthree is offline
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TLCRN : The assessment was ordered by the ex but we shared the expense out of Unresolved $$ in trust. The psychologist is not a child psychologist but came highly regarded. I only had two to choose from and she made quite a few promises that she didn't keep regarding time lines (was only to be 3-6 months and actually took 1 1/2 years.) As well I was told the cost range would be $10,000 - 20,000 on the high end but it ended up being $41,753.00. I will certainly look into a children's lawyer but we are getting to a point where $$ is becoming an issue as well. I do have two others that I have to keep fed and housed. Thank you for your thoughts.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:09 PM
mommaofthree mommaofthree is offline
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Mominneed: Thank you for your support. It has been a crazy road we have been on and there are many that cannot believe this system that is used for families going through high conflict divorce. I have come to the conclusion that I will have to agree to let her go and just see. She is nine and has a voice, hopefully she will be strong enough to use it if she is really unhappy. And like you mentioned she may do just fine and the change could be a great one for her. I also agree that it will not take long for her to figure out that no structure, rules or support is not as amazing as she thought it may be. I would like to guide her and hold her hand but this is something she will have to learn on her own. The bonus is it is recommended that she see a psychologist on a regular basis for the first year to be sure she has transitioned well. It wasn't ordered so I am not sure how her dad will do with this. I had her in counseling for 3 years and he pulled consent because he said she was being brainwashed. hopefully we can get something ordered that she actually have a relationship with a psychologist so she can trust them enough to say what is on her mind. Parenting is the hardest and most amazing this I have ever done. Certainly was not prepared for this outcome though! Thank you for your support!
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