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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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Old 06-11-2011, 11:15 PM
Bonafide Bonafide is offline
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Default OCL - What are our rights?

Update: During March Court Hearing, Case Conference was set for July and Trial for December. OCL has also been ordered to be involved. OCL has begun their initial investigation and we are concerned that their recommendation may stem from a biased opinion that Bio-Moms should not be separated from their children (this was what the investigator in our case stated on the first visit to meet with us - all 4 of us - in the company of the children who also made clear they were content with their living arrangements). The access regime did change in March, but only to what it should have been all along (both sides misinterpreted the order made in January) - Bio-Mom now sees the children for 8 hours, alternating Saturdays and Sundays, with a few minutes phone call on Wednesday and with an inclusion that allows us to cancel one weekend visit per month, but in return, we must offer an access visitation on the following Wednesday, after school, until 7:30pm.

What are our rights? In particular, what are my rights as the Step-Mom?

Do I have any rights? Can I refuse to speak with OCL without a lawyer present? Can 'we' refuse to allow the children to speak with the OCL investigator without one or both of us present and/or our lawyer present?

I was firmly and directly told I had no rights. That I had to sign and allow the OCL access to my police records (which I have no fear will implicate me, but do likely contain details of some horrific things I've dealt with in the past and I'd not like to face again) and FURTHER, that these records would no longer be considered confidential, as once they were received by OCL, they were no longer something I could deem private or confidential in any way, as anyone who knew where to ask and for what, would be given access to this information. We have already sent a letter to OCL outlining these concerns, but have not received any response and further have been threatened with 'Section 112' for not returning calls or emails from the OCL investigator.

I've been told I no longer have any rights and I must just give whatever is asked of me and further warned that refusing to cooperate would be detrimental, as all recommendations/reports made by the OCL carry a lot of weight, can and by the tone of this investigator 'will' impact our custody arrangement.

This investigator declared her intention to make recommendation that the Bio-Mom be granted more time, including overnights with her children, as she stated, "this situation was practically unheard of", although ALSO stating she had not 'yet' reviewed our case files or the medical that we had to support our claims for the custody to remain the same, or be further limited to supervised.

Any advice would be appreciated.

As I'm sure you are all aware, we have not been on here often, but we're once again feeling some pressure and looking for support and guidance anywhere we can.

Thank you in advance for reading this and for any recommendation or comments you may have!
  #2  
Old 06-12-2011, 01:19 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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NO ONE can force you to sign any document. If you stop and think about it, why do they need your signature if you have no right to refuse anyway?

You cannot be forced to sign any document, contract, agreement or release form, period, full stop, no exception.

You also cannot be forced to speak to anyone against your will.

All that being said, the OCL will issue a report anyway and if you don't speak or co-operate they will likely write the report against you. I have no idea what your personal situation is, but if you speak for yourself you can explain any circumstances or explain how things have changed.
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Old 06-12-2011, 10:58 AM
staysingle staysingle is offline
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What's going on with the bio-mom? Is there substance abuse issues, mental health issues that is concerning for you? Was the request for OCL on consent? Did you request OCL insolvent?

OCL results can vary widely. You do not get a chance to select the OCL investigator. The person investigating could be a talented, knowledgeable and fair person, or conversely they could be a nightmare. That is why a section 30 assessment is preferred over OCL. Also, if you case is complicated OCL is a poor choice.
Overall judges accept OCL recommendations about 80% of the time. Sometimes judges don't agree with OCL and summarily discard their opinion.
If you have valid child protection claims, do be sure to move this evidence upwards towards a possible child. Since it seems your stuck with this OCL investigation I would recommend co-operating during the investigation. The OCL report is not the whole story. Family law is a series unknowns you have no control over. The OCL investigator, the various judges that rule in your application, your lawyers performance on any given day and on and on it goes.
Stay focused on what you can control, keep impeccable records, tape record whenever possible and fully realize family law proceeds in small slices at a time
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Old 06-12-2011, 11:10 AM
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You have not really given enough information to allow for an opinion, specifically why Mom's access is so limited. Why is this?

Get used to the idea that their access will be expanded, just as it would be for a father. Kids need both parents and that will usually trump a lot of the reasons that have operated to limit the bio-mom's access.

But status quo is very compelling too, so it's not as if wholesale changes will be recommended. If the children are living primarily with you and their father, it's difficult to see how that will be meaningfully changed.
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Old 06-13-2011, 04:51 AM
TLCRN TLCRN is offline
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[quote=Bonafide;68884]Update:
Can 'we' refuse to allow the children to speak with the OCL investigator without one or both of us present and/or our lawyer present?

Might sound like a stupid question but is an OCL lawyer the same as an OCL investigator?
if the same why would you refuse to allow the children to speak with the OLC lawyer alone, as they represent the CHILDREN and to speak on thei behalf in Court? what is said between the OCL lawyer and the children is "confidential".
I am a bit confused as we had two different OCL lawyer. The first one closed the file as the other party was no cooperating costing, so another was orderd by the Courts. Both sent us a email telling us they do not write reports and not qualified to do so. Keep in mind we had a assessment ordered by the court. If the OCL lawyers write reports, why did we need her as the report was to come from the chidl psychologist?
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:10 PM
Bonafide Bonafide is offline
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Please PRIVATE MESSAGE me with any further suggestions, as Bio-Mom is watching this thread!
  #7  
Old 06-13-2011, 11:01 PM
Bonafide Bonafide is offline
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..........
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:07 PM
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blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
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Well, someone's paranoid hmmm?
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:09 PM
Bonafide Bonafide is offline
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..........
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Old 06-14-2011, 12:04 AM
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