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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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  #11  
Old 02-19-2014, 07:08 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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I think these posters have valid points. From what I surmise in reading many threads on here about child custody is that the fight can drag on and on from case conference to case conference. Depends upon how stubborn two parents are and personal finances, particularly when retaining lawyers. Your daughter is 12.5 yrs old, not a toddler. Don't you think that the money would better spent on her post-secondary education? You seem to be a well-educated woman who can support herself. Don't think for one minute that your lawyer doesn't see you as "money in the bank." You are justifiably angry at your ex. In time the anger will dissipate.

You spent over a decade with this guy so it would be kind of lame to now say he is unfit to share custody simply because he has found the 'woman of his dreams.' You'd be best to utilize your analytical skills on assembling the financial documents for the financial aspect of your divorce.

Of course make sure the SOB pays his proper share of CS.
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  #12  
Old 02-19-2014, 07:41 PM
Beachnana Beachnana is offline
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Your 12 1/2 year old has expressed a desire to spend time with her Dad. So you should let her. If he screws it up, she will let you know if she no longer wants to visit with him. She is old enough to make these decisions herself. You get some alone time to work on your career or whatever. Ask her wants she wants and then get her to call Dad and ask to come visit. Keep it simple. You cannot shield her from his lack of interest. If he is not interested he will make excuses and that will be the end of it.

Sure lawyers will tell you to go for sole custody. They can see a big battle and a big pay cheque for them. Joint custody means informing each other of decisions and giving each other a defined amount of time to respond. No response, then you can assume he is okay with your decision. Ie to put child in local school. To get braces etc. To sign up for dance. If he does not pay you will need to make the decision to spend $1000's to force him, or just budget to cover it yourself.

As long as you have a clause that says the child resides with you. The amount of major decisions you need to make over the next 4 years in minimal. Once she turns 16 neither of you get to make her decisions. She will tell you both that she can make her own thats for sure.

You sound capable and educated. So move on and don't sweat all the details.

Separate the custody and access. I would say go for joint custody with open access and make it clear that Dad and daughter need to work this out themselves.

Then sort out the financials separately. Prepare a financial statement with supporting documents and send it to him via your lawyer. Let him spend time and money refuting it. You always have to ask yourself. Will the amount I spend on legal fees be more than what I am going to actually gain. Spend $20,000 to get $15,000.

As a professional you will not want to be reliant of SS. The CS will be something that you will use to provide for your children that is what it is for. So if Dad ignores your request for ski lessons, will not help with University. Pay for it yourself out of the child support.

My daughter manages a home, car, vacations, savings for education and provides well for her son on less than $60 k. She gets a small amount of child support and puts that away to pay for activities and extras she knows Dad will not ever agree to pay for.

Move on and enjoy life and your children.

Last edited by Beachnana; 02-19-2014 at 07:44 PM.
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  #13  
Old 02-19-2014, 07:42 PM
engineer engineer is offline
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ok.

Probably not worth it to push the custody issue. I already make the decisions on the kids. I am more worried about him throwing in monkey wrenches needlessly over time just because he can.

He indicated in his answer to my application that wanted me to have primary residence and him secondary with liberal and generous access, including overnight visits in the future, but would take me as primary with liberal and generous access as an alternative.

My youngest does not want to stay with him overnight - and no I did not ask her this she volunteered it. She has a few friends with separated parents so she has seen what others do. She is getting old enough to have a say in this. Besides, she is soon to be a teenager, and that brings a host of changes in behaviour.

I am looking for the table values, based on line 150 for both kids, plus extraordinary expenses for post-secondary, orthodontics, etc. I will cover the extracurricular costs for my youngest out of my operating budget.

He is the only father the oldest has ever known - he has been in the picture since she was 3 and we moved in together when she was 4. He claimed her on his taxes, referred to her as his daughter on his benefits, referred to her as his daughter to friends and family, listed himself as a guardian with the school board, etc etc. He acted as no less a father to her than he did to the youngest, and in many respects, he was more actively involved with her in the 4 years before the youngest was born than he ever was with the youngest. Everyone - schools, neighbours, friends - assumed that he was the father of both kids. You would not be able to distinguish parentage of these kids based on his actions. He never referred to her as a step-daughter, just his daughter, until after we separated.

I agree that my time is best spent on the financial aspects. Those are generally much more amenable to analysis, and it is more obvious as to what should be included and what shouldn't be. I haven't spent a lot of time discussing support issues with my lawyer, as I figure that is based on the tables and he knows more about this than I do.

I haven't spent much legal time discussing custody, either. I can see how that can get way out of control. I just posted this hoping that there was a list of document types that I should include with my brief.

So the consensus is that going for sole custody could be long, costly, painful, and not worth it. Unless the ex capitulates quickly, I will agree to joint with liberal and generous access.
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  #14  
Old 02-19-2014, 07:51 PM
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Beachnana,

Actually, the 12 year old hasn't expressed a desire to see him. She sees him when he avails himself and I can get her there. She is happy enough to go along with it, but I don't see her instigating plans. He came by the other day to pick up some stuff and I had to go upstairs to get her to come down and say hello.
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  #15  
Old 02-19-2014, 07:51 PM
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I think you're making the right decision here (and I want to add that many of us have been in your shoes - so angry [justifiably] with the ex that it's hard to make logical decisions without emotions driving the bus. That's one of the good things about this forum - people will tell you when your emotions are driving the bus, and not always in the most polite way, so you can pull back and make the smart choices).

Don't buy your lawyer a new Mercedes, save the time and money to enjoy life with your daughters. Your ex sounds like a cretin - be glad you're done with him while you've still got lots of life ahead of you.
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  #16  
Old 02-19-2014, 07:55 PM
Beachnana Beachnana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer View Post
ok.

Probably not worth it to push the custody issue. I already make the decisions on the kids. I am more worried about him throwing in monkey wrenches needlessly over time just because he can.

He indicated in his answer to my application that wanted me to have primary residence and him secondary with liberal and generous access, including overnight visits in the future, but would take me as primary with liberal and generous access as an alternative.

My youngest does not want to stay with him overnight - and no I did not ask her this she volunteered it. She has a few friends with separated parents so she has seen what others do. She is getting old enough to have a say in this. Besides, she is soon to be a teenager, and that brings a host of changes in behaviour.

I am looking for the table values, based on line 150 for both kids, plus extraordinary expenses for post-secondary, orthodontics, etc. I will cover the extracurricular costs for my youngest out of my operating budget.

He is the only father the oldest has ever known - he has been in the picture since she was 3 and we moved in together when she was 4. He claimed her on his taxes, referred to her as his daughter on his benefits, referred to her as his daughter to friends and family, listed himself as a guardian with the school board, etc etc. He acted as no less a father to her than he did to the youngest, and in many respects, he was more actively involved with her in the 4 years before the youngest was born than he ever was with the youngest. Everyone - schools, neighbours, friends - assumed that he was the father of both kids. You would not be able to distinguish parentage of these kids based on his actions. He never referred to her as a step-daughter, just his daughter, until after we separated.

I agree that my time is best spent on the financial aspects. Those are generally much more amenable to analysis, and it is more obvious as to what should be included and what shouldn't be. I haven't spent a lot of time discussing support issues with my lawyer, as I figure that is based on the tables and he knows more about this than I do.

I haven't spent much legal time discussing custody, either. I can see how that can get way out of control. I just posted this hoping that there was a list of document types that I should include with my brief.

So the consensus is that going for sole custody could be long, costly, painful, and not worth it. Unless the ex capitulates quickly, I will agree to joint with liberal and generous access.
I think you have taken a good look at your situation and are moving in the right direction. I guess you just needed to rant. We have all done that and then we are pulled back into reality with a sharp tug from the experienced " wise ones" on the forum.

For your 20 year old you might want to calculate cost of schooling and ask for a contribution towards it based on income.

Good luck with the financials. In my experience if you have all the documentation and proof for your financials sorted out and presented clearly and fairly your ex, who seems to be lacking in this department, will have a hard time disputing any claims you put forward. I doubt if he kept much of a paper trail.
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  #17  
Old 02-19-2014, 07:57 PM
Beachnana Beachnana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by engineer View Post
Beachnana,

Actually, the 12 year old hasn't expressed a desire to see him. She sees him when he avails himself and I can get her there. She is happy enough to go along with it, but I don't see her instigating plans. He came by the other day to pick up some stuff and I had to go upstairs to get her to come down and say hello.
Oh sorry I thought you had said she was interested in seeing her Dad because some of friends visit their Dads on the weekends. You did say she was not interested in overnights.
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  #18  
Old 02-19-2014, 08:09 PM
MS Mom MS Mom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DowntroddenDad View Post
Custody and Access are two different issues.

Custody is about decision making. You have to prove he isn't competent to make parenting decisions, most of which would be joint decisions with you anyway. You haven't presented anything relevent to that.
Competency and interest are two completely different things. Your ex may be perfectly 100% capable of making a parenting decision of any kind. It doesn't mean that they won't stall the decision-making process to the point where it's hurting the child. Just because they are capable, doesn't make them reasonable. A bad ex can make joint custody a complete nightmare.

I've just waited over a week to hear back from the disinterested ex with joint custody on braces for our daughter. And the answer. "I do not have the funds for this. It is not necessary." I only wonder if he brushed his permanent retainer and looked at his old braces when he typed his well-thought out and considerate response? He hasn't seen the child in over 2 years and is 2500km away, so he's pretty much the expert on what she needs and doesn't need.

I think the OP is a little stunned by a sudden interest from a formerly disinterested party. She equates this to his new marriage, I'm sure that's down to timing. If X happens at the same time as Y, one can connect those dots quite easily.
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  #19  
Old 02-19-2014, 08:13 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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you do realize that most likely your ex will argue that the dad of the 20yr old should be paying support etc for that child/adult? Just something you should prepare for.
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  #20  
Old 02-19-2014, 08:25 PM
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arabian arabian is offline
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OP you will have your work cut out for you with the financials but I'm sure you're up to the task.

Many people don't have the analytical skill set to present the documentation in a logical, concise manner.

Remember to instruct your lawyer - not the other way around. Do not give the lawyer free reign to write letters on your behalf. Make sure the lawyer provides you with a detailed monthly invoice.

Focus on the process and perhaps ask your lawyer for an outline so you have an idea of the steps and time-line.
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