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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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  #1  
Old 07-25-2012, 05:16 PM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Default Travel to the US

Please tell me this will be a slam dunk.

We have filed a motion to get a blanket letter giving me permission to travel to the US with my children.

My ex has refused to sign it, stating he has concerns with supervision.

Some background - last Nov my ex told me that there were a few incidents that occurred while our children were in his care that made him think they may have been sexually abused. These incidents had occured almost 6 mths before this and he had neglected to mention it to me. I immediately set up counseling to have the girls evaluated but he cancelled the sessions. He called CAS who spoke to the girls and closed the file stating that they seemed to have knowledge above their age level but did not disclose any abuse or that they had been exposed to any pornography.

When I asked for permission to go to the US this year my ex said 'no way'. Hence the need for the letter. He's now trying to say that something happened while we were in the US last year which is completely impossible.

My ex has a history of attempting to interfere with my access (we share custody).

I'm hoping this motion will be a slam dunk since his 'concerns' are not based on fact.

Anyone have any experience on this subject? Do you think the judge would prevent me from traveling based on my ex's accusations?
  #2  
Old 07-26-2012, 06:18 AM
noblefather noblefather is offline
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Here's what I can say of my own experience.
1. If you seperated after the children's passports were first issued, then the US agency knows nothing about your situation. I travelled for years with my son (no letter) across the border without issue.
2. if the children's passports were issued after the seperation and the passport indicates that the child is part of a custody arrangement then its difficult to say what will happen.
My view on this matter is travel, attempt to cross the border, what's the worst that could happen - they turn you around. as long as you can indicate that you're coming back you should be fine if anyone asks you questions.
  #3  
Old 07-26-2012, 07:02 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
Please tell me this will be a slam dunk.

We have filed a motion to get a blanket letter giving me permission to travel to the US with my children.
Just to point out something that hopefully didn't get put into your supporting affidavit but "my children" brings a negative connotation. Now, I am only pointing this out to you because I have read your threads and know it was a slip of mind. Better to write "our children" or "the children" or use their names in affidavit materials.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
My ex has refused to sign it, stating he has concerns with supervision.
Concerns with supervision? You have 50-50 don't you? Do these "concerns" extend to when the children are residing with you? It is a totally bogus argument and a judge will read the riot act on that baseless allegation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
Some background - last Nov my ex told me that there were a few incidents that occurred while our children were in his care that made him think they may have been sexually abused. These incidents had occured almost 6 mths before this and he had neglected to mention it to me. I immediately set up counseling to have the girls evaluated but he cancelled the sessions. He called CAS who spoke to the girls and closed the file stating that they seemed to have knowledge above their age level but did not disclose any abuse or that they had been exposed to any pornography.
False allegations of sexual assault are very common in high-conflict situations. One would question why the allegations were raised at the time and not at the time they occurred. It is very odd and follows the "truisms" that often come with false allegations of sexual assault.

This is one of the most extreme arguments to bring forward to court and the CAS. Keep calm as you always demonstrate in my opinion (in your postings) and deal with the matter in a cogent and relevant way. The other parent may be trying to bring piles of baseless allegations against you to re-open the entire matter.

If this happens, please do post as I have piles of case law, articles and other useful materials when allegations of sexual assault that you and your lawyer can leverage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
When I asked for permission to go to the US this year my ex said 'no way'. Hence the need for the letter. He's now trying to say that something happened while we were in the US last year which is completely impossible.
This could be the straw that breaks the camels back in the other parent's custody and access to the children. The court does not look kindly on these kinds of allegations. The matter was investigated by the CAS and closed. I am sure you have a letter from CAS stating this. In response to his materials make sure you attach it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
My ex has a history of attempting to interfere with my access (we share custody).
It appears the ex may also be starting a history of false allegations in an attempt to "win" sole custody. Just a warning and personal opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
I'm hoping this motion will be a slam dunk since his 'concerns' are not based on fact.
Just be very calm cool and collected when you respond to his materials. Things will come forward that are only there to cause conflict in the affidavit materials. Carefully analyze each paragraph and respond to them. Even if it is with a blanked denial for the really irrelevant ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSAngel View Post
Anyone have any experience on this subject? Do you think the judge would prevent me from traveling based on my ex's accusations?
My personal opinion is no. In fact, if the evidence that the other parent claims is raised it will be really investigated deeply by the judge against all evidence. The oral argument of the motion probably will be a lot longer than usual or it may get moved to a long motion and if it is really wild stuff to trial to resolve.

But, based on what you have provided... CAS was involved provided a position on the "abuse" that is being claimed by the other parent. Trying to drag it into court after that is just demonstrating a fear (anxiety) that is a cognitive distortion and not based on fact.

Courts make orders on "what has happened" and not "what could happen". Making up a story about potential abuse that has already been investigated by the proper authority and closed is not the way to go forward in my opinion.

Good Luck!
Tayken
  #4  
Old 07-26-2012, 09:52 AM
Cobourg Cobourg is offline
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I requested to take our two children aged 12 and 13 at the time, over to Buffalo for a few days during the March Break. Sent the first email on Jan 4th, second on Jan 26, third on Feb 22 and last on March 6th. No responce from the first 3. Last one just said "no". Their mom has the passports in her possession so there was nothing we could do. Wanted to by a grad dress for our daughter....

Want to take the kids to North Carolina in August for a week during a prior agreed to weeks vacation
Sent the first request in May......no responce.
Got a lawyer for another matter and were in court in June where it was brought up to the judge. The previous refusals and her non responce to the latest request were brought up. The judge asked her why the refusals and non responce.....she is self represented and told the judge that three lawyers had told her not to provide the passports or consent for me to travel with them.
The judge "suggested" that she retain a lawyer and discuss the issue with them. Our next court date was scheduled for July 31. The endorsement from the June date said that upon return if the travel issue was not dealt with, he would deal with it and costs would be awarded to me.

There is no reason for us not to travel. We have Joint Custody. I have EOW and one or two overnights each week. Spit vacations etc etc. Lots of CAS and OCL involvment due to false alegations and the usual "games" that are played but nothing proven because nothing has ever happened.

As of two days ago, she has finally agreed to a consent order for travel and will provide the passports at the July 31 court date.
Nothing is ever easy or inexpensive when it comes to things like this.
I think the letters and time spent on this matter alone has cost me close to $700 in legal fees, plus the stress and anxiety.

Worth it for the kids to have a great vacation.

My opinion, follow the "rules" and eventually (hopefully) "justice" and common sense will pervail.
  #5  
Old 07-26-2012, 10:04 AM
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[QUOTE=Cobourg;101100]As of two days ago, she has finally agreed to a consent order for travel and will provide the passports at the July 31 court date.
Nothing is ever easy or inexpensive when it comes to things like this.
I think the letters and time spent on this matter alone has cost me close to $700 in legal fees, plus the stress and anxiety.[QUOTE]

Keep bills/receipts and always ask for costs!
  #6  
Old 08-02-2012, 03:47 PM
Pharah Pharah is offline
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I have had a similar experience with my ex. In 2010 while still in court, I had asked to go on a family vacation with my son and my new spouse. My ex refused to give her permission, so I entered a motion in court (at the time she was trying for sole custody). In the motion, I provided all the plans for travel, where we would be staying and who would be going (my son, my spouse and I and my parents).

In court, the Judge asked my ex why she wouldn't give her permission and she stated that she was concerned I would leave my son unattended on the beach somewhere. She sounded like a fool and the judge pointed that out saying that I was no less capable of caring for our son then she was. The judge promptly gave us a court order to travel and in the final order included that we did not need the alternate parents permission to travel with our son.

Although not all situation and judges are the same, I would think this IS a slam dunk.
  #7  
Old 08-02-2012, 03:50 PM
HappyMomma HappyMomma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pharah View Post
I have had a similar experience with my ex. In 2010 while still in court, I had asked to go on a family vacation with my son and my new spouse. My ex refused to give her permission, so I entered a motion in court (at the time she was trying for sole custody). In the motion, I provided all the plans for travel, where we would be staying and who would be going (my son, my spouse and I and my parents).

In court, the Judge asked my ex why she wouldn't give her permission and she stated that she was concerned I would leave my son unattended on the beach somewhere. She sounded like a fool and the judge pointed that out saying that I was no less capable of caring for our son then she was. The judge promptly gave us a court order to travel and in the final order included that we did not need the alternate parents permission to travel with our son.

Although not all situation and judges are the same, I would think this IS a slam dunk.
I would hope so. Did you get costs awarded for that motion? My ex agreed AFTER we did all the work for the motion (waited until the last minute) so we will be asking for costs for the work my lawyer did preparing.

I did not get the blanket consent letter I was asking for, however, I will be requesting it at the settlement conference in Sept and using his recent refusal and need to almost force a motion as evidence that I need the blanket consent. I don't want to have to raise a motion every time I want to cross the border!! As my lawyer says - I can go all the way to Vancouver but I can't cross the border to go shopping? Ridiculous.

Last edited by HappyMomma; 08-02-2012 at 03:56 PM.
  #8  
Old 08-02-2012, 04:03 PM
Pharah Pharah is offline
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My ex and I represented ourselves and in the end the judge bullied her into agreeing to a final order without trial or the judge said she would aware custody to me with EOW access for my ex. Personally, the fact that the judge said that to her was enough for me. No money award could ever be that sweet. Besides, the financial strain would have impacted my son and I didn't want that.

I would also include a request to have your final order include a release clause for the passport. Ours states that she is responsible for his Canadian passport and it's renewal but that she has to provide it upon request no later then 7 days before travel.

Last edited by Pharah; 08-02-2012 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:12 PM
Pharah Pharah is offline
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BTW, I have crossed the border with my son without his passport, using his citizenship card. Our order states that I am allowed to travel with my son without my ex's permission and a passport is not required for children at the border.

I plan on getting Nexus in the next while and that replaces the need for passports when traveling to the US. Just something to keep in mine when you are working on your requests for settlement.
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Old 08-02-2012, 04:23 PM
Cobourg Cobourg is offline
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As an update....on Tuesday, while in court for another matter, the consent to travel was signed by all parties. The judge was not impressed that my ex requested the consent order and informed her that costs would be reserved in the matter and this had better not happen again. There is no reason that I should not be able to travel with our children.
The passports were handed to me and now I have noticed that they need to be renewed in November. She has "control" of the passports so I assume that she should have them renewed as a matter of coarse......but that might be wishful thinking.....
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