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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 06-21-2006, 07:08 AM
jlalex jlalex is offline
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Default Worried he's going to take the kids again....

Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I've posted, but I still lurk around reading posts. Quite a while back I posted a question regarding my oldest son going to live with his father. I'll try to give a brief history...my ex and I seperated when the kids were 6 yr and 2.5 yrs old. My ex didn't want the seperation but it just wasn't working and there was no future for our relationship. We had gotten together very young and as so often happens we grew apart it in our values and future goals. Anyhow, he was pretty angry and upset and decided to take the kids, move an hour away and never let me see them again. After a short but extremely intense custody battle I got my kids back despite him trying to everything to proove I was a horrible unift parent, he even called CAS and any other nasty thing to say or do to keep the kids from me. Long story short the court didn't buy, CAS didn't buy it and he revealed a side of him I never thought existed.

So cutting to the chase, more than 7 years has gone by, and it was very hard at first but we've remained civil and now can have regular and easy going conversations about the kids, though he has had minimum involvment with his kids, nothing more than every 2nd weekend and a month in the summer etc.. although I've invited him to all school functions, kids birthday parties etc. This past fall he approached me with the idea of my oldest son moving in with him. He stated he was planning on buying a house. I was very uneasy about the idea but I stated if he was willing to take a more active roll in the kids lives and show he really is interested in being an every day parent I would consider it. I also put out the idea since he was buying a house might he consider living in the same city with the kids ( also the city he works in ). And if he was willing to go along with it I would even help him find a house suitable to his budget and purposes, and it would go a long way making me feel more comfortable with the idea as he works an alternating day and evening shift ( leaving as early as 5am and getting home as late as 11:30). Although my son will be starting high school in the coming fall thinking of him alone that late at night and living an hour away makes me queasy..

So he bought a house but its an hour away, and when he broached the topic again lately he said ' as far as I'm considered its a done deal', meaning he has all intent on having my son move with him. As I stated earlier he hasn't been terribly involved with the kids from day one. When he got laid off for 3 years he didn't even try to make a child support payment. My oldest son suffers from social anxiety disorder though that has been improving latley with all the work my son and I have done together. There are so many times in my sons life when he could have used his Dad to back him up and be there and he just wasn't. He doesn't even call them, and although I've offered for him to take as much time as he wants since he only works about 5 mins away from our home he hasn't taken me up on the offer.

Now that the school year is coming to a close I have a sinking feeling that he is going to take my son and not return him after his month long visit. My son goes back and forth of wanting to go, he really just wants more time with his Dad, and I've tried everything I can think of to make it happen. So what do I do if he does decide to pull an encore of our seperation. We have a custody agreement ( we are in Ontario) in which we have joint custody and primary residence with me. I know according to the order he lives with me, but what I want to know or try to prepare myself for is what do I do if he decided to completely ignore it? I don't want to hurt my son, by putitng him in the middle of a custody battle. And I can't see how taking him out of a stable, loving, supportive envirnment, away from his brother is going to do him any good. I can't see anything that would be gained by doing this that couldn't be gained if he would just take me up on my offer of extremely generous access.

Well that wasn't brief at all...lol but any advice or support would be appreciated..I tell you, I have knots in my stomach thinking about this, and to be honest I'm scared, I don't want to re-live this nightmare.
  #2  
Old 06-21-2006, 02:11 PM
Divorcemanagement Divorcemanagement is offline
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Just because he might want to change the order doesn't mean it's a slam dunk by any stretch of the imagination. First off, he is going to have to establish that a material change in circumstances has occurred that would warrant reopening the issue. Second, he is going to have to do a cost vs benefit analysis to determine if he has the money to bankroll a legal challenge, and finally, he will have to prove how changing the order is in the best interest of the child.

He has much to do, so try not to panic.
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Old 06-21-2006, 10:03 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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jlalex,

DM is right to the T. The onus is on your ex to prove a material change even before he could vary any custody order. Once this threshold is proven and demonstrated, then the best interest of the child test would apply.

Because he has purchased a house, I would not consider this to be a material change. I could be wrong but looking on the face of it, your ex has always lived somewhere. If your ex purchased a home in the same location as you this would be much different. However that is not the case.

lv
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Old 06-22-2006, 08:39 AM
jlalex jlalex is offline
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thanks you guys...thinking about the whole thing stresses me out, but I think its better to be prepared for the worst so if it does happen at least I'll know what needs to be done. I hope he and I can come to something amicable so he can see his kids more without having to uproot the whole family. I wish there was more I could do to get him involved.

Thanks for the support and advice!
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:24 PM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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jlalex,

Courts generally don't interupt the status quo living arrangement of the children, especially if everything is working out well for them.
I don't think you have too much too worry about.

lv
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