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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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  #1  
Old 06-20-2009, 07:02 PM
sophiejay43 sophiejay43 is offline
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Question Help! Many Questions!

Hi,
I am new to these forums. At the beginning of March this year, I left my husband and moved into an apartment. We have 2 children, son, aged 8 (9 in Sept) and daughter, aged 15. Since I moved, we have been alternating weeks Sun-Sun with the kids. We only moved 10 km away so I agreed to keep our son in same school until the end of the current school year.
I have lived in Nova Scotia for 20 years with my husband, however it has never felt like home. I am originally from British columbia. I desperately want to go home. I have no family here for support and I want to return to the one place where I have ever felt like I belonged. I knew that my husband would never let me leave with the kids, as he has repeatedly told me this over the years. I thought long and hard about this and decided that if I wasn't happy, my kids wouldn't be happy either when they were with me. I brought up the idea of moving to my husband and he said what I had predicted and I said that I would be willing to leave my son with him provided I could have him on Boxing day for 8 days, March break and 6 weeks when school let out for summer break. Automatically, I was a very bad person because I could consider leaving my children.
I made him a proposal which he of course shot down.
These are my questions:

If I move home, I realize I will be responsible for child support, however will I be solely responsible for access costs? My husband says it's my problem because I will be the one moving. On my current income, that would be one paycheque to cover CS and plane tickets. That is very unrealistic. The one lawyer I consulted said that due to the high access costs, I could probably have CS reduced. I don't feel I should be punished for my whole life because I can't feel at home in NS. My husband cares nothing for the sacrifices I have made by living here. He has never in our 20 years together been to where I come from.

I am not happy with the current arrangement of alternating weeks. It may work for him, but I don't feel it is helping our kids, particularily our son. We are in the process of getting him tested to see if he has ADD. I was diagnosed last year. Next month he has an appt with a pediatrician. My husband is totally in denial. I asked him point blank yesterday what he would do if they diagnosed our son with Attention Deficit Disorder. He said he wouldn't listen and that there is nothing wrong with him. He always says he is just bored in school and daydreams...what kid doesn't?
I have a real problem with his whole attitude. I don't make this stuff up. He is in grade 3 and each year it has been getting worse. His grade 2 teacher met with me last May for 2 hours and we talked and he recommended that my son get tested. I broached the subject with my husband and he flipped. No way was his son going on drugs. That isn't my intention at all! I take medication but I am also 43 years old. I just want my son to get the necessary help he needs. Why should he get punished for things if he can't control himself?

I have decided to do nothing further until after this appointment, however if my husband learns there is a problem and still refuses to acknowledge it, then there is no way my son is living full time with him! Not even 50/50. I have been those children's primary caregiver their whole lives for the most part. Mornings, bedtimes, baths, appts, extracurricular activities, parent teacher mtgs, etc. have always been my responsibility. There have been times when I was a stay at home mom with my second child, however I have been working full time for the past 2 years, with the exception of time off for health reasons. I had breast cancer, had 2 surgeries and radiation treatment. Whether I was working or not, the responsibilities were still mine.
My doctor thinks that I should go for primary physical custody and request to move home with my children. She said due to the fact that I have no family here, I have a strong case. I hear such differing stories on this point, though. It has only been since I moved out that my husband has all of a sudden become this 'super dad'. He has everything and I have nothing. He is making me look bad because I have a harder time with the kids. Well, it is easy for him when nothing has changed. They still have their house, their friends and neighbours, a new pool, new toys and games, new clothes, he bought a new laptop for himself and just yesterday, he added a puppy to the mix. He is buying his children. He is making all the rules and expects me to sit by and watch. He pays me 250 /mo CS at the moment and I sought legal advice and I was advised to seek a min of 40k for division of assets. I instead told him I only wanted 20k and instead of paying CS to him I would put aside 400/mo in a travel fund, I would buy them laptops with webcams and mics, so we could communicate whenever they wanted. He flatly refused to pay me any money and said he will spend everything in court fighting me. Only the kids will lose then.

So, my dilemna is do I try to get 10k which is enough to get what I need to move and I have a place to stay with family already, and get myself settled, get a job and then fight him for custody? Or do I stay and fight for half of everything AND full custody and the right to move? He seems to think I should be the only one to suffer or have any change in my life as a result of our marriage ending because it was my decision. I can't afford lawyers. I can't afford anything right now. I make too much for legal aid, apparently. So I am screwed. I could really use some feedback.

Thank you.
  #2  
Old 06-21-2009, 12:19 AM
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billm billm is offline
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My short answer is this - you want to suddenly change everthing in your childrens and ex's life for the sole proposed benifit of yourself (there is no guarantee that you will be happy when you move back home). I don't think you have the moral right, nor the legal right to end shared custody, and to separate your children from their father.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
...we have been alternating weeks Sun-Sun with the kids. We only moved 10 km away so I agreed to keep our son in same school until the end of the current school year.
That sounds great (though I presonally like my schedule of two days on, two days off, and every other weekend - a week is too long to be apart for many reasons I feel).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I have lived in Nova Scotia for 20 years with my husband, however it has never felt like home. I am originally from British columbia. I desperately want to go home.
I can understand that, but keep in mind that the other 3 members of your family all think of NS as home. Do you wish for your kids to feel the way you do? Rock and a hard place I suppose, but your kids will be adults in 9 years - you can live anywhere then! Yes 9 years is a long time, but kids come first when you are a parent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I thought long and hard about this and decided that if I wasn't happy, my kids wouldn't be happy either when they were with me.
This is some pretty self serving logic and a weak argument that you have to move, move the kids, and separate them from their father, friends, and the area they grew up in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I would be willing to leave my son with him
Isn't breaking up the parents bad enough? Breaking up the kids too only makes it worse - I really can't agree with this idea of separationg the kids too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I made him a proposal which he of course shot down.
No kidding, what parent wouldn't???

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
If I move home, I realize I will be responsible for child support, however will I be solely responsible for access costs?
Technically yes, I think you should be responsible for this cost as there is no reason for the move other than for you own reasons. Practically I would think it would be reasonable that he absorb some of the costs. This is a big cost and it will take away fom the fincancial assets available for the kids and their parents. I don't agree with the move, but if it happened, then he should aborb some of the cost, but certainly the significant portion should be yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
The one lawyer I consulted said that due to the high access costs, I could probably have CS reduced.
Which means that the kids suffer financially.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I don't feel I should be punished for my whole life because I can't feel at home in NS.
Again, your kids and ex ARE at home in NS - suck it up, the grass is as green as you make it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
My husband cares nothing for the sacrifices I have made by living here.
Sacrifice - what sacrifice? You made your bed, you're an adult, you made the decisions that got you to have a family in NS, don't blame him!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I have a real problem with his whole attitude. I don't make this stuff up.
You diagree, I see your concern about ADD, but recognzie that men/women usually act differently when it comes to these things. I am sure that both of your attitudes and view points will change as you learn more about your son. Respect his input and parenting wishes as you wish he would of yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
if my husband learns there is a problem and still refuses to acknowledge it, then there is no way my son is living full time with him! Not even 50/50.
That makes sense to me. If you have different views about something you feel strongly about, then it make sense that you want to be as involved as possible in raising the child.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
Not even 50/50.
I don't think ADD is a sufficent reason for him to loose custody. I wouldn't worry about it, your ex will probably come around and you will both learn to deal with your son effectively if you cooperate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I have been those children's primary caregiver their whole lives for the most part. Mornings, bedtimes, baths, appts, extracurricular activities, parent teacher mtgs, etc. have always been my responsibility.
Yes, but now that the marriage is over things have changed - your ex is now stepping up to the plate to be an equal care giver as most loving, dedicated, parent would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
My doctor thinks that I should go for primary physical custody and request to move home with my children. She said due to the fact that I have no family here, I have a strong case.
If you had a lawyer, would you ask her for medical advice? I don't think being a doctor gives them any more weight then any friend or relative - they will still most likely tell you what you want to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
It has only been since I moved out that my husband has all of a sudden become this 'super dad'. He has everything and I have nothing. He is making me look bad because I have a harder time with the kids. Well, it is easy for him when nothing has changed. They still have their house, their friends and neighbours, a new pool, new toys and games, new clothes, he bought a new laptop for himself and just yesterday, he added a puppy to the mix. He is buying his children.
Wow, he sounds great, the children are lucky to have him - what are you so upset about? I get it, it is a difficult thing for you, living well is the best 'revenge', but this really makes you sound bitter and jealous - you left him, so let him be a 'super dad' and you be a 'super mom' and the kids will be happy and have two great parents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
He is making all the rules and expects me to sit by and watch.
Ah no, he simply wants the rules to say they way they have always been, the rules you and he made together while having a family. It is you that wants to make all the rules, he is just trying to follow the old ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I was advised to seek a min of 40k for division of assets. I instead told him I only wanted 20k and instead of paying CS to him I would put aside 400/mo in a travel fund,
I don't agree with this concept. You should get exaclty have off all marital assets and debts, you should pay CS according to each of your incomes and your custody arrangement, and you should not move if you want to retain some custody, but if you do then you should pay the lion's share (no pun intended) of the travel costs. These are all separate issues and I never understand why people try to negotiate one point by bringing others. Keep it simple will help keep it fair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
I would buy them laptops with webcams and mics, so we could communicate whenever they wanted.
You are not the first to suggest webcams as a parenting substitue - I couldn't disagree more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
He flatly refused to pay me any money and said he will spend everything in court fighting me. Only the kids will lose then.
He does not want to negotiate on losing custody of his kids and a lot of parents would fight with all they've got (some of them are in this forum) to retain their right to raise their own children. If you force him to do this, yes all will lose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
So, my dilemna is do I try to get 10k which is enough to get what I need to move and I have a place to stay with family already, and get myself settled, get a job and then fight him for custody?
Everyone will tell you here that you can't fight custody that way. If you leave, you will have a very hard time winning custody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
Or do I stay and fight for half of everything AND full custody and the right to move?
I would hope that you have no chance at full custody or to move. And if that is true your best solution is to stick with what you have (50/50 custody), split the assets and debts equally, finish raising your children in NS, keep your kids together, embrace that the kids have a good dad and want to be with him as they do you, and then move back to BC when the youngest finishes high school.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sophiejay43 View Post
He seems to think I should be the only one to suffer or have any change in my life as a result of our marriage ending because it was my decision.
Yes, he probably does! I am sure he does not want change nor to suffer. I am sure the kids don't want change nor to suffer. So that just leaves you - would you be more content if they all suffered too? You really feel sorry for yourself - stop it!


I am a straight shooter and I probably could have put this in a more suppotive way however I really really don't get why you can even consider this disruptive idea of moving to BC while your kids are young, of possibly splitting up your kids, of possibly being away from your kids, or of forcing them to be away from their father. I hope for their sake you reconsider and finally accept that you live in NS, that is 'home' (as your kids think it is), and you have no practical choice other than to make the best of it while you raise your kids.

Last edited by billm; 06-21-2009 at 12:32 AM.
  #3  
Old 06-22-2009, 01:37 PM
HatesCheaters HatesCheaters is offline
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I think that billm is right on the money with his reply. You need to start thinking more about how this impacts your children and less about yourself. Just as a side note, I was amazed when I read your post because you use the word "I" seventy-three times.

You have the right to end your marriage at anytime but to disrupt your children's lives by splitting up the children or separating them from their loving father because you are not "happy" in your current location is self serving at best.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:17 PM
sophiejay43 sophiejay43 is offline
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Excuse me, but as I was the one doing the talking, of course I used "I" in my post. I tried to respond twice yesterday to BillM's comments, but both times, I lost them. If I have time tonight I will respond properly to his comments. I need to clarify some points. It's been an emotional weekend and I tend to ramble and get off topic. Nothing has been decided or we haven't even done a separation agreement. I'm sorry if I came off sounding selfish. I guess if I had no other details, I would think the same thing.
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Old 06-22-2009, 04:53 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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I realize that it is hard not to have family where you live right now. Like billm said, NS is home the kids and the only home etc that they have known. To rip them away from that is something that should be looked at carefully. Did you always feel this way (not at home in NS) or is it just a recent thing? Could you get some counselling to see why you feel this way? Maybe a trip to BC once a year would help you with your feelings? Do your relatives visit you in NS?

You have been through a lot of health issues that would knock anyone down and make them feel depressed. Could this be the root of your feelings?

How do the kids feel about Dad living in NS and you maybe living in BC? It is not like it is just down the street. Have the kids expressed that they wish to move with you or stay with Dad or do they get a choice at all? The biggest question is that if the kids move with you, if they feel like you do now would you be willing to move back to NS for them? I take it they have no idea of your wish to move at this point?

Does the ex have family in NS?

I really hope that you can work this out so that everyone is sort of happy. There is no way that everyone will be happen but with talking and comprimise you hopefully will work things out.

By the way, I think any parent would fight against their kids being taken so far away from them. Kids deserve both parents in their lives and maybe once they are older you could move back to BC and they could either move with you or visit.
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Old 06-24-2009, 06:22 PM
malvina malvina is offline
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Personally, I see only 2 outcomes here. It's either staying and fighting for a full custody, or moving away and loosing custody. If you want your kids to be a part of your life, borrow 10K and retain the lawyer ASAP. If you're desperate to leave, go but you will loose the kids because your ex will turn them against you if they stay with him. How about this - you get a full custody, stay in NS and go with kids to BC for 2 months in summer to visit your family?
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