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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 01-22-2015, 12:31 PM
momofonegreatboy momofonegreatboy is offline
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Default Sole Custody with 50/50 access?

Hello,

I am self representing and having to educate myself on all aspects of the law (with some legal consultations). One of the questions that came up was can you ask for sole custody without having to change the 50/50 access schedule? We have been on a week on/week off schedule for almost two years now.

I'm in a high conflict co-parenting situation. I don't necessarily want to ask for our son to spend less time at dad's. I do want more decision making as we cannot agree on the simplest of things. Dad refused a settlement meeting and many attempts for mediation. There is a power imbalance and a communication breakdown.

Thanks,
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  #2  
Old 01-22-2015, 12:45 PM
Links17 Links17 is offline
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A lot of other options - one of you makes decisions for health, one for education.

Asking for sole custody in of itself while sharing 50/50 residency is kind of crazy IMO.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:47 PM
OntarioMomma OntarioMomma is offline
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There are some other options like Links suggested.

But the long and short of it is, yes, sole custody with 50/50 access is a possibility.
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:49 PM
dad2bandm dad2bandm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
...can you ask for sole custody without having to change the 50/50 access schedule? We have been on a week on/week off schedule for almost two years now...

...I'm in a high conflict co-parenting situation. I don't necessarily want to ask for our son to spend less time at dad's. I do want more decision making as we cannot agree on the simplest of things...
You can ask for anything you want - but it doesn't mean it's a good idea, or that you will get it. I can't see how you would get sole-custody, if Dad has 50/50 access now, since that would seem to indicate that Dad isn't a "bad" Dad, or unfit parent.

I can't remember your past postings off-hand, but weren't you originally against the other parent having 50/50, and issues with the ex meeting a new woman, etc? And I remember a bunch of moves happening, that your ex didn't agree with?
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:57 PM
momofonegreatboy momofonegreatboy is offline
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Dad unilaterally changed to the 50/50 access two years ago and I didn't fight back as he is a good dad. My concerns were that dad moved in with gf of a few mths, prego with twins and I was requesting six more mths for our son to adjust first before entering into a 50/50 schedule. The issue is not that he is an unfit dad, the issue is that he is blinded by anger and hostility and unable to communicate/co-parent. According to him, his home is the primary home and that's final. Every decision he makes is one to make my life difficult and impacts my son, because I left him...even after four years. I realize that getting sole custody will be difficult however, I have attempted to find resolution with him with no real success.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:10 PM
Beachnana Beachnana is offline
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What sort of decisions impact your life? Jointly you must agree on school, health issue, religion. He is with you 50% of the time, so exactly what is impacting your life so bady?

Is your son happy with the 50/50 split? Is he doing well? What is the significance of the definintion of the primary home?

Just seems a little vague
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:31 PM
The Iceberg The Iceberg is offline
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You said you want full legal custody but no physical. If your ex is not capable of decision making and you have proof that he messed up more than once by making wrong decisions which had a bad impact on your son then you can look for full legal custody where only you make decisions and have final word when it comes to anything especially heaalth care, school, trips etc.
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Old 01-22-2015, 01:31 PM
momofonegreatboy momofonegreatboy is offline
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i.e Dad wants to change our son's school to be closer to his home. Dad has challenged psychological testing for our son, recommended by school. Dad will overrule eye specialist I've booked to only 'find a better one'.

My relationship with my son is sabotaged by his dad's behaviours (booking important events on my weekend and making me look like a horrible person should I say no to my son who's the messenger.)

My son wants what is fair but mostly, he wants his mom and dad to be friends and not be in constant conflict. He was deeply affected by mom and dad not being able to agree on a Christmas schedule (sent dad a proposed schedule with dad having xmas & NY this year as I had him last year and dad did not respond for 3weeks- I went ahead with my proposed schedule. Dad waited till the last minute to announce that he wants to stick to week on/week off therefore all xmas plans were cancelled for our family.

I'm not convinced that sole custody would make co-parenting conflicts go away however, I'm at a loss. As I've said, he has refused mediation on numerous accounts. I need a judge to make a decision for us. Life as is cannot continue like this. It is not in son's best interest.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:06 PM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momofonegreatboy View Post
Dad unilaterally changed to the 50/50 access two years ago and I didn't fight back as he is a good dad. My concerns were that dad moved in with gf of a few mths, prego with twins and I was requesting six more mths for our son to adjust first before entering into a 50/50 schedule. The issue is not that he is an unfit dad, the issue is that he is blinded by anger and hostility and unable to communicate/co-parent. According to him, his home is the primary home and that's final. Every decision he makes is one to make my life difficult and impacts my son, because I left him...even after four years. I realize that getting sole custody will be difficult however, I have attempted to find resolution with him with no real success.
The fact that the ex moved in with their new partner and that the new partner is pregnant is none of your business. You may have wanted to create some sort of 6 month time frame for the ex to introduce their new partner to the child, but that isn't your choice to make. You would look quite bad if you tried to use this as evidence of poor decision making in court.

What you ex says about "primary home" is irrelevant. They can say that until they are blue in the face, but the fact remains the child has two homes. You just have to learn to ignore these sorts of comments.

The ex should not schedule activities for the child on your parenting time without your prior consent. Should you be advised that the ex has, you send them an email reminding them that it is your parenting time, and that decisions relating to activities during that time are yours to make. That should the ex become aware of an activity on your parenting time they should seek your consent prior to confirming to the activity, as you would do if roles were reversed.

Should your ex use the child as the messenger and drop it on you last minute, you tell your child that the ex should've asked you first to see if it is ok. That they could've easily emailed you to let you know about but didn't so you made other plans. Console the child, and then send the ex an email respectfully requesting that they email you to seek your consent to activities on your time in future. That they may not be aware of activities you have already planned and such actions may create conflicts which are not in the child's best interests. That you will continue to advise them of activities you have become aware of on their time and seek their consent prior saying yes or no to the activity, and respectfully request the same courtesy in return.

As for changing the school, because you have joint custody all you have to do is say "no", in writing. Simple as that. Should the ex continue, you have your lawyer send an angry lawyer letter advising that you don't consent, that they cease and that they desist their efforts to make the change. CC the school board/school. The ex should file a motion if they have real reason to change schools. But changing custody to sole won't change what the "ex" wants to do.

Quote:
I'm not convinced that sole custody would make co-parenting conflicts go away
It likely won't make a difference and, based off of what I see here, your chances aren't good. You will need to show how changing the custody arrangement is in the child's best interests. Giving you final say may make your life somewhat simpler, but is it in the child's best interests to demote the other parent to little more than a person you may or may not consult?

There are other ways to solve this and changing custody likely won't give you the peace you seek.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:19 PM
stripes stripes is offline
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I would think that sole custody with 50/50 residence would make your situation worse, not better. What if you had custody and made a decision about health or education or anything else, and Dad just decided not to pay attention to it during the 50% Kid was with him? If Dad is determined that he knows best, a piece of paper saying you have sole probably won't change his attitude or behavior as long as he has Kid half the time. And attempting to change to sole will certainly make matters worse with Dad, at least in the short term.

It sounds like you've got an ex who is an argumentative jerk, not an ex who is incapable of making decisions on behalf of Kid. As you say he's a good dad even though he is a jerk - so your best bet would be to find a way to communicate better with Dad. Other posters here have suggested options.

(Another possibility - Dad may become more reasonable once his own situation [girlfriend moving in, twins on the way] becomes more of the "new normal". Many of us deal with exes who are difficult jerks when they're under stress in their lives, but are easier to deal with when they're not undergoing life changes at the same time).
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