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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 12-22-2008, 12:58 AM
Duped Duped is offline
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Default Question for a friend...

Hi all!

Here is the low down, a friend of mine got a call from his ex girlfriend the other night and she wants to meet her daughters after being out of the picture for 11 years, the daughters two of them don't know this woman as they were too young to remember her. Going back a bit, when she left, she was just going out for some smokes and never returned. After about 3 months, my friend filed for custody of his daughters and was awarded a temporary order for sole custody with regular access for the mother who never showed up for court or contacted anyone. 11 years has gone by, friend is married, has several children, girls consider mom to be the woman that raised them for the last 11 years and not this woman that claims to be their mother.

My buddy wants to know if there is any legal avenues he should pursue or look into.

I would think that this would be some form of abandonment and since the girls have been informed of the situation and want no part in it, there should really not be an issue here at all.

extra info; This is in Ontario, girls are 13 and 14, bio mom has made some threats over the phone, no contact in 11 years, not ever a card.

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Duped
  #2  
Old 12-22-2008, 06:52 AM
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IMHO the woman should leave well enough alone. The girls have bonded with their step mother. Unless there were other factors at play in the reason for no contact, then she should not be allowed to just waltz in the childrens life, the turmoil and stress would be tremendous for those kids.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:01 PM
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The children know that the step-mom is not there biological mom and they are old enough that the court would consider their views. That they have said that they want no part of the bio mom is understandable, but that could change as they digest this development.

It would be pretty easy, and legal, I think for the bio mom to initiate contact with her daughters. Hopefully the adults can agree and be reasonable with one another so as to minimize any conflict to which the kids might be exposed.

Last edited by dadtotheend; 12-22-2008 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 12-22-2008, 10:12 PM
Duped Duped is offline
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Default They know everything...

The girls know that mom is step mom and that bio mom wants to meet them after being out of picture for 11 years and they are not interested in meeting this bio mom at this point.

What legalities are involved here? Is there a standard time frame for abandonment? etc..

Thanks

Duped
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:00 PM
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The legality is that the daughters' best interest is paramount. But the legality is not cut and dried. There's no standard length of time where "abandonment" is established, as far as I know.

It's civil law. Civil law operates to arbitrate disputes between parties. It strongly encourages those parties to agree amongst themselves about what is going to happen. Judges don't want to impose these decisions based on a "tip of the iceberg" perspective.

Right now, it appears that there is nothing legally preventing bio Mom from contacting her daughters. Whether they refuse to see her regardless of bio mom's desires and/or a court order is another question.

If the matter ended up in court, the legality includes that the views of the daughters would be heard and would probably be given considerable weight by a judge. Children's view are generally heard when they turn 12 or 13.

Another legally compelling factor will be that the status quo has been operating for a very long time. If the girls are doing fine, then a judge would be unlikely to make an order that would upset their routine.

Do you want to be a judge forcing a 14 year old to see her bio mom if she doesn't want to and she's doing fine? Neither does that judge.

But it's Family Law, so it depends on the judge. Nothing is certain. If the judge is particularly bio mom sympathetic, it's conceivable that access could be ordered despite what the daughters want.

But unlikely given the situation described, IMO.

Last edited by dadtotheend; 12-22-2008 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 12-23-2008, 12:40 AM
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I wonder what threats the bio mom has made.

One thing to consider is where is her CS for the last 11 years? I assume that she has not financially supported her two children for the last 11 years.
She asked about seeing them and got an answer of no, so she should wait until the kids are adults (in their 20's). If she wants to force her way into the kids lives, make her take the responsibility of CS!
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:44 AM
Duped Duped is offline
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Default not an expert..

Thank you for the information..

While being supportive of this family I have tried to remain neutral and outside of the situation, however, to the best of my knowledge, bio mom left to be with her dealer, but no proof, no CS has been paid, and from what I have been told the threats involve having the now boyfriend a known bruiser knock a few heads and take the girls by force if necessary. I have urged my friend to take this to the police and ask for a no action file to be opened with a statement placed in it, just in case the situation escalates, he agreed but has yet to involve the police. I am certain that his hesitation is due to the overall bias against fathers within the system and his fear of having his children put through this process. For this I cannot blame him but only hope that the situation does not become too serious.

Thanks

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Old 12-23-2008, 11:24 AM
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So you're saying that the sole custodial father has been threatened with having his children kidnapped, and he hasn't been to the authorities?!?!?!?!?

And after 11 years of sole custody with an absent bio mom he's still afraid of gender bias in the family law system?!?!?!

Are you aware that the law requires anyone, including you "Duped", to inform a Childrens' Aid Society within 24 hours if children are at risk?

Something doesn't compute here.

Last edited by dadtotheend; 12-23-2008 at 11:36 AM.
  #9  
Old 12-24-2008, 02:15 AM
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Wow, this is really serious.

Tell your friend to start taking notes, and to record any conversations with ex or boyfriend.

It seems that the best place for the kids is away from their mother forever.

After his significant sole custody and her abandonment, and her assumed inability to represent herself in a decent manner, I think your friend is on very very solid ground. Also, she does not seem like the type to go to court over this.
  #10  
Old 12-25-2008, 01:26 PM
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Default Just an update..

Merry Christmas everyone,

Was just visiting at my friends, police have been involved, restraining order is in process, and perhaps other things too. All is well and information has been passed on, thank you to all that contributed.

Happy holidays and stay safe,

Duped
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