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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 11-06-2019, 08:54 AM
Penelope753 Penelope753 is offline
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Question Lawyer recommendations

I'm new to the Ottawa area and am seeking any recommendations for the top divorce lawyers in Ottawa. I am dealing with an abusive situation (psychological, verbal, financial and emotional) and the case will absolutely become high conflict. I have to protect my very young children from this so, I am seeking the names of the top family law litigators in Ottawa. Any names or advice for this situation would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:58 AM
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Janus Janus is offline
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How much are you planning on investing in this court case? What is the upper range of what you are willing to spend?

What kind of assets are we fighting over? Do you guys own a multi-million dollar company or are you both salaried employees?

Do you have kids or is this just about money?

It does not have to be high conflict. Your ex might be a horrible person, but you can easily come to an agreement even with somebody that you absolutely despise.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:07 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Everyone says their divorce is high conflict and (almost) everyone says their ex is abusive and/or unreasonable.

You can find a junk yard dog lawyer who fights tooth and nail for everything you want but that doesn’t mean you deserve it. Plus it won’t be cheap.

Best advice is this: do some reading on family law, divorce, custody, child and spousal support. Find out what you are entitled to and what you are willing to settle for. Don’t use your kids as pawns and don’t expect your ex to fund your lifestyle indefinitely.

From there, lay out a plan for custody (don’t withhold your kids, he is their dad, you chose him to be their father, he has rights whether you like it or not) and that will help determine child support. Then look at your life and employability. Figure out if you can get a job (if you don’t have one) and what training you would need to get there.

Then start discussing the splitting of assets etc. Fighting from a place of anger and hate solves nothing and costs thousands. You may despise your ex but he is still the childrens father and should be a part of their lives.

You can find any lawyer to tell you what you want to hear and will pay them to do that bidding. What you actually want is a lawyer who will he honest and be smart about your bottom line as well as theirs. You can help with that by understanding what you are entitled to and being realistic on yours and your kids futures.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:10 PM
Penelope753 Penelope753 is offline
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I am willing to spend whatever it takes to be free and to protect the children. New things coming to light about his previous relationship where he was physically abusive to his ex and also the children, which I was completely unaware of. He has also had altercations with the daycare provider which caused termination of the children's care. I realize that most people believe their cases will be high conflict, however most people arent divorcing a person with diagnosed NPD, this is where it gets tricky in my case. I am having difficulty finding information on a legal representative who has experience nd indepth knowledge with NPD. There are no major assets a house and 2 cars , we are both working professionals and I am able to support myself on my salary, the only thing I will be fighting tooth and nail for is limited time spent with the children as the studies show increased exposure to issues related to this disorder are detrimental to children's healthy development. I also know it is very rare that there will be no contact and I accept that he has a right to be in their lives, I just want to be able to have as little as possible for the health and safety of the children. We are currently still living in the same household as I need go plan my exit safely and properly, there are beginning attempts at parental alienation tactics occurring before my eyes, conditioning almost. I am in a difficult situation and therefore need to choose my legal representation wisely- so the recommendations I am looking for is someone who has experience with high conflict, NPD situations and who will fight for my children's futures.
Any other advice on what evidence is helpful for these cases based on personal experience would be appreciated - I have text messages, emails, voice recorded threats and written journal style documentation of events. I am also attending therapy.
Any and all information would be helpful.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:31 PM
Mother Mother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
How much are you planning on investing in this court case? What is the upper range of what you are willing to spend?

What kind of assets are we fighting over? Do you guys own a multi-million dollar company or are you both salaried employees?

Do you have kids or is this just about money?

It does not have to be high conflict. Your ex might be a horrible person, but you can easily come to an agreement even with somebody that you absolutely despise.
" I have to protect my very young children"...
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:36 PM
Mother Mother is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope753 View Post
I am willing to spend whatever it takes to be free and to protect the children. New things coming to light about his previous relationship where he was physically abusive to his ex and also the children, which I was completely unaware of. He has also had altercations with the daycare provider which caused termination of the children's care. I realize that most people believe their cases will be high conflict, however most people arent divorcing a person with diagnosed NPD, this is where it gets tricky in my case. I am having difficulty finding information on a legal representative who has experience nd indepth knowledge with NPD. There are no major assets a house and 2 cars , we are both working professionals and I am able to support myself on my salary, the only thing I will be fighting tooth and nail for is limited time spent with the children as the studies show increased exposure to issues related to this disorder are detrimental to children's healthy development. I also know it is very rare that there will be no contact and I accept that he has a right to be in their lives, I just want to be able to have as little as possible for the health and safety of the children. We are currently still living in the same household as I need go plan my exit safely and properly, there are beginning attempts at parental alienation tactics occurring before my eyes, conditioning almost. I am in a difficult situation and therefore need to choose my legal representation wisely- so the recommendations I am looking for is someone who has experience with high conflict, NPD situations and who will fight for my children's futures.
Any other advice on what evidence is helpful for these cases based on personal experience would be appreciated - I have text messages, emails, voice recorded threats and written journal style documentation of events. I am also attending therapy.
Any and all information would be helpful.

May I ask you how and where your ex was diagnosed with NPD? Thanks
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:51 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope753 View Post
New things coming to light about his previous relationship where he was physically abusive to his ex and also the children, which I was completely unaware of.
Not relevant to your case.

Quote:
He has also had altercations with the daycare provider which caused termination of the children's care.
Did they press charges? If not, irrelevant.

Quote:
, however most people arent divorcing a person with diagnosed NPD,
You have an actual medical diagnosis yes? You have reported his actions to CAS and the police? You have left the home for a shelter?

Quote:
I will be fighting tooth and nail for is limited time spent with the children
You have CAS involved? The children have seen a therapist who has documented this? You have spoken to the police? You have left the home for safety?

Quote:
I just want to be able to have as little as possible for the health and safety of the children.
Unless he is deemed a threat to the children this will be moot. Your children are also HIS children and he may not be a good person but if he isn’t a threat you are out of luck. Go search iona’s posts. Her husband was physically abusive and threatened to kill her and their child. He still sees his daughter and will work up to an increased schedule. You don’t set the rules and best advice is to not go out of the gate like that.

Quote:
there are beginning attempts at parental alienation tactics occurring before my eyes, conditioning almost.
CAS? Police?

Quote:
I am in a difficult situation and therefore need to choose my legal representation wisely- so the recommendations I am looking for is someone who has experience with high conflict, NPD situations and who will fight for my children's futures.

Any other advice on what evidence is helpful for these cases based on personal experience would be appreciated - I have text messages, emails, voice recorded threats and written journal style documentation of events. I am also attending therapy.

Any and all information would be helpful.

Have you reported his behaviour to CAS or the police? You may want to contact a local women’s shelter to get some info and advice.

You also should remember two important things—who he is in this situation may be different than who is in real life. Divorce is highly charged and emotional. People say horrible things. That does not mean he will be that person with the kids going forward. Plus if he goes through some therapy and training he could manage better. My husband’s ex claimed he was emotionally abusive and had an anger management problem. In the decade I have known him he has not been this way. I have witnessed HER emotional abuse and manipulative behaviour though and we have learned (through therapy) that his responses to her were normal responses to emotional abuse.

Second thing to remember is he too could find a tough lawyer who calls you out and trashes your evidence. Which is why I saw call CAS and the shelter to get some info and possibly report abuse if present.

I am not saying I don’t believe you, I am saying that you need to get your ducks in a row and have everything you need in place to demand supervised access and therapy.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:15 PM
Penelope753 Penelope753 is offline
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I guess this is why it is so difficult for victims of domestic violence to leave. Anything other than physical abuse isnt a criminal offence, and most often people reaching out for help end up feeling worse because of the questions and advice they receive- victim blaming is very real in this scenario- and of course he will try and trash my evidence, I am not naive that he has parental rights, what I want to do is to protect my children from suffering the same physical and psychological abuse his previous child suffered from- who now refuses contact. You are right I chose to make him the father of my children because of the NPD pattern of behaviour I fell for the love bombing, then became a victim of gaslighting and fear.

That is why my question was for advice on compiling proper evidence to support my claim, there are two sides to every story and I want to be sure my side is painted as clearly as possible. Perhaps I wasnt clear earlier, I haven't even left yet because I am trying to get my affairs in order to do so safely and to protect my legal rights. Hence the question of documentation and evidence as well as some names of lawyers in the area whom I might have the best luck with getting advice and informed decision making. Thanks for your reply.
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Old 11-06-2019, 02:30 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope753 View Post
I guess this is why it is so difficult for victims of domestic violence to leave. Anything other than physical abuse isnt a criminal offence, and most often people reaching out for help end up feeling worse because of the questions and advice they receive- victim blaming is very real in this scenario- and of course he will try and trash my evidence, I am not naive that he has parental rights, what I want to do is to protect my children from suffering the same physical and psychological abuse his previous child suffered from- who now refuses contact. You are right I chose to make him the father of my children because of the NPD pattern of behaviour I fell for the love bombing, then became a victim of gaslighting and fear.



That is why my question was for advice on compiling proper evidence to support my claim, there are two sides to every story and I want to be sure my side is painted as clearly as possible. Perhaps I wasnt clear earlier, I haven't even left yet because I am trying to get my affairs in order to do so safely and to protect my legal rights. Hence the question of documentation and evidence as well as some names of lawyers in the area whom I might have the best luck with getting advice and informed decision making. Thanks for your reply.


I am not against abuse victims or attempting to shame anyone. I was emotionally abused by my parents and my husband was emotionally abused by his ex. I have had years of therapy to identify what is and isn’t abuse and how to respond and remove myself from it.

This is why I suggest you speak to experts in this field in addition to a lawyer. Judges hear the abuse line all the time. They look for facts. CAS will help you understand how to manage your situation and what you need to do “to protect (your) children”. A women’s shelter will also have good advice. As mentioned, iona is a good member to search threads from as well as Frostrated who recently dealt with severe emotional abuse and sought support from a women’s shelter.

Abuse victims are “shamed” for not doing something about it. You can talk to a therapist, support network, CAS without filing for divorce or moving out. Going straight to a lawyer is a good idea but having a parachute so to speak is even better. These organizations exist to protect victims of domestic abuse and they know what to say and do to assist you.
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:10 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope753 View Post
I guess this is why it is so difficult for victims of domestic violence to leave. Anything other than physical abuse isnt a criminal offence, and most often people reaching out for help end up feeling worse because of the questions and advice they receive- victim blaming is very real in this scenario- and of course he will try and trash my evidence, I am not naive that he has parental rights, what I want to do is to protect my children from suffering the same physical and psychological abuse his previous child suffered from- who now refuses contact. You are right I chose to make him the father of my children because of the NPD pattern of behaviour I fell for the love bombing, then became a victim of gaslighting and fear.

That is why my question was for advice on compiling proper evidence to support my claim, there are two sides to every story and I want to be sure my side is painted as clearly as possible. Perhaps I wasnt clear earlier, I haven't even left yet because I am trying to get my affairs in order to do so safely and to protect my legal rights. Hence the question of documentation and evidence as well as some names of lawyers in the area whom I might have the best luck with getting advice and informed decision making. Thanks for your reply.
Don't argue with us. Get a good lawyer- and let them help present the evidence.

Rocksan is giving good advice of being very careful about how you frame things- and even the wording around presenting your situation. Dispassionately and with facts. Although I wish I had never gone through it- my ex's absolutely batshit behaviour towards the end of our marriage, the assault and threats- and ultimately his arrest and charges are what turned my matter. And the skepticism you'll find here is that "abuse" gets thrown at dads 9 times out of 10.

I think it was Hammerdad who said to me in one of my very first posts that I had to work with my ex to set the schedule for our daughter- or else the court was going to do it for us. And I might not like that very much.

Know this- your ex might be all the things you say. But he's going to have time with his kids. Your job from here on out- is to mitigate and limit the damage he can do. That's your only job. IF your ex is everything you say- then you are the shelter in the storm for your kids. You can only do that if you are healthy. So you need to get therapy for yourself. You need to learn to deal with your ex.

I had a friend in Ottawa dealing with some of the same issues you identified, I made some inquiries for...these are some lawyers I found. I haven't dealt with any of them personally.


Marta Siemiarczuk- is the one referred to by my lawyer. https://nelliganlaw.ca/people/marta-siemiarczuk/

http://mackinnonphillips.com/lawyers/

http://vvblawyers.com/family-law/

http://www.yourlawfirm.ca/lawyers_reynolds.html

https://www.ccla-abcc.ca/members/?id=22211870 - Kerri Ross I heard is good.

Last edited by iona6656; 11-06-2019 at 03:23 PM.
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