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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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Old 02-08-2011, 10:20 AM
formyGirls formyGirls is offline
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Smile Any experience admitting video statements?

Hello everyone, this is my first post, even though I have been following the site for over a year now. I will try to give a quick synopsis of my situation and then my question...

Separated July/08, she moved out. She served me with divorce application in late December/08, she is represented, I am self-rep. I returned my answer within 30 days (late January), served it on her myself pursuant to rules... then the trouble starts, lol...

I am contacted by police that night, she told them "I threatened her that if she didn't sign papers on the spot I would have kids taken away" (statement included in occurrence report) Anyway, I fortunately videotaped the service of the papers, more worried that she would deny that I had served them within the 30 days. I tell the police about the video, they do nothing, just asking that we keep things civil and use lawyers as much as possible. No police follow up to obvious mischief charges on her part. I let it slide.

On Easter weekend, when I have my girls (interim custody set at me having every other weekend- she would not allow any more than that), she finds out I have a new girlfriend. Shortly after that, I get more acquainted with the police and gain a better understanding of their (lack of) function in the justice system. Every other visitation for the next while, I get a call from them.

First, even though the temp. access was set at every other weekend, return at 4 pm Sunday, we had always practiced 7 pm instead, with me frequently taking the girls to my parents for dinner those days. She texts me at 3:30 saying she hopes the girls are enjoying the day, and I reply that they are at my parents with me. Then she calls at 5:35, in the middle of dinner, talks to my 6 year old, tells her she will see her soon- everything appears normal. I return the girls to mom at 6:55, police sitting in front of her house, she has told them she couldn't get ahold of me all day, I am 3 hours late dropping them off etc. I offer police my cell phone to prove otherwise, again they do nothing except fill out occurrence report.

Next, I get caught coming back from Toronto on the day the G20 left (Gardiner closed westbound)- ended up an hour and a half late returning the girls. Contacted their mom before I was late, kept her updated frequently along the way, she calls police anyway.

Approaching end of June, I let stbx know I am having trouble getting paid from a client, ask if she could hold off cashing cs cheque for a few days- not long. She agreed, no problem (via text message this conversation occurred). She immediately cashed cheque anyhow, then goes to police claiming I gave her cheque on a garnisheed account (of which I have and had none at the time) - completely fabricated story- trying to create problems. Again, clearly public mischief, but no police follow up.

Come July, she asks me to take the girls for a week because her babysitter is on vacation - I jump at the chance, and end up having the girls for 9 days straight And of course, on their return, she informs me I will be missing my next access because she has booked a vacation on my weekend. I tell her politely that we will stick to what is in writing, due to her constant involvement of the police. Guess what? Later that night, I am arrested for uttering threats, again a complete fabrication, going to trial this spring.

Anyhow, long and short of it, my stbx is a pathological liar, I have tons of proof through emails, and the video of me serving her the answer in January. In her statement to police, she contradicts statements made in family court documents several times, as well as other occurrence reports. --> MY QUESTION (finally, lol!) Has anyone had experience in getting a "victim" video statement admitted as evidence in their family court proceedings? I know I cannot copy or show this material to anyone except a lawyer working on my behalf, but wondering if anyone has had a similar experience getting these statements admitted.

Stbx and her lawyer are trying to use all these occurrence reports (and multiple CAS reports now) to block or restrict my access to supervised visits only... I would like the judge to make an order to local police to provide copies of this "victim" statement to both parties for use as evidence in the family court matters- looking for advice as to wording, and experience anyone might have with this.

Oh, as well- I am struggling with whether to pursue with the police why they have not charged her with mischief- the grounds have been clearly satisfied. I am hesitant because I have always taken the higher ground in this divorce, and am trying to do what is best for the kids at the end of the day- me having her charged is just going to create a bigger rift between us, but at the same time, something has to be done to stop her from all these false allegations. Opinions gladly accepted!

Thanks, and sorry for the long first post!
  #2  
Old 02-08-2011, 11:22 AM
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It's your ass or hers so do what you need to do to protect yourself from being dragged through the mud and having your visitation affected if she does manage to get one of these false claims to stick. Karma's a bitch that way, make your inquiry to the police and let karma do the rest.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:51 AM
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Wow, you Ex is worst than mine!

It is obvious that you cannot trust her at all and I would not give her any leeway at all. She certainly is not giving you any. Avoiding confrontation and being extra kind only backfired in my situation and my children are suffering for it. Let’s not let this happen to you.

For the video (or audio). AFTER they make a relevant claim you counter with written transcripts of the conversation, meetings and perhaps sparse commentary as well as serving the other party with the transscripts along with a copy of the audio/video. Don't use it until you need it as a defence in court.

You need to get copies of the CAS reports and Police reports and I would definitely insist and be vigorous in perusing police charges with her. Otherwise the police may think it's just more paperwork that they would rather avoid and you'll look like the bad father court. Remember it’s not what you know it is what you can prove.

Be strong for your daughters.
Regarding your concern about making a bigger rift, I don't see persuing things with the police etc making the rift any bigger. It's as big as it can get.

Last edited by CycleDad; 02-08-2011 at 11:54 AM. Reason: Added rift comment at end...
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:46 PM
formyGirls formyGirls is offline
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Thanks for the quick responses... just received another letter from the third CAS investigation - "issues of neglect unverified" - would be nice if they could use less vague language, but at least now I have three letters from CAS that do not shed a negative light on myself, despite all the allegations. BTW, first cas report- youngest (almost 3) goes home with diaper rash after having severe diarrhea from cold she came to me with. Second was my oldest (7) had a dirty bum when stbx picked her up from grandma's (stbx's mom) where she was dropped off at the end of my access - cas cleared me after oldest said it happened at grandma's, not my house. Third cas was my oldest cut her toe (minor- no stitches or emerg) while with me, I bandaged it up nicely and she was happy as could be- not an issue. Stbx blows it out of proportion, calls cas, and I am finally cleared of that too.

Unfortunately now, my gf and I document everything, take pictures when necessary, and generally live our lives in fear of the next allegation. We are both very honest, decent, child- centered people, and are constantly amazed how the liars, cheats and generally deceptive people can (and are allowed to) hijack the system on a whim, with little or no repercussions. My big hope is one day a judge will see through all this.... though changing their mind about the status quo will be the tough part, as always. (I only have alternating weekends right now on temp agreement, but have consistently been asking for full 50/50 week on/ week off arrangement) OCL has declined to be involved for some reason - I thought we were perfect candidates for their involvement.
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Old 02-08-2011, 01:57 PM
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Regarding the OCL they have limited resources and only take on severe cases. Kids are not in harm's way.

You will need a change in circumstance pertaining to access to change your access otherwise show somehow that the kids needs/safety are not being met. Do you have enough to go in front of a judge and change things?

Other than all this static, is she a good mother? I mean is she good with and to your children?

I would still follow up with police and get her charged. She needs to know that there will be repercussion to any false allegations.
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Old 02-08-2011, 10:14 PM
formyGirls formyGirls is offline
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I will resist the temptation to say otherwise, but my girls basically have a good mother in the sense of providing basic needs. It is the "soft" issues that are a problem.

I have real concerns with my 7 year old, who suffers from low self-esteem that mom is not helping with at all... First, she is 103 pounds at 7 years old, in a size 16 for most clothes (meaning very difficult to find age appropriate clothing for her, one size bigger and we're into teenage clothing basically). We are very careful here about eating healthy without preaching it, and the girls almost never ask for unhealthy snacks here - veggies and dip are a fav! And we are constantly going for walks/ hikes/ to the park, etc. on our weekends. She is unfortunately aware that mom has her on a diet, and exclaimed to us one day that mom is planning to buy her some toy once she lost 10 pounds. Things like that I have a hard time with. As well, we have had to buy entire wardrobes for the girls to have here- especially for my oldest, who keeps showing up with tights way too small and shirts too tight, so that her bum hangs out and belly shows, making her extremely self-conscious, especially playing with her peers. The thing that bugs me the most right now though is that she comes with filthy underwear- meaning stained badly from soiling herself previously. We make a point of changing them into "our" clothes as soon as they get here, and back into mom's when they go back. Finally, we instructed the stbx to not send clothing- nothing was being worn anyhow.

I have limited ability to take them into the doctor (weekend access only), and her lawyer, despite being ordered to do so, is in contempt for not providing me with an authorization letter giving me access to medical and school records. As well, only twice in almost 2 years now have we ever had their health cards supplied, despite having asked. I am dealing with this matter in our upcoming case conference.

I used to pick up my oldest at school and my youngest at daycare - but my stbx is taking advantage of the undertaking I signed with police (due to false charges of uttering threats), which states "Visitation of children to be arranged through agreeable third party". She has made the arbitrary decision to tell the school about what is going on, and has specifically disallowed me from picking up my oldest there. I have made arrangements through a local access center to do the exchanges, but she insists on making my parents drive an hour each way to pick up my oldest from school, then my youngest from daycare, and drop them off with me a block away. This is VERY confusing to both the girls, but especially to my oldest, who I have to keep dodging questions from in regards to why Grandpa comes to pick her up now, and why I won't anymore. On the one occasion I tried to pick up my daughter from her school, the supervisor there spoke very rudely to me, and loud enough for several other staff and parents to hear... needless to say it is hard for me to be actively involved, but I put on a brave face and make sure I am at the Christmas concerts, meet the teachers, etc... just unfortunate that one person would be so focused at pushing the dad out of their kids lives, just because he is asking to be an equal part of it.

But these latest allegations and police activity are the most disconcerting- she is showing a real inability to separate her emotions from the needs of the children, and attempting to prevent them from having access to their father... tantamount to child abuse if you ask me.
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Old 02-08-2011, 11:29 PM
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Sounds like you have the makings of a very good case for parental alienation syndrome. Document, document, document, every incident with her, the school and the condition the children show up in.

Keep pushing for 50-50, consider counselling and a pediatric dietician/nutritionist if you haven't already. At her age you should be able to find someone to help her learn about good choices and regular activity in a very positive way that doesn't make her feel bad about the current reality and have a negative effect on her self esteem.

The whole situation sucks for you and the kids
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:19 AM
formyGirls formyGirls is offline
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Here's a hitch with getting her charged though.... she has burned every bridge in her field of work within 50 km of here, and is now back in school for a career change. The career is one that would have verrrrry little tolerance for a conviction of sorts on her record. If she has a hard time finding employment, she could claim hardship, and put the financial pressure on me even more...

Catch 22, eh?

On the other hand, it would be a first offence, and would likely get a conditional discharge or something that wouldn't remain on her record. But at least (I hope) it would send the message that she can't get away with lying to the police, etc.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:12 AM
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I think you cannot worry about that possible maybe financial hardship claim. As far as I know that only goes to extra costs to raise the children or REQUIRED debt to raise the children.

I think you need to focus your ability to be an involved parent. Her career (maybe) or her using the police to make you look bad and have possibly an excuse to 1. not give you any more time, 2. force supervised access.

Sooner or later on of the CAS or police calls will cause you problems if you don't stop this now.

Even though it is hard for me, I've learned that with an ex like yours (and mine) you can't hold back. Be fair to your children and firm with the ex. Use all possible legal means to stop the silliness.
Why not ask for time to take the daughter to the doctors? If she refuses and does not let you take her yourself, she looks like the negligent parent.
If you don’t defend yourself it looks like you are going to get steamrolled.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:04 PM
formyGirls formyGirls is offline
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That's actually a good idea to ask to take her to the doctor.... we have concerns especially about my 7 yr old's weight, and don't feel enough is being done to help with this. We are being very careful on our end, but only have 2 days in 14 to do anything about it.

I have tried to sign up for parenting classes, especially those aimed at dads, but they are few and far between, and often will not accept you unless by referral (required attendance as part of court/ crown order), or will not let you in as long as on open cas case is on the go (been happening a lot lately)... any suggestions or heard of any classes out there? I am in GTA, willing to drive almost anywhere....
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