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Common Law Issues The law regarding common law relationships is different than in cases of divorce. Discuss the issues that affect unmarried couples here.

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Old 10-01-2010, 03:22 PM
sad_dad sad_dad is offline
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Default My situation - she was arrested for domestic violence.

The mother of my children was arrested last night charged with assault with a weapon. She has gone out of town to stay with family (we're both from the same hometown, moved to Kitchener) and the children (2 and 1) are with me.

Her mother is calling me and asking me when the kids will be brought to stay with them, or if they will be coming up to stay in the apartment while I go elsewhere. I've avoided answering these questions to her thus far but she is really driving home the fact that "she misses her babies".

She is a good mother on the whole. She is saying that I called the police because I wanted her arrested, removed, imprisoned, etc. but the fact is I wanted her to acknowledge that this behavior has to stop. This is the fourth incident, the first had the police respond and I fought back, the second two times I did nothing to retaliate and just took it. This time I called because all of our previous discussions had arrived at, what I believed to be, an understanding that the behavior must end.

I'll be honest, I had no idea what would happen when I called and knowing now what is, I think I would have not. She says that her form indicates up to 5 years in prison. I suspect it will be much less as I was not severely injured.

Everything is in my name - apartment lease, primary bank account, credit cards, etc. she has a bank account that the baby bonus gets deposited in to, and that is all.

She is set to appear in court for sentencing on the 23rd or 26th (can't remember)

I've been advised by some very helpful friends that I should file an emergency temporary custody order and a restraining order, so that she does not remove the kids from our home. I've been told that if I do so, I'm essentially establishing status quo.

I should say that I don't even want to separate - I want her to seek help. Should we separate, I would love to see shared custody. She will undoubtedly move back home, however - she has no drivers license, no high school diploma, etc. and will be jumping in to welfare and relying on family to drive her around for groceries, etc.

This concerns me because we live paycheque to paycheque and with support payments, even if I live off someomes couch, I will not able to afford to drive down to see the kids.

I don't fully understand all the terms so I apologize if I have used them wrong.

My primary concerns are:

- Keeping the children in their established home. I'd rather take time of us living in this place, where the kids are comfortable, and the other party staying at someone elses for that time than see them living in the rat holes that her parents call home.

- Staying in their lives. If she moves them back home, I cannot afford to go down there and a good portion of my time with them becomes spent driving rather than being together.

At this time I am at a loss. The kids clearly want to know where mommy is. They love that I'm home, and are no stranger to me, and I am more than capable of providing for them. Yes I don't know thier routines like the back of my hand as she does, no I don't know where every piece of clothing has been stored...

It is absolutely killing me. I really wish that I never made the call. I know that it probably would have just kept happening, but at least the kids would have woke up and saw both our faces today.

Edit: I should also add, that I've asked the landlord to change the locks. My understanding is that although she has to stay away from me, if I were to go to court on Monday with my parents watching the kids, she could return, take them and then effectively hide them from me until custody is established.
  #2  
Old 10-01-2010, 03:40 PM
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blinkandimgone blinkandimgone is offline
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Technically, unless you have a custody order stating that you have custody, she could come in and take the children to visit, although I'm pretty sure she can't just up and move them out of the home right now (legally) but that doesn't mean she wouldn't anyways. She also has a right to be in the matrimonial home unless there is an order saying she isn't so you can't really have the locks changed to keep her out either.

A sticky situation for sure.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:43 PM
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Dude, you are in an abusive relationship. You did the right thing for both you AND your kids.

Do you really need your kids witnessing this stuff and growing up thinking that this sort of behaviour is a) normal and b) acceptable???? I understand the remorse, as your relationship is a huge part of life. But you have to accept the fact that this relationship is toxic and not a good environment for either you, her or your kids.

I would get a restraining order and get a court order providing you with temporary custody of the kids. Get it worded that she gets supervised custody at an access centre/facility. You can probably go down to the court house and speak to either duty counsel or the Family Law Information Centre and they will help you. If you are low income, you may qualify for legal aid.

I commend you for wanting to fight for the relationship. If you are going to fight for the relationship, I wouldn't open that door until you both have gone to counselling, initially separately so you can understand you were abused and learn coping mechanisms, she can learn some anger management techniques, after that then you both go to couples counselling.

I also commend you on wanting to share custody as it is important that both parents be involved with their children. Just be sure that this isn't guilt speaking. Be sure to protect them, as they are what is most important.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:49 PM
sad_dad sad_dad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
Technically, unless you have a custody order stating that you have custody, she could come in and take the children to visit, although I'm pretty sure she can't just up and move them out of the home right now (legally) but that doesn't mean she wouldn't anyways. She also has a right to be in the matrimonial home unless there is an order saying she isn't so you can't really have the locks changed to keep her out either.

A sticky situation for sure.
I'm still waiting to hear from the detective, but her mother said that the cops told her she "can't come around". It's very vague. I've read that the conditions are such that she can't come to the house or near me.

It's a rental - I'm the only one on the lease. If she has a "right" to enter that seems odd, since any damages she does (there's a hole in the wall from another episode) are mine to fix.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:51 PM
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I'm pretty sure that even if it's only your name on the lease, if you're married and it is the matrimonial home she can enter. Unless there is an order syaing she cannot come into the home or a restraining order that would prevent her form coming in when you're there.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:53 PM
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For this purpose common law == married?
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sad_dad View Post
For this purpose common law == married?
No, common law does not have the same matrimonial home entitlements as married.

Anyway, notwithstanding that, you should be obtaining a temporary restraining order in order to prevent her from showing up at your apartment and taking the kids. Right now there is no custody order, so each of you have equal entitlement to the kids and can take them at your leisure. It would be a bad idea for her to do this, as your place is the children's home, but nothing is stopping her.

All she needs to do is be released, and in an attempt to spite you, take the kids and then you are fighting the battle to get them back.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:00 PM
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If it comes to that, though - should I let them go? By that I don't mean stop her from taking them, but rather not take them back. If she shows up here between now and Monday, should I just let her take the kids out of town and then go down and attempt to obtain the custody/restraining orders?
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sad_dad View Post
I really wish that I never made the call. I know that it probably would have just kept happening, but at least the kids would have woke up and saw both our faces today.
Don't have 2nd thoughts now. If she assaulted you with a weapon - the next time you don't call could be the time that your kids never see your face again.

You need to decide if this is the kind of life that you want for them. My opinion is absolutley under no circumstances would I want my children around violence of any kind. I think that it is time to get your life together and make it healthier for you and your children. Can you find a place to live that could be the primary residence for your children? Take care of their needs - housing, school, nutrition, clothing etc. Wether you have sole, joint, shared custody, you will need to take care of these things for your children. Listen to your friends and file an emergency custody order.

If you and the mother should wish to get back together I would advise keeping away from one another until you have both had plenty of counselling to help you cope with your issues.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:26 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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I was a victim of domestic violence, for years. I never reported it. I pretended it wasn't happeneing, or wasn't that bad etc. You are in shock and denial, but you are being forced to make a decision...not the best circumstances for sure.

Coming from your shoes...PROTECT YOUR KIDS! Go down and get the restraining order, temporary custody and exclusive possession of the home. You NEED it, she ASSAULTED you, and many times from what you said.

If you want to work things out, have shared custody etc later, then you can do that, but you being a man means you have less negotiating power. Take advantage of what little you have right now and get your family SAFE and SETTLED. Down the road, when she's gotten help and you have gone through counselling, you might be able to save your relationship, but today you have to protect yourself. If she's crossed the threshold to assualt, it's very hard to go back.

You've been a "nice guy" for too long, it's time for you to put your kids and yourself first. Trust me, I'm a woman and by not reporting it, the cards got stacked against me. Don't lose this opportunity because you'll never get it back.
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