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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 05-15-2011, 01:38 PM
cbehrens cbehrens is offline
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Default Common-law with children and may be locked out

The house is my partners. I'm not on title and I know I have no claim the property.

I'm wondering about my options and possible next steps.

We've been living together for almost 9 years. I have 3 kids, two children with him.

I want to leave with my kids from this/his house in Mississauga to Burlington where I can afford a home and have all my kids together with me.

My partner is generally not physically abusive. He has put his hands on me years in the past - it was minor pushing and shoving and once in a struggle as he tried to take my car keys he gabbed my arm hard enough to leave a bruise - his hand print - on my forearm. His form of aggression is normally verbal abuse e.g. I'm a F--king B--ch and the most useless person on the planet and contribute nothing to the family - although I buy the groceries, do the cleaning (that does get done), pay all the utilities, do the majority of the cooking and we share the other caregiving efforts for the kids.

The police have come to our house on two occassions. Once I called them and once my oldest child (from another relationship) called them. She lives with my parents now because she and partner are like gas and a match.

He has threatened to lock me out in the past and has locked me and the kids out of the house last September. He has the only key to the door. I sent the kids to my parents and paid a locksmith to let me in the house.

There was another "incident" this weekend because I failed to hear the phone ringing and didn't answer his calls. His car broke down about 1km from the house and he needed a ride/tow. He's told me to "get the F--k out of his house followed by the verbal abuse desribed above. I'm worried he'll lock me out again.

What recourse do I have? Keep in mind, he hasn't locked me out this time...at least not yet. If he does I can find a place to stay with the kids until I buy a house. I work from home and the corporate resources like my laptop, docking station and monitor are in the house. I can't work without them if he locks us out.

Not looking for guarantees, but wonder how a Judge could / might view my actions if my partner made a fuss over move from Peel to Halton. Fortunately I have a job that will let me me cover my necessary costs with a VERY small buffer on monthly basis, so even if he doesn't pay support right away I won't be destitute.

I need to move, but I'm scared of the potential fall out. There won't be a lot of money or savings left to manage a lengthy or even a short legal battle.
  #2  
Old 05-15-2011, 03:32 PM
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wretchedotis wretchedotis is offline
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Sounds to me like you are done with that relationship?
If you are, I suggest you sit down and have a talk with him.
Maybe he's fine with the every other week-end visitation and you having full custody. If he's agreeable to that I don't see moving being too much of an issue.
Of course, if he wants full custody himself, or shared custody even, then moving may be a point of contention for him.

As for property issues about the house - I'm really not familier with how that all works. But if you two are able to behave civily, why wouldn't you be able to bring your computer and stuff with you?
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Old 05-15-2011, 07:11 PM
cbehrens cbehrens is offline
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Thanks for the response. Unfortunately, civility and fair play are not his game. He is a strategist without compromise or consideration and brilliant at it.

I'm too scared to broach the subject in conversation. The last time I tried something like that he locked me and kids out with no notice just for asking to have the conversation. I'll have a difficult time attending work and customer meetings if I can't access my email and wardrobe.

I was hoping that someone would have insight or experience regarding how the court might view the move. Naturally, I think I can demonstrate sound reasoning. But the court will only look at it from the Best interest of the Child. Of course, I believe it is in their best interest to live without hearing Dad calling Mom horrible names and devaluing her and throwing things around the house just because he's mad. I can tell you our youngest was terrified and kept asking me if we could go to my Parent's house so Dad wouldn't be mean to me.

I want them to have access to their Dad and for Dad to have a relationship with his kids. In many other ways he's a good Dad. But, you're right that I want to end this. I can't take the name calling and put downs and controlling behaviour any more.

There was a time a few years back that I had to move in with my parents for 3 months. He never once emailed or called or asked a relative or mutual friend about the kids. no calls even after our youngest had surgery (not even to see how/if she was recovering). I thought it was pretty lousy behaviour then, but now I kind of hope he takes the same approach.

I guess there's really only one way to find the answers and that's to move forward and see how it unfolds.
  #4  
Old 05-15-2011, 08:42 PM
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Well, in theory, Court will only really be interested in whats best for the children.

So if you commit acts that are in detriment of their best interests, chances are a Court will frown upon those actions.

So I guess you need to ask yourself.
What do I need for my life (as you are fully entitled to try to better your position in life), and how can I achieve that with the least amount of collateral damage to the kids.

If you truly have those motives in your heart - and persue them in a reasonable fashion, you should be fine regardless what you decide to do.
  #5  
Old 05-15-2011, 11:02 PM
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In the way of more concrete advice, if you are most worried about your computer and your wardrobe, start moving them, and other important things, outside of the house. In preparation for leaving someone controlling, you should photocopy as much financial documentation as you can (any mortgage statements, bank statements, monthly bills, etc, investment reports, pay stubs, anything you can think of, yours and his) and hide away any personal belongings. Store them with a friend, a family member, at work, anywhere your partner can't access them. Start keeping your computer in your car; tell him it needs upgrading and you are taking it in, or you need it with you when you meet with a client, whatever. Find somewhere else to keep the majority of your clothes. Pack up winter things, tell him you are storing them to make more closet space. Pack up your favourite other things; tell him you are bringing them to the cleaners, giving them to charity as you don't wear them anymore, loaning it to a friend, if he asks. Try to be subtle though. I'm not sure men pay close attention to the contents of a woman's closet, but I could be wrong.

Once you have the essentials safeguarded, then you can strike up the dreaded conversation. And if you get locked out, then at least you can still do your work while you start the legal stuff to get back in.
  #6  
Old 05-16-2011, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbehrens View Post
The house is my partners. I'm not on title and I know I have no claim the property.

I'm wondering about my options and possible next steps.

We've been living together for almost 9 years. I have 3 kids, two children with him.

I want to leave with my kids from this/his house in Mississauga to Burlington where I can afford a home and have all my kids together with me.

My partner is generally not physically abusive. He has put his hands on me years in the past - it was minor pushing and shoving and once in a struggle as he tried to take my car keys he gabbed my arm hard enough to leave a bruise - his hand print - on my forearm. His form of aggression is normally verbal abuse e.g. I'm a F--king B--ch and the most useless person on the planet and contribute nothing to the family - although I buy the groceries, do the cleaning (that does get done), pay all the utilities, do the majority of the cooking and we share the other caregiving efforts for the kids.

The police have come to our house on two occassions. Once I called them and once my oldest child (from another relationship) called them. She lives with my parents now because she and partner are like gas and a match.

He has threatened to lock me out in the past and has locked me and the kids out of the house last September. He has the only key to the door. I sent the kids to my parents and paid a locksmith to let me in the house.

There was another "incident" this weekend because I failed to hear the phone ringing and didn't answer his calls. His car broke down about 1km from the house and he needed a ride/tow. He's told me to "get the F--k out of his house followed by the verbal abuse desribed above. I'm worried he'll lock me out again.

What recourse do I have? Keep in mind, he hasn't locked me out this time...at least not yet. If he does I can find a place to stay with the kids until I buy a house. I work from home and the corporate resources like my laptop, docking station and monitor are in the house. I can't work without them if he locks us out.

Not looking for guarantees, but wonder how a Judge could / might view my actions if my partner made a fuss over move from Peel to Halton. Fortunately I have a job that will let me me cover my necessary costs with a VERY small buffer on monthly basis, so even if he doesn't pay support right away I won't be destitute.

I need to move, but I'm scared of the potential fall out. There won't be a lot of money or savings left to manage a lengthy or even a short legal battle.
Careful with the "controlling" aspect of your argument. You have two police incidents on record but, was he arrested for either? Type in "controlling" into CanLII.org and see what you get. It is a very hard (nearly impossible) argument for emotional abuse in court. Unless you have a pile of advocates willing to submit affidavits and testify it will be his word against yours.

My recommendation is to get into a psychologist as soon as possible and start sorting out these issues of what you see as controlling. (I am not suggesting they are not but, a professional trained in mental health can help you sort it all out.)

Judges don't buy the "he always called me names" without the other party responding in some other negative way. Remember that anything you try to use against him he will deflect and bring up every bad incident you have done too.

Gary does a great job on his site outlining all the different issues around domestic violence and relevance to court. I always point people on the brink of the "first letter" from a lawyer about separation and divorce to this article:

Your Social Worker - Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

Really consider the relevance to the incidents you have described. What evidence (hard) other than your own statement can you put behind them? Doctors records? Police records? Therapy sessions? Often times judges are faced with he-said she-said and the party bringing up the accusations has not sought any help. This is a alarm bell for judges on false allegations of domestic violence. (Not saying they didn't happen just helping you round out your argument.)

Now, your complaint about your partner appears to be that "he is smart". Well, that is my opinion of what I am reading. This is a poor argument for a judge because well, there are books, professionals and other ways you can get to know the law and your rights. Don't play the waif card because there are judges in many court houses who will play it right back at you, pat you on the head and tell you to read "Tug of War" these days. In fact, in another thread I posted a link to a decision where the judge made the parties read books and write a book report.

Good luck!
  #7  
Old 05-16-2011, 09:17 AM
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Just to add to what Tayken wrote, abuse can be very real in a relationship but not qualify as a criminal act or even qualify for civil damages. That doesn't mean you shouldn't get out, it doesn't mean you don't qualify for help (shelters, counselling, etc) but it does mean that it may not be recognized by the courts as being relevent to any family law issues.

If you want to bring something up in court you have to show it is relevent to the argument you making for the decision you are seeking. That is not minimize the horrible impact of verbal abuse, but it is not against the law to yell at someone or call names.
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