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Parenting Issues This forum is for discussing any of the parenting issues involved in your divorce, including parenting of step-children.

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2006, 09:14 PM
JohnnyV JohnnyV is offline
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Default Mobility clause/access and custody out of province

Good day everyone,

I'm fairly new to this site, but I do come back and forth for information pretaining to my seperation issues.. My last great indevour is the mobility clause that I feel that I stronghold into giving. This agreement was given for an interim custody issue. I agreed to mobility if there was a need. So lets make this story short and right to the point. My ex decieded to leave in oct 05. This was done 4 months after the signing of the interim order. I didn't think she would leave the province of ontario considering she had a excellent paying job and my 5 year old daughter was in school and a after school program also. she had many friends and was used to the community she lived in. My ex deciede she was leaving for Nova scotia. she verbly told me but never in writing. Considering that I requested this but still to this date I never did get that in writing.
Now she is living in nova scotia, I'm going thru the worse case scenerio that anyone could go thru. She is a bitter women that hates who I am and will do anything to make my life righteously miserable. I have to travel 2200 km one way to visit my daughter , who misses me terribly and I have to fight tooth and nail just to spend time with her. I petition the courts in ontario to vary the custody order and to question the mobility move. but since this is an out of province issue I have to deal with the courts of nova scotia. This is a long and lengthy delay for a hopeful end to a bitter custody fight. I don't want to take my daughter away from her mom, I feel that a child needs both parents in their lives not just one. But my ex feels that i'm a bad father and she doesn't need me in her life. I'm reitred from the military after 20 years. I provide for my family when and where they needed it. I paid for my ex's schooling for being a BBA student to a Cert Dental Assistant to her current field of study of dental hygeine. I paid all her expenses and provided a home etc. I looked after my daughter well she did her studies for three years. In those years she didnt' work one day. It was financially hard but we made it thru.. My last tour to afghanistan was the ticket that made her decide to leave. Fine we tried everything but it didnt' work. I never in my life would imagine my daughter not living with me or atleast not in the same city.. unable to see her every day is very hard and difficult. My ex left the marriage with no debit. I ended up hold the family debit in excess amout of 50g's and she to date has not paid a penny to this debit.
I have been jumping around www sites trying to figure out what rights as a father has to his daughter. All that I ask for is to have time with my daughter and to allow her to come back to ontario for a visit with me and to visit her grandparents, uncles and aunts and cousins...
Would this seem to be an unfair request for a father to have time with his daughter. the cost alone is extreme, for me to travel 6 -8 times a year and to pay for rental car and hotels is just not feasible.. this is what i tried to explain to my ex but it seems she is only out to make me look like a bad guy... but i was wondering if anyone has come across any thing simliar to my case in hand... any help would surely be appreciated.

johnny V
  #2  
Old 05-13-2006, 10:07 PM
Divorcemanagement Divorcemanagement is offline
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Hi Johhny V.

You have an uphill battle for a couple of reasons:

a) Status-quo: Your child has been living with mom in NS for a while and as such, you should be aware that the courts, as a rule, generally don't like to alter the status quo.

b) Material Change in Circumstances: In order to have a variation on your existing Order, you will have to show a material change in circumstances has occurred. Obviously if she arbitrarily left without changing the Order, that would grab a court's attention, but;

c) Even if you did have a Material Change in Circumstances, you still have to deal with the fact that courts are not going to alter the status-quo.

So a judge might view it this way: "why didn't dad go to court on an ex-parte basis to get his daughter back - either way, she is in another province now so why upset the apple cart".

What I am confused about is the juridictional issues: if the Order is from an Ontario court then I am scratching my head as to why they are suggesting that it be dealt with in a NS court... will defer to the lawyerly types who post here.

What your former spouse did was reprehensible - because your child has been living in NS for a while, I don't see how a court is going to alter the status quo.

This might sound controversial - but if you can afford to - move. Move to NS. Don't tell your former spouse that you have moved there. Find a job, bring an application in the NS courts and try your chances.

No easy answer in your case, but my experience has taught me you have less than no chance of getting her back now that she is in another province. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news on that...
  #3  
Old 05-13-2006, 11:12 PM
trueblue trueblue is offline
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Default I can feel your pain

Johnny v... sad situation for sure. Why did you leave the move-away issue so long to deal with. Perhaps on the military side of things you may be able to seek legal advice and help for like situations for the defenders of our country.
You have it worse than me and I am having trouble with just 120 kms away
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:14 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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JohnnyV,

I would echo what DM and Trueblue mentioned already. The proper jurisdiction is NS. Reason being is this is the jurisdiction where the child habitual resides. A status quo has developed.

I am not sure what your access is and the distances between the parties
but you child is somewhat older. Why isn't your child flying to your location for access/contact ie: 1/2 the summer, March break, Christmas etc. Do you not have suitable accommodation? Air Canada does and can accommodate young children. They assign a stewardess during the flight to keep an eye on the child.

The situation is difficult but not impossible due to geographical distances between the parties. Your ex was the move away parent and your ex should be participating in the child's access costs.

Another option you have is to make your own material change and get a posting in the NS area. Courts would definitely recognize the material change.

It is the child's right to have a meaningful relationship with both parent's. A custodial parent has no right to determine incident's of contact.

Generally access is maximized unless there is a reason not too such as harm.
(Harm being physical and or emotional abuse)

The other thing I would also be concerned about at this time is that your receiving information in regards to the child's health and welfare. By default this information is to be available to you. Have you received timely information pertaining to your child's school, (report cards) medical appointments and dental information. etc.

LV
  #5  
Old 05-14-2006, 10:58 AM
Divorcemanagement Divorcemanagement is offline
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Default On the extreme end of conflict

JohhnyV-

Something that I have long held to be true for high conflict custody and access disputes is that it's important to explore the reasons why a former spouse will do what they do. It defies logic and reason - in most cases when divorce happens, there was never any argument about the functionality of either parent - even if there were issues about the quality of care either parent could provide in a functional marriage, married parents, for example, don't run off to the children's aid society and report their husband/wife as being inept, incapable, controlling, abusive, angry, neglectful, the list goes on.

The adversarial nature of the family law system allows either parent to emphasize the flaws in the other parent as a method of obtaining sole custody or primary care of the children. In most cases, one or both parents simply dislikes the other parent so much that they aren't prepared to consider working in partnership with a former spouse in support of their kids. In short: it's far easier to say "I don't want to work with this parent" as opposed to seriously examining what can be done to build goodwill and trust between the parties. This is one of the reasons that many parent simply view their former spouse as disposable or a source of child support who they grudgingly have to allow the kids access to every second weekend.

Another important thing to remember is that the parent who has primary care of the kids isn't going to give up that control factor because it's simply easier to say "there is too much conflict" than to try and fix the problem.

The fundamental difference between divorced parents and married parents is that married parents will more often than not try to work on the differences of opinion because in spite of the differences, they still love each other.

The family law process is a system of checks and balances muddled together in an adversarial way. It's a game of "devil's vs. angels" - "my client is inherently good and your client is inherently bad, anything bad that my client did is clearly your client's fault."

In order for you to carve out some kind of meaningful parenting relationship with your daughter, you have to overcome a myriad of legal obstacles that actually have everything to do with "proper legal procedure" as opposed to simply getting a fair hearing. The family law system is paper. Paper, paper, paper, and yet more paper. It is boxes of legal files. It is lawyers dragging a cart behind them for a domestic special. It is a judge needing a bi-lateral custody evaluation because he/she is working in a big fat legal sausage mill with a supervising judge who is telling him/her -"clear the docket, get as many litigants through the sausage mill as you can today" - the bi-lateral evaluation is a way to defer to the infinite wisdom of a child psychologist because they simply know better about the developmental needs of a child and the dynamic of the conflict between the parents than any judge.

It is far from perfect, it is the system that one or both parents would much rather access than to simply get their head out of their ass and separate their dislike of a former spouse from their kid's right to love and need both parents unconditionally. Very simply - your issues are based on something in your former spouse that can be summed up with four simple words: I DON'T LIKE YOU.

(This does not include cases of family violence - far different paradigm with victims of family violence rightfully having fears of ineracting with the person who committed the act of family violence.)

Even if you do move and create your material change in circumstances, you still face the sausage mill. You still face your collective issues with each other and you still face the fact that you can't control your former spouse's behavior. If she is hell bent on cutting you out - she is going to structure her life around that goal come hell or high water. In cases like this, there are no easy answers. Actually there are no easy answers in divorce scenarios where mom and dad actually do have some degree of trust and understanding. Raising kids in an intact family is hard work - raising kids when a divorce has happened is also hard work - so the hard work is there regardless. It's just that an intact family doesn't have to access an adversarial family law system that is more about court procedure and less about "the best interests of the kids" to solve the problem.

In your case, it might have to boil down to you moving and asking a court for custody of your child. It might boil down to your lawyer in a trial asking mom the following:

"If the court rules against you and says that your daughter will go and live with dad, would you be agreeable to shared parenting?"

What's she going to say? "No, absolutely not"

The tragedy is that in cases of high conflict, it often takes a full blown trial and a loaded question like that to give a judge a clear understanding of why both parties are in court before him/her that particular day.

If you move, then you probably should consider moving in the context of a larger strategy that includes getting custody of your daughter. It's terrible that you would have to get custody to offer co-parenting, but with some parents, you have to do it.
  #6  
Old 05-14-2006, 11:20 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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JohnnyV,


At this link you will see what AIR CANADA has to say about young travellers.

http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelin...rs/minors.html

Children learn to fly… On their own

Air Canada loves kids. In fact, more than 45,000 Unaccompanied Minors - children aged between 5 and 11 - fly with us each year. Whether your child is travelling on a short flight, or a longer journey, we'll make sure he/she enjoys a safe and happy trip. This pamphlet is meant to help answer some of your questions about our Unaccompanied Minor (UM) service.

First things first

Who can travel alone?

Children aged 5-11 may travel alone on flights operated by Air Canada and Air Canada Jazz. but it is mandatory to use the unaccompanied minor services, which include being escorted by Air Canada agents and/or flight attendants. The unaccompanied minor service is optional for children aged 12-17 travelling alone.

Who needs to be accompanied?

Children under five-years-of-age must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 or older. Children under 12, for whom UM assistance hasn't been ordered, must be accompanied by an adult aged 16 or older.

Register early

The UM service must be requested at the same time the child's flight is booked by the parent/guardian by calling Reservations. There is a nominal fee for the service of CAD60.00/USD50.00 each way per family.

The best of care with UM

Whether flying on domestic, transborder, or international routes, your child receives extra-special care from Air Canada agents and flight attendants. From the moment they arrive at airport check-in, until they reach their final destination, all children are escorted and supervised by our highly trained staff. If the travel itinerary includes a transfer, ground staff will take care of the child and see him/her safely onboard the connecting flight.

Before the flight

Reservations

Contact Us

"My child's travelling alone." To make a reservation for your child, call Air Canada Reservations or your travel agent. Let them know your child will be travelling alone. You will be given details about our special services and what procedures are involved when a child is unaccompanied. The UM service charge can be paid when you book the flight.

Advance seat selection

Does you child like to sit by the window? With our advance seat selection you can reserve a seat in your child's favourite area in the aircraft. When you make the reservation, request advance seat selection for your child. For their added security and comfort, Air Canada has selected specific seats on each of its aircraft for children travelling on their own.

Pre-boarding

There's no getting lost in the crowd. All children travelling alone are boarded ahead of the other passengers. This gives your child time to settle in comfortably and ask the flight attendant any questions he/she may have about the flight.

Restrictions

Air Canada will allow unaccompanied minors to travel on any itinerary involving Air Canada, Air Canada Jazz and Tier 3 flights. Connections are allowed, but must be 6 hours or less. Additionally, unless there is only one flight per day, your child will not be booked on the last flight of the day. Connections are not allowed to flights operated by other airlines.

At the airport

We take care of them, every step of the way

The first step in your child's trip is getting checked-in. When you arrive at the airport, head for the Air Canada counter to begin check-in formalities. If the UM service wasn't paid at the time of booking, the agent will request payment when you check-in.

Getting all the details

You will be asked to complete "a request for carriage" form which is attached to an envelope bearing the letters "UM."

The form contains:

child's identification
flight itinerary
names and contact telephone numbers of people who will meet your child at the connecting point (where applicable) and destination
parent or guardian's authorising signature.

The envelope is always in the care of an Air Canada agent. It serves as a document holder for your child's passport, airline ticket, emergency numbers, and Customs documentation.

UM…because we care

UMs are easy to see in a crowd. An agent gives each child an UM lanyard (hang tag) or distinctive baseball cap to wear while travelling with Air Canada. These items help our highly trained staff quickly identify your child so they can provide them with the supervision and personal care we're so well known for.


Step by step


Even after an Air Canada agent has taken your child into their care, you'll be asked to remain at the airport until the flight has departed.

The agent will accompany your child through the security check and proceed to the gate area.

Once boarding is announced, your child will be escorted to the aircraft ahead of other passengers. He/she will be greeted by the In-charge flight attendant who will guide him/her to an assigned seat.

Throughout the flight, your child will be supervised by crewmembers.

Upon arrival at your child's destination, the In-charge flight attendant will help him/her disembark, and will hand him/her over to an airport agent who will escort your child to the Arrivals section to meet the person designated on the UM envelope.

The person meeting your child will be asked for photo identification and will sign the UM envelope, accepting responsibility of the child.

Tips for a safe and happy trip

Before your child goes on a trip, prepare them for it by explaining the details in advance-it's less stressful for everyone.

Your child should be well rested.

Ensure your child has a carry-on bag containing a snack and some favourite items-just like you, kids need something to read or eat in case of a delay.

Make sure the parent/guardian meeting the child at a connecting point and/or destination is aware of all flight details and the formalities of the UM service.

If you need any additional information, or have any questions about how to plan for a child travelling on their own, please contact your travel agent or Air Canada.


Unaccompanied minors traveling from Toronto airport


Many parents or guardians have informed us of their desire to accompany their child to the gate. At Toronto Pearson Airport's Terminal 1, we're happy to say that you can now escort your child to the gate. If your child is traveling unaccompanied within Canada or internationally on an Air Canada operated flight, we require either one (1) parent or one (1) guardian to accompany the child to the gate and wait for the flight to depart. The parent or guardian will be required to fill out a "Passenger Escort Form," and show photo identification. Due to security regulations, only one parent or one escort may accompany the child to the gate. If a parent or a guardian is unable to escort the child, Air Canada will do all possible to assist. Please note, due to security regulations, the passenger escort service is currently not available on flights from Toronto to the United States. In this case, an Air Canada agent will escort the child to the gate.

LV
  #7  
Old 05-14-2006, 11:34 AM
logicalvelocity logicalvelocity is offline
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JohnnyV,

After looking at some flights ie Halifax to ottawa

some dates they have listed as low as $89 dollars- plus $60 UM service and taxes = very resonable cost. I don't think you could drive to Halifax by car for that amount.

I would highly recomend that your child has a passport if at some point in time your child has to travel by this method.

http://www.aircanada.com/aco/flights.do

LV
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Old 05-14-2006, 04:05 PM
JohnnyV JohnnyV is offline
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First of all I would like to say thankyou for all the good info. Secondly I know I do have a long awaited battle. This is a battle in behalf of my daughter who cannot speak up for herself. She has the right to spend time with her father and I have the right to spend time with her. I do not want to take her away from her mom, I know deep in my heart that its improtant for two parents to love her and to show that we do care. But in the situation I'm torn with what I have to do to obtain the rights to my child. I started this battle 3 weeks after she left ontario. She left ontario oct 05 and in nov of 05 I started the paperwork, only to end up in the courts of nova scotia. This is a long, long process. Dec 05 till now I still have not got a court date. I did everything to get this but I'm told that in nova scotia that the legal system is slower and eventually we will get the date and deal with the situation.
My ex got herself a lawyer and my gosh the crap she put in this letter actually threw me off my chair. Allegations which have no relevant bearing to access and custody, actually unfounded allegations. Asking for supervised access only, and I never in my life hurt or mamed or abused anyone. I don't think I have the ablility in doing so .. Also she stated in her lawyers letter that I'm forbidden to ever mention to my child that I miss her. THis is what she calls toying with my daughter emotions and her well being.. Plus other crap. All I requested is to have my daughter with me on major holidays. Summer, christmas and march break. All other holidays are to small to go down and travel back to ontario with her. SO I would try and make a conscience's effort to see her in her home town. Also I asked my ex that we split the cost of my daughter travelling to ontario.. and also that I request that my daughter have telephone access to see and talk to me. We had all this arrange for ontario, but now she is in nova scotia, I cannot afford to stay in hotels and get car rentals for 4 weeks in the summer, and 2 weeks at christmas and march break.. This is just not feasible.
I was told that due to my daughter age that as a father I will not be able to take her out of the province and to have her come home with me for her vacation time with me. Due to the tender years doctorine. And due to her age and my daughter need for her mother. When I'm done visiting my daughter she wants to be with me.. The last vist was easter 5 days I was there, thursday 1pm my daughter asked her mother if she could stay with me and she said no to her. SO fri till mon i had her. But monday night she had to go home, my daughter asked her mother if she could stay one more night with dad and dad can take me to school. But my ex stated to me that it wasn't right for me to allow my daughter to ask and further more that the child doens't dictate the vist I(ex) do.
I was wondering if anyone can tell me, when in court what they look for. I want all the ammunition availiabe to me in order to obtain time with my daughter and for my daughter to have time with me. She tells her mother and by the way my daughter is very very articulate. so she has no problem in expressing herself. She tells her mother that she wants to visit grand ma and pa and the cousins and aunts and uncles. But my ex does not acknowlege her. She wants to come with me, but she told me that she would like to go but mommy will not let me go to ontario. but doesn't give her a reason.

SO in short I'm looknig for info on how to improve my chances in court when I do get a court date, to show that I'm trying everything . I've taken parenting courses, all types of course about kids etc. So what can I do..


Thanks

Johnny
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Old 05-14-2006, 04:27 PM
Divorcemanagement Divorcemanagement is offline
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Your chances of a successful outcome will depend on where and when you intend to take your matter to court. Obviously it has been determined that you have to duke it out in a NS court, however because mom has primary care and you are in a different province, in all honesty, I don't like your chances. I would be shocked, amazed, dumfounded and speechless if an NS court agreed that your daughter has to relocate back to Ontario.

It might be better to take a different approach that might require relocating as LV and I had suggested. Once you know if you are going to move, that needs to be your starting point. Alternatively, if you are planning on staying in Ontario, there is every reason to believe an NS court would agree to an out of province access arrangement in the summer and half of each Christmas... that is very achievable if you do it right.

Last edited by Divorcemanagement; 05-14-2006 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 05-14-2006, 05:27 PM
JohnnyV JohnnyV is offline
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thanks for the information.. But I have no intentions to take my daughter away from her mother.. THis decision will be left for my daughter when she gets older. Bascially as a father all I want is to have access to my daughter for the summer holidays, christmas and march breaks. All the holidays were to the book when the ex was in ontario, but now she is in ns, so the game plan is different. Thus going to court with a variation to custody and access. Thus requesting access to my daughter to be allowed to come to ontario for her major holidays.
So in saying this, do you see the ns courts allowing me to have access to my daughter.. if so, you mention a game plan.. could you give me some clue as to what type of game plan you are refering to..

johnny V
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