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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 05-11-2018, 10:51 PM
Istanbul Istanbul is offline
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Default Relocating to Canada to Have More Time with Children

As an offshoot of discussions in a couple of other threads, here is my situation. I do not live in Canada, the situation of children at home with their mom is chaotic to remain polite, children want to spend more time with me, there have been several disturbing incidents, etc. The mother has done everything in her power to block information flow to me. I guess she is doing this because I would have more arguments to possibly use in court to get more time with children? She has blocked communication between children and I while I am out of the country. I think itís contributing to children behaving even worse with her, and them wanting to spend more time with me because they feel itís limited. I see the children 2 consecutive weekends per month when I am in Canada, and more time during school holidays. I see the children in a hotel during weekends, and can only take them to their grand parents home on school holidays because they live a few hundred kms away. I cannot host the children in my parents home during school. Because they do not see me much, of course I am like Santa so they are behaving great with me and have a good time. This compounds issues at home because they are crashing back to reality each time. It might even contribute to my ex wanting the children to see me as little as possible.

I feel I need to be there more for the children. I do not pretend to be a super-dad, in fact for years I was a workaholic and they were raised by their mother even though I was around. However the plan was for me to retire from my job relatively early and I would have more time to spend with family, but then separation happened. One could say I have no experience raising children, and that is a correct statement. However I feel that itís undetermined yet whether I suck or not. If things were going great at home with the mother, it would be harder to justify changing status quo. However given the grave issues she has with children, I am not convinced at all that it would really be worse with me. Anyway, I doubt itís a skills competition between me and her, but bottom line if there are major issues now, status quo must not be that appealing to a judge?

I understand from the feedback of various people in other threads that the way judges think, I must relocate to Canada first, and only then I could be allowed more time with children. I can understand the logic. But from my point of view, while I am willing to help with children, I am hesitant to move to Canada and take the risk to be told later sorry, status quo will remain. Heck, my ex is even asking court to * reduce * my time with children to one weekend per month. I would be nuts to relocate to Canada for only one weekend per month. And I am distrustful of the legal process to put my life in the hands of a judge and just ďassumeĒ that if I relocate, that I will indeed get more time with children. Logic would argue strongly that it would make complete sense that a judge would indeed give me more time, and indeed there is probably far more than 50% chance that it would happen. But as everyone says, family court is a crapshoot and perhaps is biased against dads, so I cannot ignore the potential bad outcomes such as a drastic decision by a judge who could limit me even further from seeing the children.

To make matters worse, I am not single anymore. I am about to get remarried with a woman from Asia. She is a very kind person, we spent time with the children last year, and children love her so it was a great success. She is willing to uproot her life and relocate to Canada with me. But she will only do so if I can have the children Ė otherwise why move to Canada if I will only see children once a month? To compound issues even further, she does not have a Canadian residence permit yet and even getting a travel visa is not that easy. She got it last year, but not this year so far. If we get married, it will help her get a visa to go to Canada and even possibly live there. But first a judge needs to give me the divorce in Canada court before I can legally remarry, and therefore I need to ask for the divorce before we even go to trial.

I realize that a judge might not care about my personal situation, and will only think of the childrenís situation. But I have more considerations in my life, and I have to deal with all issues, not just the children issues. If I am asked to abandon my future wife and move to Canada, and if a judge is going to refuse to give me the divorce because we are not in trial yet, then the deck is stacked against me and the judge would be putting hurdles in front of me and possibly preventing children to see my future wife or hampering my move to Canada, which is what I am being asked in the first place. If a judge cares about the children, I would think that letting me have more time with the children in the short term is the right thing to do regardless of everything else going on, because of their problems with their mother now, and that where I host children for one week a month is far less important than the simple fact that they want more time with me, will most likely benefit from it, and even the mother will benefit from being off the hook once in a while. Children might even behave better with the mom and reduce problems at home if they felt we are no longer limited in our tie together. To exaggerate, I could take the children to a trailer park if that was my thing, and I think they would be better off. Of course this is not my plan, but I am saying this just for illustration purposes. Is it fair to require me to buy a house and relocate to Canada just to * attempt * to get more time with the children? There are probably less extreme solutions for example I could rent an apartment or rent a house on Airbnb for one week per month. Shoot me with red bullets if you think itís appropriate, but even in the apartment / Airbnb scenario I might be hesitant to sign before being told yes you can have more time with children.

The older children get, the more confident I would be about moving to Canada and getting more time with the children and court would have less power of getting in the way.

For the moment I am only asking for one week per month, because I understand we should not make a drastic change right away. Perhaps I could get equal time sharing down the road, assuming a trial where I get more time with children is successful. But even then I see roadblocks down the road, some roadblocks of my own fault, some of them because of my future wife, and some of them because of conflict with my ex. I am not sure I see myself in a schedule with exchanges as frequent as 2 per week with my ex, which essentially requires me to be in Canada 100% of the year or close to it. I can elaborate about what exactly is the problem with this situation, but itís not the core issue for now and the issues above are a good start.

There are several more twists and turns that I can elaborate on as well. Perhaps the above is a bunch of unclear rambling and I need help seeing this more clearly and help me make decisions that will consider all stakeholders. Please let me know your thoughts Ė I will appreciate it.
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  #2  
Old 05-11-2018, 11:30 PM
Dtothree Dtothree is offline
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Wow donít know where to start, lots against you
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:01 AM
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arabian arabian is offline
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Well the first thing that comes to my mind is "what country is this fellow from?" and "does the country he is currently a resident of fall within the Hague Convention?" What would prevent him from taking off with the children?

Second thing that comes to mind is simply that you and your current wife made the decision to separate. Jurisdiction is a big deal when it comes to custody and mobility in Canada. The children are residents of Canada and the court, of course, will determine what is in their best interest, not what works best for you.

You do not describe a life of stability in which to raise children. Children are now older than when you separated and likely now much easier to handle (no diapers to change, etc.). I could understand your wife's resentment and suspicion of your motives in now wanting to step up to parenting. You would have to offer substantive proof of your commitment to putting the children first.

I do not think that, based on what you have so eloquently presented, that you will be successful. Perhaps the best thing to do is try to formulate a plan where you can have a more meaningful role in your children's lives. If that takes a move to Canada so be it. Of course, there would be no guarantee that you would be granted increase in time but it certainly would improve your odds.
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Old 05-12-2018, 12:22 AM
kate331 kate331 is offline
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Wow Instabul, this make your situation much clearer. I feel in a way I am in a similar situation as your ex (except I would take all the help I could get my from ex). From my court experiences, the Judge had little patience for my ex's lack of parenting responsibilities and it had nothing to do with lack of skills.

Of course the children are going to be on their best behaviour with Santa Dad and want to spend more time with you, on their mini vacations in a hotel with you. Or fun times at Grandparents while on break from school. You dont have any parent responsibilities involving the daily grind of chores, homework, appointments, grocery shopping, errands etc. Forget the Arbnb and hotel and get an apartment and make a second home for them.

Brace yourself, because this might hurt. You are being very selfish. Your putting your needs above your children's. Its lovely that you have found yourself a new wife (and a Judge wont care), but you need to clean up the mess you left with your first family. Your children are paying a price for your happiness when its us, the parents that should be assuring their happiness. Saying your hesitant to return to Canada because its crap shoot in Family Court, is something I feel you will regret when your children are adults and they see your choices.

You say the conditions with Mom and children are grave. What actually do you mean by that? Do any of the children have special needs or mental health issues? Your family is in crisis and you need to be here physically present to help deal with getting them help.

Its unfortunate that your ex is being a gatekeeper, but if you lived here you could attend school events, sporting events etc. You would certainly be given an extra night during the week by the courts, and I have no doubt all the members on this forum would be here to help you.
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Old 05-12-2018, 04:43 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Based on what you have said here and in other places I hesitate to believe what you say about your ex. Youíre like rose coloured glasses daddy who swoops in with candy and then leaves when sore tummies break out.

You are worried about your situation with your new gf? You donít want to bring her to Canada if you donít get joint custody? You want the judge to understand that challenge? Oh and poor you cant marry her because you still have this messy thing called a divorce to get?

Wow is all I can say about your audacity.

You need to put your head on straight. You left your kids, barely saw them, and now are worried about your future wife and money over them. The judge will care zero for her and zero for whatever sob story youíve got. You need to start worrying about your kids in this situation.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:44 PM
Istanbul Istanbul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arabian View Post
Well the first thing that comes to my mind is "what country is this fellow from?" and "does the country he is currently a resident of fall within the Hague Convention?" What would prevent him from taking off with the children?

Second thing that comes to mind is simply that you and your current wife made the decision to separate. Jurisdiction is a big deal when it comes to custody and mobility in Canada. The children are residents of Canada and the court, of course, will determine what is in their best interest, not what works best for you.

You do not describe a life of stability in which to raise children. Children are now older than when you separated and likely now much easier to handle (no diapers to change, etc.). I could understand your wife's resentment and suspicion of your motives in now wanting to step up to parenting. You would have to offer substantive proof of your commitment to putting the children first.

I do not think that, based on what you have so eloquently presented, that you will be successful. Perhaps the best thing to do is try to formulate a plan where you can have a more meaningful role in your children's lives. If that takes a move to Canada so be it. Of course, there would be no guarantee that you would be granted increase in time but it certainly would improve your odds.
Thanks all for the feedback. I will try to address the most relevant points.

Perhaps I was previously not clear - you are talking about The Hague convention so I suspect I am missing something. I am not proposing to take the children to another country for custody. Vietnam is not part of The Hague, but why is it relevant? My point is that I will relocate to Canada if I can get more time with children.

So it's the chicken / egg thing. I will relocate to Canada if I can have more time with children, but sounds like I won't have more time with children unless I relocate to Canada.

I have no problem formulating a plan which involves moving to Canada. The issue is that I am not very willing to pull the trigger on the move until I have a judge telling me that this is a good plan and that it will lead to an increase in time with children. In other words, no I do not want to move to Canada tomorrow morning because I have not seen a judge yet. But presenting a plan to a judge, then have a judge say ok I like it, then I move... that is fine.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:48 PM
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judges do not make ruling on "maybes"

I guess I brought up Hague convention because I am mystified as to which country you are currently a resident of now. It is unlikely for you to receive any increase/change in custody if you are a resident of a country that does not endorse law of Canada.

Well you let us know how easily you can see a judge. Do you propose to write or call one and ask for an appointment?
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:55 PM
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That's a lot of words that says one clear thing. You are trying to make a bunch of things top priority in your life: your needs, your children's needs, and your new girlfriend's needs.


You gotta pick the children. Nobody on a forum like this is going to suggest any other way to do it, and a judge won't either.


Rent an apartment in Canada big enough to be a possible permanent home for the children and near their current school, friends and activities. If you regularly spend ten days a month in a hotel or travel away and come back for your two weekends in a row a month, that must cost about as much as an apartment would for a month. You could even rent it out on AirBnB for the rest of the month while you are out of the country and probably end up saving money.



Establish a routine of taking them for your current access to the new place, instead of your parents' home or a hotel.


Re-introduce yourself into their daily lives. Start attending their activities that fall during the week that you've always missed before. Request additional time with them during the week. Start doing school runs, and homework, and chores with them. Be a parent, not a vacationer. Get some evidence that you being a more constant presence in their lives is benefiting them.



Take your documentation to court and get 50-50. Get the divorce settled at the same time as everything else.


You can maintain the relationship with your new girlfriend on your own time. Start thinking of yourself as being a resident in Canada who regularly travels to Asia for a long-distance relationship. Getting remarried and sponsoring your new wife to Canada should be your last priority.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kate331 View Post
you need to clean up the mess you left
I am not sure if you meant this as a figure of speech, but it is factually incorrect. My ex wanted to divorce but instead of staying overseas where I was working, she wanted to relocate to Canada. She also asked me to keep working a little longer over there, which I did. Then once I stopped working, instead of welcoming that I would have more time with the children, instead she blocked part of my access, asked court to reduce my time with children, and asked me that I go back to my previous country to work and pay her more CS. So I did not ďleave a mess behindĒ. She has shown repeatedly that she wants to limit my time with children. The fact that I have to push to get more time with children also indicates to me that my situation seems more different to your situation, than you were led to believe in the first place.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:58 AM
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Based on what you have said here and in other places I hesitate to believe what you say about your ex.
I came here for advice. Making up fake or embellished stories is not going to get me anywhere. The fact that you are taking time to respond shows that you are willing to help. I think the most productive would be to give specific examples of where my arguments seem weak or hard to believe. Take the role of the judge who is asking me the hard questions. That will help me get better prepared and elaborate more on aspects of the situation that I might have glossed over before, and that are actually more important than I thought, coming from the eyes of someone objective and external to the situation.
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