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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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  #11  
Old 04-21-2012, 05:37 PM
nerkkooanse nerkkooanse is offline
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I've never seen such support on a forum, especially so fast. I honestly do greatly appreciate everything.

I will definitely get the ball rolling by Monday, hearing all this advice keeps me motivated which has been hard for me on a day to day basis lately.

I live in Toronto, having a hard time choosing a lawyer that will do the best possible job in representing my case. After talking to a few lawyers, the median cost I've seen is about $200-$300 an hour, is this reasonable?

I know it's hard to estimate the total cost after the entire duration because we cannot say how many appearances there will be, but what does one usually end up paying after all is said and done?

It's a shame knowing all this money could of gone into a RESP for my son.
  #12  
Old 04-21-2012, 05:40 PM
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Something else I wanted to add: you mentioned that your parents helped with supplying formula. So she's not breastfeeding? At least you don't have that argument for her to use in favour of her getting the bulk of the care time.
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Old 04-21-2012, 05:56 PM
nerkkooanse nerkkooanse is offline
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Yes, that's correct. She is not breastfeeding anymore.
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Old 04-21-2012, 06:25 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerkkooanse View Post

I live in Toronto, having a hard time choosing a lawyer that will do the best possible job in representing my case. After talking to a few lawyers, the median cost I've seen is about $200-$300 an hour, is this reasonable?
That is actually a good price...as hard as it is...don't focus on the price, you need to find a lawyer that is going to do the job you need them to do. Are your parents in a position to help you with this? I know its not easy asking your parents for help, but sometimes having family to back you up makes things a little easier...

As others have suggested...start on this first thing Monday morning... see a lawyer about filing an emergency motion to have the child returned to their residence.
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Old 04-21-2012, 10:44 PM
Access Dad Access Dad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerkkooanse View Post
I live in Toronto, having a hard time choosing a lawyer that will do the best possible job in representing my case. After talking to a few lawyers, the median cost I've seen is about $200-$300 an hour, is this reasonable?
That is a reasonable price. Of course it is your choice, but if you're in Toronto, I might try giving Lauren Israel a call. She is in the Young & Sheppard area (right in the same building as the North Yprk Family Court house). She's really experienced and reasonably priced. If you type her name in the search field @ www.canlii.org you will see 17 cases where she was counsel. She is, in my opinion, one of the best. BTW, in case you didn't know, canlii.org is a website that contains thousands of court decisions.

Ms. Israel's number is (416) 733-8415.

And remember, keep that motivation going no matter how hard it gets. Just try and always keep in mind that your son needs you and his life can take many wrong turns if he doesn't have a meaningful relationship with his father.

Good luck and keep us updated.
  #16  
Old 04-23-2012, 03:02 PM
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Ending the relationship means automatic 50-50 shared custody with joint legal. That's the law. If that's something you want, push hard for that NOW. If you settle for less, you will have a HUGE and YEARS LONG battle to increase it down the road.

She is not breastfeeding, so there is NO reason the kid cannot do immediate overnights. Offer some reasonable parenting plan that does 2-2-3 or similar schedule. Then if she refuses, ask for costs.

Start paying OFFSET CS right away, make sure you document what it is for (ie. USE the memo field). Bank the difference between offset CS and full CS, just in preparation for worse case scenario. That way if you get hit with arrears, you'll have them handy.

The lawyer cost you indicated is reasonable. An emergency motion will run you 900-2500 depending on the lawyer. Get a loan or otherwise liquidate any assets to build a war chest. You are going to need it if she gets stupid about it.

Read THE LIST

Lots of good advice in it. Your ballpark guesstimate on a final cost is going to depend on how amicable or ugly this is. A high conflict case will run you 1-3 years and 10-30K+ at a minimum to get a final order in place. (A decent lawyer should have a temp order for you in a matter of weeks)
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Old 04-23-2012, 03:19 PM
nerkkooanse nerkkooanse is offline
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I have spoken to and retained a lawyer today. She will have the application drafted and ready for tomorrow, I will then get it served later that evening, and return the next day to file to forms with the court.

The lawyer advised me that an emergency motion can be put in place once the initial application has been completed.

You mentioned start paying offset CS, could you elaborate? Who would I work out that arrangement with? How does that whole process exactly work?

I'm not sure if it's true or not, but when I did speak with her mother briefly that day- she mentioned that my ex isn't even going after CS. Her concern primary is custody.

Once again, thanks for the advice everyone. I will keep everyone updated on the situation and I will take a look at that list.
  #18  
Old 04-23-2012, 03:41 PM
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It doesn't matter what she is going after. CS is the right of the child. If the mother goes on social assistance/welfare/ontario works, they WILL make her go after you for CS. Pay it now, or pay it later. It looks a LOT better if you pay it willingly.

I always say in the absence of a court order, you pay CS like you have the custody arrangement you are asking for. Unless you can prove the mother unfit, the BEST case scenario is 50-50 physical w/ joint legal.

Offset CS is the difference in what you pay her vs what she would pay you. It's typically used when one has at least 40% access.

Basically you plug YOUR information in to THIS SITE and then plug in hers. (If she isn't working, then you use whatever full time hours @ minimum wage would be for her).

Subtract the smaller # from the larger, and the person with the larger # pays the difference between the two to the person with the smaller number.

EVERYTHING hinges on custody. If she gets sole custody with at least 61% time, then YOU owe FULL CS, AND she gets the CCTB/UCCB entitlement all to herself. She can claim the kid on her taxes ALL the time. In a 50-50 or 60-40 split, you use OFFSET CS, and you would get the CCTB in a shared arrangement.

Basically you get delegated to a walking, talking ATM with no input and minimal involvement with your kid's life.

CRA CCTB info

You make arrangements to pay her directly. Send it via email money transfer and use the memo field. (FOR CS - MM/DD/YYYY - offset amount)

If you want to be involved, then you want JOINT LEGAL (essentially and equal voice on the kid pertaining to medical, educational, and religious decisions) with 50-50 PHYSICAL access.

She's indicated she wants SOLE CUSTODY, likely with the EOW screwjob for you. (where you get Friday - Sun Every other weekend, with ONE evening visit on the off week). That's the ATM scenario, you typically don't want that.

So...start paying OFFSET CS right away, bank the difference between it and full CS just in case.

Look into taking parenting classes

Look into parenting courses for separated/divorced parents. (There is one in New Brunswick called "for the sake of the children", try to find one similar to it in your area)

Take a infant CPR course

You want to show you are taking steps to be involved and educated. I'm assuming you want to be fully involved, and not an EOW guy.
  #19  
Old 04-23-2012, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nerkkooanse View Post
You mentioned start paying offset CS, could you elaborate? Who would I work out that arrangement with? How does that whole process exactly work?

I'm not sure if it's true or not, but when I did speak with her mother briefly that day- she mentioned that my ex isn't even going after CS. Her concern primary is custody.
Child support is dictate by your income. You take your annual income (usually people use line 150 from their Notice of Assessment from CRA) and look it up on a table, or use an online calculator site, and that's how much you pay the person with custody, if you have less than 40% time.

If you share the child equally, which is what you are fighting for now, then each parent owes the other a monthly payment. But since parents don't have identical incomes, it doesn't cancel out and there's a resulting offset amount.

So if you are the higher earner, you will end up owing some money to her for CS every month. This is what people are suggesting you start paying her now. If she doesn't have an income, you can impute one to her. This means guesstimating what she is capable of making if she were working, as it's not acceptable for her to not be supporting her own child. Based on her age and lack of education, you'd probably want to use full-time minimum wage for her income. Don't feel guilty about it, as she is living with and being supported by her mother and this simply reflects that.

CS is the right of the child, and she can't give it up. She can not pursue it immediately, but if/when she does it later, you're on the hook for arrears.

So you send her a cheque every month, write in the memo field that it's for CS, and clearly document how you arrived at the calculated amount. The returned cheque will be proof that you paid so she can't come back for arrears later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nerkkooanse View Post
Once again, thanks for the advice everyone. I will keep everyone updated on the situation and I will take a look at that list.
The list on that website is fairly dramatic, for the most adversarial of cases, so keep that in mind. But overall, digital recording of all interactions, and as much documentation of every event and contact as you can muster will serve you very well.

Good luck!

Last edited by Rioe; 04-23-2012 at 03:54 PM.
  #20  
Old 04-23-2012, 03:49 PM
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The list is worst case scenario. (and it's US based). It IS fairly common sense though. Keep all communication in writing, (email!) keep your cool, don't engage on ANYTHING not to do with the kid. DON'T be the nice guy. The time for that is after you have a final order in place. There are dozens here who will echo that I'm sure.

Play hardball now, or spend the next 10 years kicking yourself in the ass. 9 times in 10 it's true. If you are the 1 in 10 where it's not, then you are already ahead of the game but personally I'd recommend you hedge your bets and figure it's going to get nasty-ish at some point.

The "nice" game on her side will last until she talks to a lawyer, you decide to assert yourself and challenge her, OR you start dating someone new.

NBDad's Rule #1: Until the ink is dry on the final order, it's fuzzy pink bunnies and glitter farting unicorns.
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