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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 01-03-2012, 07:43 PM
Harold Callahan Harold Callahan is offline
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Default Need Legal advice asap

I posted in parenting section but thought this may be better - sorry to moderator ---------



Hi all! I hope all had a good Christmas/New Year I know it can be tough.

Quick legal question.

I assumed my Ex would be taking this week off to be with our son. I found out today that she will be at work and will be leaving him with her friends son who is 27, lives at home with his mom and has no job - this Wed Thurs and Friday while she is at work.

I see my son every other Weekend, we have no sep agreement, cour orders etc..

She will not give me any contact info! I don't feel right about him being alone with some guy I never met wanted to know if I had a right to have my son if my Wife is not watching him.

I am his father. What do you think..?

thanks in advance for any info or advice offered..

Harold
  #2  
Old 01-03-2012, 08:47 PM
DunnMom DunnMom is offline
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Bottom line ... without sugar-coating it ... you SOL ... you "technically" have a 50/50 access with your son but since by your own admission here, you have EOW ... which means your ex (the boys' mother) has the boy the rest of the time ... basically unless you have a court order ... SHE is the primary caregiver and unless it's your access time, she is free to leave your son with her parents, her BFF or her new boy-toy.

GET SOMETHING IN WRITING AND SUBMITTED TO THE COURTS ... or this will be your life from now on (posting on an internet site, inquiring and asking about your rights as the boys' father).

Best of luck )
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:49 PM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
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I guess since you don't have a court order, you could offer to watch him and see what she says. You both have equal access rights to the child since there's no custody access order in place.

The issue is why you only see the child every other weekend with no order in place? I would have pushed for at least joint access because you've set-up a status quo arrangement. I'm not sure how long that has been going on or why you agreed to it in the first place but it puts you into a tougher position. I would immediately increase your access time with your child.

Otherwise, she can pick whatever babysitter she wants as she is the child's mother and must exercise parental judgement when choosing childcare.

In my opinion, your beef should be the fact that you only see the kid every other weekend...not the fact that you don't approve of her babysitter. As I said previously, I would offer up to her that you can babysit during the time the child is off of school and go from there.
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Old 01-03-2012, 08:52 PM
DunnMom DunnMom is offline
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To add ... in the beginning of "my" separation/divorce, I WANTED 50/50 access ... ex refused & wanted EOW (and "maybe" one night a week if it fit his schedule) ... to which I agreed.

I also thought that "if" I had something came up mid-week I could call their dad & ask if he could take them. I did this 5 times and with all but 1 time he was "busy". So you know what ... as a mother, I simply made other arrangements if needed (picking kids up from daycare, needing a 2 hr babysitter, etc)

Unless you HAVE and WANT (which means you GO TO COURT and GET more then EOW weekend access to your boy) then you really have NO REASON to get into your ex's business ...
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:08 PM
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Rioe Rioe is offline
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What you are asking about without knowing the terminology is a "Right of First Refusal." This is a clause that can be in a separation agreement that says that if one parent cannot look after the child during their parenting time, they ask the other parent first if they would like to do so, before seeking a third party babysitter.

You don't have that now, so while it would be nice, and good for the child, for her to ask you, she doesn't have to. You really need a separation agreement in place before you lose all access.

Good luck!
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:00 AM
Harold Callahan Harold Callahan is offline
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Thanks for this great advice, I guess its fair for me to simply tell you that in my case I tried for 50/50 but the separation left me really devastated - finacially to say the least, (I don't know how some people go through this a 2nd time or 3rd !) I took on all the debt and ended up loosing the house to the bank in the end. After looking at our debt and the sale value of our house we would have had 5K to split up between us! lol, so I took on all the debt. The other problem was that I was in Carleton Place, and he was in Ottawa..

I knew that some stability was better than nothing and so informally agreed to the EOW format. Other fathers I knew seemed fine with it and told me I would get used to it. It was a little shocking but I knew I needed to get myself back on my feet.

3 yrs later --
He just turned 11 and I want to be a real dad in his life. I know what it was like at 13 not having a father at all in the picture so I'm very stressed about not being a real part of his life. I think it's more crucial now that I'm there for him.

I've moved 2 blocks from his school and have nice 2 bedroom condo unit I'm renting. My plan is to have him come home everyday from school and get picked up here rather than at daycare. Next year he will be to old for this daycare anyway so it makes sense. I may not be here before he get picked up but it's a start I figure. Then maybe get him to simply stay one night a week etc., then later 2 nights.

I was told on a site where you pay for a lawyer to give advice, that because of that status quo, I need to move in slow increments. I imagine all else being equal it would be hard for a judge to refuse a small increase with a dad who lives down the street.

Thanks for the legal jargon - I thought that a parent should have the option if they were reasonably close by to take care of thier child over a babysitter.

Thanks for the "hard love" also.. I think the other problem was the way my ex handled this holiday season, she rather not give me the opportunity to take time off work this week to hang out with my son, refused to give me contact info and also I don't think this is a guy she has a relationship with, he's just an aquantaince.. not cool

I will work hard on getting things back to a 50/50 - I never knew about status quo - until it became status quo! ..

thx again

H
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:30 AM
Harold Callahan Harold Callahan is offline
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Also - what do you think of my plan to gradually increase contact as described above and could anyone breakdown what steps I should take in terms of submitting any documents to the courts? Could I draft up my own separation agreement? Would that need to be submitted , could I so it myself..?

Sadly I can't afford lawyer fees anymore.. I need to do whatever I can do on my own, .. on my own while I pay back my Lawyer what I owe him..

H
  #8  
Old 01-04-2012, 06:32 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is online now
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You can do a separation agreement on your own, but your ex must agree to it in order for you to submit it to the courts. If you and your ex can come up with something that works for both of you thats great.

As for changing access, you need to prove this over a period of time. Showing that your son is staying with you EOW and one night a week for only a month is not enough to change status quo. Document your time with your son for a whole year.
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Old 01-04-2012, 08:07 PM
Pursuinghappiness Pursuinghappiness is offline
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Quote:
...devastated - finacially to say the least, (I don't know how some people go through this a 2nd time or 3rd !) I took on all the debt and ended up loosing the house to the bank in the end
This is another problem with you not getting separated properly. Debt is split evenly. Believe me, I understand the financial trauma that comes with divorce and legal bills...but I'm completely unclear about what this has to do with your child and you being a parent. If every person with financial issues on this forum decided that they wouldn't be a parent because of it...well, you get the drift.

Quote:
yrs later --
He just turned 11 and I want to be a real dad in his life. I know what it was like at 13 not having a father at all in the picture so I'm very stressed about not being a real part of his life. I think it's more crucial now that I'm there for him.

I've moved 2 blocks from his school and have nice 2 bedroom condo unit I'm renting. My plan is to have him come home everyday from school and get picked up here rather than at daycare.
Its nice that you've decided that you want to be in your child's life. I agree that he needs you to be. But the issue is that you have no agreement and have set-up a very clear status quo that is probably working as is. It would be great if you ex realized that the best interest of your child is for you to spend more time with him...but it already sounds like she's going to plan to do the exact opposite so be prepared for a battle.

Personally, I think you probably have a true uphill battle, however, I also think its a battle worth fighting. Your best bet is probably to try really hard to work with your ex to spend more and more time with your child. I would offer her whatever assistance (driving, dinner, etc) you can in order to get that to happen. You really really need to get an agreement in place though.

I also hope you never again put anything else in front of being a consistent parent for your child. Good luck to you and your son.
  #10  
Old 01-04-2012, 09:29 PM
Harold Callahan Harold Callahan is offline
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Thanks again all - the advice/comments offered helps put things in perspective.

I agree finances should not be an issue but it can cut down one's options. I can be hard with no transport and renting a room for example.. it makes things difficult.. I'm doing this now because I realize the finances will never be back to normal. I can't wait any longer.

I am also getting that this will take time - lots of it.. so I'd like to report back here from time to time over the next 12 months (if I can) to keep the situation updated!

Thanks again..

H
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