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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 12-03-2021, 02:01 PM
Trix Trix is offline
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Default Urgent Motion - Child's mental health - disclosure to mom

Understanding that it's never appropriate to simply accept what is presented as factual, I would ask that anyone replying accept things as I present them here.

Very brief history: In 2016 our daughters started living with their mom nearly exclusively.

January 2017 CAS became involved and suggested immediate move back to 50/50. Kids were on board initially, then started to trail off in may.

June 2017 while still working with CAS mom files for sole custody and a further reduction in time spent together (we were almost back to 50/50 at the time.

November 2017, court doesn't entertain motion for full custody and orders an OCL report.

April 2018, OCL report outlines how mom is failing to support relationships between myself and children and suggests immediate move back to 50/50

Mom refuses to comply and, in 2019, court orders reunification counselling.

2020, effen pandemic and slowly but surely, counselling falls to the way-side.

2021, reunification counsellor closes file with final letter stating that although the children have little to no physical contact with father, they report no issues in their relationship with him (me).

Current,

Summer both daughters (14 and 17) start making requests to spend time together, starting in June. As the time we plan comes around, they suddenly have other plans with their mom. Repeatedly and consistently (mom states repeatedly it's up to me and the girls to set up times and she's not involved).

July, maternal grandparents start expressing concern over youngests mental health

September, youngest starts making requests to spend time regularly. Again, plans are consistently curtailed.

October, youngest speaks to me openly about her struggles. As well as with her doctor, who puts her on an SSRI. (That she speaks to me openly is phenomenal)

November, youngest comes home to do homework and have dinner twice. Both occasions, mom (in the background ramps up rhetoric about how I'm not involved and not a father etc.).

Two calls from mom, with children present in the background where mom is intoxicated and saying same.

Youngest starts messaging me in the middle of the night, expressing feelings of isolation, loneliness and despair "I'm worried about me" (writing that is difficult).

Let mom know that youngest has spoken to me.

After, youngest requests that I don't tell mom that we speak as mom appears to be "weirded out that I do and I don't want it to be complicated about who I speak to".

On the phone with my youngest until 2am two nights ago, trying to comfort her.

Last night same.

In the end:

I'm hearing my daughter hurting and trying to reach out, but also recognizing that she has to do so in secret because her mom turns it into some twisted struggle for control.

She is trying to engage in self-care and trying to access my support but feels as though it would betray her mom in some way.

I am considering filing a motion for therapy for youngest and potentially to enforce visitation so that youngest isn't responsible for the 'betrayal'. To do that, I have to (and have) articulated in detail what I described in brief above.

My understanding is that an urgent motion will consider the detrimental effect releasing certain information could have on the child if it's provided to the other parent.

In the end, providing the texts from my daughter to the mother would destroy my daughter's trust in me and might immediately spark horrible emotional response by the mom to our daughter, only further impacting her mental health.

Question:

Does anyone have experience with providing information for the court to secure an urgent motion in a manner where some information is not disclosed?

Concerningly as well, mom now treats older daughter as second parent "we are working with her (younger daughter), we have a plan, we...we."
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2021, 03:14 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Have you called CAS? They might have some information for you and possibly apprehend her to go into your care. Best to speak to them first on this especially if you are concerned she will self harm.

Your daughter can come live with you if she wants and you can play gate keeper.

I would also get some documentation from her doctor.

Im not a lawyer but I would recommend the following:
Ask your daughter if she is comfortable with you using her messages in an urgent motion to have her come live with you.
Ask her if she wants to live with you.
File a motion to change custody based on the current mental health of your child and the danger you feel she is in.

Ive followed your posts. No judgement. You are dealing with an alienating parent who is controlling and manipulating your kids. Your oldest SHOULD NOT BE INVOLVED. She will continue this behaviour and your daughter is clearly not safe. If she does go to you they will continue to harass and bully her.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2021, 01:11 AM
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Direct your daughter to call the Kids Help Phone:

https://kidshelpphone.ca/

If your daughter is in need of mental health intervention they will arrange for it. It is best to have a 3rd party that is not involved help out. They can and will call CAS if there is a concern and when they do it... It is taken very seriously by CAS.
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Old 12-04-2021, 11:35 AM
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Thank you to both. It's comforting having the two of you still offering perspective.

She has all the contact numbers, including kids help phone. She's been in touch the last couple days and seems somewhat more positive. None the less, I've compiled everything for an emergency motion, a first-party approach to CAS as well as requesting another case conference.

In the end, keeping my finger, very closely on the pulse.
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Old 12-04-2021, 01:21 PM
StillPaying StillPaying is offline
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If you're already before the court, I don't see how this is an emergency or urgent, or how another case conference could help. Instead of more cas or therapy requests, perhaps you can just be more consistent with access. You definitely need a lawyer, but moreso you need to show up. Generally, kids will be mad at everyone at some point. We can help deal with issues but running to change access/custody is not right.
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Old 12-04-2021, 04:50 PM
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More consistent in access requires two parents.

For a touch of context:

Their mother is estranged from her only sibling. Our daughters have never spent time with their cousins.

She twice refused to allow her parents to see our daughters, first for a year then ten months.

CAS used the term 'sabotage' in reference to her undermining our relationships and threatened to go CFSA, then she filed for custody and CAS pulled back (as is their mandate).

Their therapist reported an 'insecure attachment' between our daughters and their mom.

OCL itemized, 1 through 5, the manner in which their mom fails to facilitate access

The judge used the term 'alienation'.

For my part, I had matters of my own to address related to occupational stress injury. That I have done steadfastly, noted by all, including our daughters.

The issue isn't showing up...the issue is showing up and having your daughters stare at the ground where their mother repeats on the front step 'just tell him why you don't want to go.

There may be parents who are willing to pull their children in two directions. I, however, am not one of them. Have never failed to show up, but it became a source of pressure for oir daughters.

'Mom says if I want to stay she'll support me, but she doesn't think it's a good idea because then you'll think you're in control'

'Sometimes I have to say mean things about other people so mom doesn't feel like the bad guy'

'Mom doesn't wants to have an 'us' day now, and I don't want to disappoint either of you'

'Mom doesn't want me to go and I don't want her to be annoyed at me'.

So here it is, I trust in our relationships and so do our daughters (I believe that firmly), but, to their detriment, they need to validate her. With two daughters who were also described as being emotionally enmeshed with one parent. I stopped forcing the issue.

Now, though, our youngest is hurting and feels as though she has to hide that she reaches out to me.

That, is, in my opinion, urgent.
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Old 12-04-2021, 05:21 PM
StillPaying StillPaying is offline
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I believe the best way to deal with a controlling/alienating ex is to be a constant presence in your kids' lives. Parents fight for their kids everyday in all aspects, which should certainly include access.
Much of what you said is not relevant or helpful to your case. If you have 50/50 access, do it. Lie, pick them up from school, anything.... take your week if you have to but maintain your access.
Are you before the court now?
IMO, this is not urgent and a regular motion would be enough. Although, don't you already have an access order?
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Old 12-04-2021, 07:58 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Default Urgent Motion - Child's mental health - disclosure to mom

Quote:
Originally Posted by StillPaying View Post
I believe the best way to deal with a controlling/alienating ex is to be a constant presence in your kids' lives. Parents fight for their kids everyday in all aspects, which should certainly include access.
Much of what you said is not relevant or helpful to your case. If you have 50/50 access, do it. Lie, pick them up from school, anything.... take your week if you have to but maintain your access.
Are you before the court now?
IMO, this is not urgent and a regular motion would be enough. Although, don't you already have an access order?

When it involves teenagers who side with the alienating parent then it isnt easy. Many teens in this situation are manipulated into believing they have power and that they will hurt the alienating parent by spending time with the other parent. We would come home to find my mother passed out on the bathroom floor ostensibly distraught that we wouldnt come home. When you are constantly bombarded with messaging that the other parent is bad and it would hurt the one you live with to go, a child will choose to stay. I was once forced to return a gift to my fathers girlfriend and was told if i didnt do it I could find a new place to live. Not to mention that the fighting and negative behaviour takes a toll on their mental health pushing the child to act in a way that keeps the peace. My husband was in this same position where his kids were sent out to tell him they were too sick to visit with them. The two got so tired of putting up with the fighting they stopped speaking to him.

All this to say that no matter what the order or arrangement, it is extremely difficult to manage a high conflict alienation scenario. This posters child said they want to kill themself to get out of it. Even I, a former kid in a situation like this, cannot easily explain just what goes through a teens mind in this environment.
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Old 12-04-2021, 08:31 PM
StillPaying StillPaying is offline
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This went on well before they were teenagers, and alienation doesn't happen over night. If 50/50 access was maintained, it would counter any lies ex may be saying. Accepting no access and letting therapy go to the way side... most parents wouldn't give up.
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Old 12-04-2021, 09:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StillPaying View Post
This went on well before they were teenagers, and alienation doesn't happen over night. If 50/50 access was maintained, it would counter any lies ex may be saying. Accepting no access and letting therapy go to the way side... most parents wouldn't give up.

Alienation can happen with 50/50 and the poster has been working in enforcing it. Its difficult to drag your kids out of a house. Hes been fighting for years to change the situation and pushing for his access. The other parent has slowly been manipulating the kids. Its a long process that involves a lot of psychological manipulation. Ive been through it, I know what the parent says and does and it is incredibly difficult to understand or fight against as a child.
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