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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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Old 11-16-2010, 11:40 AM
tiredMum tiredMum is offline
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Exclamation Mobility, Fiances, and Personality Disorders

Hi. I'm new to the board, and am ready to go to court requesting a custody change, and can't afford a lawyer or qualify for legal aid. I get different advice from each lawyer I've spoken to at FLIC. I guess it is best to just lay out my story, and see what advice/options you all have for me.

I have been separated for 2 years. There was some paperwork glitch on his end as he took care of divorcing me, but it went through in March. We were married 13 years and have a daughter, 10.5, and a son 7.5. We both own together both homes we live in (owned both while married) he kept the marital home, I took the townhouse. We have joint custody, with no custodial home for the children, they alternate homes, week on, week off, and still go to the same school. In our agreement (he prepared, I got a lawyer to read it, tell me I was giving up a lot, but signed it anyway to get it over with) it is stated that we must remain in St. Catharines.
He set the child and spousal amounts based on $120,000 and mine of $15,000, he was making $150,000, but the amount was good, I wasn't going to complain. The spousal was maintaining the mtg payment on my home for 3 years. The bank called in March to say it was 3 months behind and I had 10 days to come up with the money. I have not received child support since December 27 2009. FRO took forever to register my case, but he has never made a payment to them either. The bank started calling me for the payment on his house, which I declined to make. I got served that I am being sued on a debt for an investment loan he took out in 2006 that I co-signed. He stripped out the investments, and stopped paying the loan. He has not bought new clothes for the kids since last year. Someone finally gave him hand me downs. He says that he "went through depression when I left and didn't work" mostly he pissed off his clients, and they stopped sending friends to him. (broker) But he still had $25,000 in landscaping done, and stiffed the landscaper, had a custom laundry room and basement bath put in, and stiffed the appliance company. And is building an unlicensed salon in the basement of the house for his boyfriend. Yes. Boyfriend. He met a 10 yr younger guy on line last November, and moved him into the house within 6 weeks, without explaining to the kids that daddy was gay (and had been all along, but wanted kids and social acceptance so he married me) Without a doubt I believe he has Narcissistic Personality disorder, he meets every criteria. The children are not neglected in his care, but he does very little with them unless it makes him look like super dad. Posed moments, I call them. My daughter had a very hard time in June when daddy out of nowhere said boys can marry boys and that he would marry his partner in Oct, 2011. (large lavish wedding, supposedly) Still, no child support.
I work full time, self employed, and after expenses make maybe $25,000. I imagine he is getting almost no clients, as he is constantly in arrears on his house, had the cable and phone cut off, and has now filed a consumer proposal, and I have had to as well, as in addition to the lawsuit, the bank wants their $25,000 line of credit back.
I began dating a man that I dated in college that I had refound and been friends with on Facebook last May. The children have grown to like him alot, they claim to love him. He is divorced as well, and money is tight for him, but we have lots of cheap fun as a family. He lives on a farm belonging to his employer of 10 years, and we have use of 40 acres. All hokey and country like, but we love it. We have decided to marry, regardless of if we can live together, July, 2011. Civil ceremony with a bbq on the farm. We are snowmobilers, and my fiance always has had a yearly ride and hosted a swap meet. This year we rented a fair gounds and made it an event. As of last night, we have a media partner, and expect attendance to go from 500 to 15,000 per show (2 per year, both in his town) plus the winter ride. It will be almost a full time job organizing these.
Problem #1: he lives near Barrie, 2 hours from me.
Problem#2: My Daughter wants to live with us. She isn't crazy about Daddy's boyfriend. Wants to finish the 5th grade here, but wants to be with us, but can't talk to daddy. He gets angry at her about doing things with me, he can feel her preference. She would like to join 4H (agricultural club) and use my fiance's cousin dairy calves as her show animals. My son just thinks its not fair if daddy doesn't have him, even steven, even though he is bored at dad's house and isn't terribly fond of dad's boyfriend.
Problem#3: I was totally stressed in the spring and emailed the ex a proposal: I would not register from FRO, I would do all the driving, I would never ask for child support, if I could just leave with the kids. He never replied, but ranted to everyone that I wanted to take his parental rights because I am anti gay. Frankly, gay is the least of the issues.

I am going to have to stop doing what I do for a living. I cannot afford the fees for insurance due in December of $1400, and I use a credit card to purchase info from the government for my reports. As of Wed, I have no cards due to the consumer proposal. I am desperately seeking a new job, but despite 10 resumes at least a week, I haven't even gotten a phone call.

I want to move with the kids in the summer. The school they would go to has an alternative year, so they go back in August but get extra time off during the year. If I give the ex most of the summer and all of the school vacations, I can get his time up to 18 weeks (from the 26 he has now)
I want to request the OCL as well, so that maybe, just maybe, we get the social worker, and they can hopefully see the dynamic in his house. Though he is very charming and slick.

Any ideas about my case?? I was told since we are joint already, the more time I give him, the better my chances. I can't mediate, heck, we can't even stand to look at one another when we switch the kids on Sundays. Staying here is killing me financially, we can give the kids a simple, normal life. They consider my fiance their step dad already, he calls them his step kids. I don't want to take them away from their father, I actually think their relationship would be stronger, as he can excel at what he does best...do things with the kids when others are around to watch, big deals, parties, special trips, not the day to day stuff, where he lacks (homework, proper meals and bedtimes, clothing them)
  #2  
Old 11-16-2010, 02:21 PM
lumpy lumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
We have joint custody, with no custodial home for the children, they alternate homes, week on, week off, and still go to the same school. In our agreement (he prepared, I got a lawyer to read it, tell me I was giving up a lot, but signed it anyway to get it over with) it is stated that we must remain in St. Catharines.
Look up mobility in the forums and you will find that even NCP parents who do not exercise ANY of their custody time can block a move by the other parent. In your case their father has 50% of the time with them. I think that it will be pretty much impossible for you to move with your children unless dad gives his consent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
The bank started calling me for the payment on his house, which I declined to make. I got served that I am being sued on a debt for an investment loan he took out in 2006 that I co-signed. He stripped out the investments, and stopped paying the loan.
You are divorced - why are you still on any of his loans as a co-signer? Why would the bank come after you for his mortgage? If you got a lawyer to read your agreement the all of this should have been taken care of at that time. Something sounds a little weird to me... maybe not the entire story?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
My daughter had a very hard time in June when daddy out of nowhere said boys can marry boys and that he would marry his partner in Oct, 2011. (large lavish wedding, supposedly) Still, no child support.
Dad is allowed to move on and be happy with whomever he choses. If he told your daughter that he was marrying his boyfriend, then your job is to support her and help her work through any negative feelings that she has. Grit your teeth and practice saying "that's great for dad." with a smile. In your children's best interests you will have to do this a lot over the coming years.
As far as CS goes - what is the FRO doing? Are they garnishing his wages? From what I have seen and heard - try not to count on CS. Fight for it to be paid (it is your child's right), but try to make sure that you can get by without it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
Problem #1: he lives near Barrie, 2 hours from me.
Yes, this is a problem that you are unlikely to be able to get past. Look up mobility on the foum search.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
Problem#2: My Daughter wants to live with us. She isn't crazy about Daddy's boyfriend. Wants to finish the 5th grade here, but wants to be with us, but can't talk to daddy. He gets angry at her about doing things with me, he can feel her preference.
At 10.5 years old you shouldn't be talking to your daughter about moving away from her father. This is an adult decision and should not involve your children. By involving her - you are asking her to pick between her mom and dad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
My son just thinks its not fair if daddy doesn't have him, even steven, even though he is bored at dad's house and isn't terribly fond of dad's boyfriend.
Your son is right. However, he shouldn't be put in a position to chose. You have to leave your children out of this decision. By the way - 7.5 year old boys are bored everywhere but on a rollercoaster... he may say the same thing about your house... this is one of the problems with involving children in adult decisions... because they love you and they love their dad - they will never tell either of you the complete truth. Your daughter may be saying to her father that she doesn't want to change schools and move away from her friends but that she can't talk to mommy. The children are too young to be a part of the decision. Your daughter's apparent preference to live with you because she can be in the 4H club, not being crazy about dad's boyfriend and mom's financial problems don't trump her need for herself and her dad to have the same meaningful relationship and contact that they have always had. Please, stop talking to your children about moving away with you. Figure the situation out with their Dad. Then, if he agrees to the move, speak to your children about it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
Problem#3: I was totally stressed in the spring and emailed the ex a proposal: I would not register from FRO, I would do all the driving, I would never ask for child support, if I could just leave with the kids. He never replied, but ranted to everyone that I wanted to take his parental rights because I am anti gay. Frankly, gay is the least of the issues.
Dad wants to be in your children's lives 50% of the time. He is probably insulted that you would think that he would trade off child support for a life with his children. Child support is not yours to barter with... it is for the CHILDREN. That is why it is child support. SPOUSAL support is yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
If I give the ex most of the summer and all of the school vacations, I can get his time up to 18 weeks (from the 26 he has now)... I don't want to take them away from their father, I actually think their relationship would be stronger, as he can excel at what he does best...do things with the kids when others are around to watch, big deals, parties, special trips, not the day to day stuff, where he lacks (homework, proper meals and bedtimes, clothing them)
The day to day stuff is just as important to dad as it is to you. I know that you don't want to hear this... the worst thing in the world that you could do to your kids in this situation is take them away from dad. They have every right to have their father in their lives, the same as they always have. You can move to Barrie yourself and ask dad to give you most of the summer, school vacations and get your own time up to 18 weeks - but it would be wrong to move them away from their dad, their friends, their school, etc.

If you are planning on using the media partner to make your snowmobile events into a business, then try to work out a way to do that from St.Catherines. Doing the organizing can certainly be done by telecommuting. You can be in Barrie and do what is needed there during the weeks that you don't have your children. It is wonderful that your children have a good relationship with their step-dad-to-be... Can he move to St.Catherines?
  #3  
Old 11-16-2010, 02:41 PM
tiredMum tiredMum is offline
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No, he can't move here, he is a farm boy, through and through. I didn't ask my kids about moving, while my daughter was sobbing in bed in June about her father, she was the one who said she wanted to live up north with my finace and I. It was not the first time she had asked outright. I tell her that Daddy is the way he is, and I got her a therapist to help her through it. My ex said it was none of my business, but my daughter will not confide in him how she feels, so I did what I could. My son is the one who sits in the back seat of the car and asks his sister to please not cry at night, that the boyfriend may be not nice, but that it's ok. My kids knew I wanted to remarry, but I have always told them that as is is fine, and that my fiance and I can wait to live together until they are older. She asked to join 4H after visiting the dairy farm and going to fall fairs. The only time I brought up any change is the last time she was crying in bed, I asked her "what do you want me to do, I need to know so I can do the right thing to help you" and that's when I started looking into court. I worry about them, as my ex is like his mother, narcissistic, and he uses all the same tricks, control, anger, praise and manipulation. The therapist is starting my daughter into some exercises to help her self esteem. I just want them to have quiet, comfortable lives.
As for the debts, they were co-signed while married. The bank does not care what our separation agreement states as to who is to pay what. We are both on each others mortgages, as I could not afford to buy him out of this property (which was an investment) and he did not buy me out of his house (the marital home). I am stuck in a situation that have have so very little control over, and it is driving me crazy. The shows should take off, and after the first newly partnered one in May I should be able to take a paycheck from it, for now, we work for free to build it. I can do about 50% of it from home, and do the rest when my kids are with their father. I don't want them to lose their Dad, I just want them to be happy little kids. I guess for now, I hold off, and let whatever is to happen, happen. I have been holding it together for 2 years, head down, just waiting for him to stop kicking my feet out from under me every time I start to get up, I can wait a little longer. My folks raised a tough kid.
  #4  
Old 11-16-2010, 03:04 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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Lumpy is right. There is no reason for you to be talking to your kids about any of this. Yes, you want to move, but your life is not just yours anymore, you are a mom, and you committed yourself to their father when they were born. Married or not, you are in this together and that means you can't just move them away from him.

Your child's wish to join 4-H is not more inportant than her relationship with her father. If your child wanted to do gymnastics, would you consent to her father moving her to London...probably not. There are 4-H clubs all over Canada and I see no reason why you can't enroll her in one closer to where you live. That way dad can take her too.

If your new boyfriend loves you, he will understand that moving is not an option. Maybe he is willing to move there, maybe not, but "being a farm boy" is not a good reason not to consider it. If I were you I would be questioning his commitment to this relationship. I might be way off base here, but it seems that you are looking for reasons to move, and they just aren't good enough to convince the dad, or the court.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:15 PM
tiredMum tiredMum is offline
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I think may all be right. I can find a way out of the financial mess, and we will marry, regardless of if we live together full time. He has a son, who while he loves us, does not want to move from the farm to a townhouse in the city. I think if I lay low, things may settle out on their own. You would really have to know my ex to know what that means, but he has come so close to complete and utter destruction, that I can wait for him to get there on his own. He does love his kids, just loves status as well, and as long as the kids aren't hurt, I can wait to live full time with my fiance. The kids so far seem ok, aside from the recent emotional outbursts. the therapist says my son copes better than my daughter. I will keep holding her hand, and she will come out a strong young woman.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:17 PM
billiechic billiechic is offline
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yeah, she will. Kids are resilient.

I know how hard this is, but you just have to do what is best for the kids. In the end they will figure it out, and they may even thank you for your sacrifices. I know I thanked both of mine.
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Old 11-16-2010, 03:23 PM
lumpy lumpy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiredMum View Post
As for the debts, they were co-signed while married. The bank does not care what our separation agreement states as to who is to pay what. We are both on each others mortgages, as I could not afford to buy him out of this property (which was an investment) and he did not buy me out of his house (the marital home).
What was your separation agreement for then? I'm not sure that I understand...

He is supposed to be paying both mortgages, the mat-home and your townhouse (as spousal support). He also pays all of the debt or is that paid 50-50?

Couldn't you just have the 2 properties appraised and work out how much has been paid off and figure out the difference between the 2? If there is a big difference between the amount, then the one that comes out ahead on the property could take more of the debt in their name... You would both still have the same amount in investment/property and debt - but you wouldn't be tied together financially anymore.

You are asking for trouble if you don't separate your finances... It's usually messy enough to split without having to take into account appreciation since the agreement etc.

I think that you should find out what is going on with the FRO and dad's CS and also look into late SS.

About the moving/dad situation. Try to look on the good side of it... Wether you like his parenting style, personality traits, etc. he is their dad - and he loves them and is as involved in their lives as you are. That is good. You can get them involved in a ton of different programs around St.Catherines. If you daughter is becoming a bit of a 'country girl' then try:
  • Niagara Junior Farmers
  • Niagara North Federation of Agriculture
  • Niagara Peninsula Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association
  • Ontario & Niagara 4-H Association
  • Hats Niagra (horse therapy)
  • Miles of smiles (horse therapy)
    Good luck
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    Old 11-16-2010, 03:45 PM
    lumpy lumpy is offline
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    The horse therapy programs are volunteer organizations. This will put her around a barn & she could make contacts for cattle shows there. It won't cost you anything other than the time & gas to drive her there. Volunteering with the therapy programs are a fantastic way to build self esteem!
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    Old 11-19-2010, 10:35 AM
    tiredMum tiredMum is offline
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    Thanks you. I will for sure look into the local programs. She has asked to join hockey too, lol, she has never played, but my finace has, and tries to show her some moves. I think she might be asking me to do it, just to spite her Dad, who told her "I'm not sitting in a cold rink at 6am for hockey". I had never seen much ag stuff in Niagara, but she did used to ride, and her favorite part is just being in the barn working with the animals. Riding scared her, actually.
    As for the financial, he arranged the whole agreement. The income difference didn't change much of the debt load. I took a $25,000 credit line, he was supposed to pay his parents back money he borrowed ($25,000, their life savings and a $15000 investment loan) The investment loan has been suing me since March, and his parents haven't seen a dime. I pay the line of credit up until now, because of the lawsuit, I am going to declare bankruptcy, my papers should be done next week. I spoke to FRO about a month ago to add his employers legal address to the file, but as far as I know nothing yet. Frankly, I don't think he has a dime. He barely works. (not a 9-5 job, he is a mtg broker, works from home) I don't know how long he will hold onto his status symbol house.
    But, a sunny spot is the meeting with the media partner went very well, and I could be organizing/doing books/meeting with vendors, for our shows, and by June, taking an income from it, which will give me time to be a flexible parent, traveling back and forth between my home and my soon to be husband's, depending on if the kids are with me or their father.
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