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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 02-04-2018, 10:51 AM
wantedahappyfamily wantedahappyfamily is offline
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Default Don't even know where to begin

I apologize in advance for the length of this thread, but I am in desperate need of help. I want to leave my spouse, and we have two children and want this to be easy as possible on them.

Here is the back story; we have been together for nine years, two amazing children aged six and five. We are not legally married, only common law. We met in the town we live in, but my hometown is two hours away. His family in completely uninvolved in my children's life, and my family drives four hours every two weeks to see the kids.

The reason I wish to leave is because he is emotionally abusive. When we argue, he calls me names and makes accusations on me that aren't logical (ie. I recently lost 50 pounds, and he states that I did it to get attention). In arguments he refuses to ever actually deal with the issue. He gets mad, name calls, and then when it's convenient for him, starts talking to me again like nothing ever happened. I honestly cannot remember a time in my life that he's apologized to me (and I apologize to him at least 10 times a day). He is also an alcoholic, and a chain smoker, even though we have asthmatic children in the home (he smokes outside but the smell and such is still on his clothing).

I understand I have played my role in this. I have been diagnosed with bipolar, and have had some tough times. I also was having drinks with him every night. I have been to a psychiatrist and counsellors for my bipolar however, and have abstained from alcohol during the week (I will still have drinks on weekends).

My SO is a good father in the sense that he is the one who gets down and plays with the kids, but he does not provide for them at all. He does not bathe them, does not purchase their clothing, backpacks, or other needed items. He does not take them to their medical appointments. He does not take off work if they are sick. I do all of these things myself, include make lunches, do their laundry, feed them, help them with homework. He does not help around the house, except for taking out the garbages. Cleaning, cooking, etc is entirely up to me. Up until four months ago, he also was not contributing to the house financially. I paid 100% of our gas, hydro, internet, insurance, etc. He pays 50/50 for day care and rent.

This is where things get messy. I want to return to my hometown with my children, as my only support with my kids are my parents and sister. My mom has often come down to take care of the kids when they were sick, while I had to work. My mom has taken my children to their medical appointments if I needed help. We would love with my parents until I was financially able to move out on my own.

My SO is adamant that we are not moving. I am more than willing to work out arrangements such as every other weekend, weeks in the summer, etc. And would be happy to meet him half way, even though my car is unreliable and his is brand new. The distance is maximum two hours.

Has anyone been in this situation before and have recommendations on where to start? I would ideally like to make the change over the summer, to avoid the kids having to change schools mid year. But I don't know how long of a battle I am in for. I don't have a job lined up in my hometown as of yet, but I'm certain I would find something.

I should also mention that I do not have much money for legal fees, but do have EAP through my work.

It has taken me so long to write this post, as this is my worst nightmare coming true. I want so badly to have a family together, and live happily ever after. But I can't have my children witnessing this anymore. My daughter can't grow up thinking her future husband is allowed to call her stupid.

Please help.
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  #2  
Old 02-04-2018, 12:41 PM
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Rioe Rioe is offline
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You want to make this transition to living in two houses as smooth as possible for the children, so moving two hours away from almost everything they've ever known is not the way to do it. To reduce the impact on the children, you want to do your very best to keep them in the same school, doing the same activities, and with access to their same friends.

This also has the added benefit of you being able to stay in your established job instead of having to find a new one.

If you know your ex doesn't want you to move them away, then you must have had some discussions with him about this already. What access sharing method does he foresee for the children? Does he want 50-50, or is he okay with you having them during the week and him only seeing them on alternating weekends?

As far as being closer to your parents, the best you can do is find a new home as close to the highway or the appropriate end of town as you can that is still in the catchment area for their current school, to reduce the distance a little bit.

YOUR hometown may be two hours away, but your children's hometown is right there.

It's absolutely fine, and completely understandable from what you describe, for you to end your relationship with this man. What you shouldn't do is try to end your children's relationship with him, and their hometown.

Start off by trying to work out a 50-50 schedule with him. There are several types, each with their advantages and disadvantages. Do some research on them and figure out which one would work best for both of you. Then he'll have to be more of a full parent to the children, including daily chores and caring for them when they are sick. He may surprise you by stepping up when he doesn't have you to handle it for him anymore. He may not, and be okay with EoW.

Moving the children away is called 'mobility' so that's the term you want to search to learn more about why it's usually not appropriate.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:49 PM
wantedahappyfamily wantedahappyfamily is offline
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Thanks for your reaponse. Sadly there is zero chance that they will be able to stay in the same school when we split. Neither of us can afford a house on our own, and there are no apartments in the district.

I think I made it quite clear that I have zero intention of removing our kids from their fathers life. However he could not care for them during the week, as he works until whenever (anywhere from 6:30 to 9:00).

We have also spent a lot of time at my parents and the kids have asked to move close to them, so I don't feel that the kids would be against moving. Their family is there.

I intend to do this the right way, and as he is adamant that were not moving, I can only assume that the courts will have to decide, but have no idea where to start.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2018, 01:16 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantedahappyfamily View Post
Thanks for your reaponse. Sadly there is zero chance that they will be able to stay in the same school when we split. Neither of us can afford a house on our own, and there are no apartments in the district.

I think I made it quite clear that I have zero intention of removing our kids from their fathers life. However he could not care for them during the week, as he works until whenever (anywhere from 6:30 to 9:00).

We have also spent a lot of time at my parents and the kids have asked to move close to them, so I don't feel that the kids would be against moving. Their family is there.

I intend to do this the right way, and as he is adamant that were not moving, I can only assume that the courts will have to decide, but have no idea where to start.
Okay by moving the kids two hours away you are removing them from their fathers life and regulating him to EOW. Would you be okay with leaving the kids with him and you seeing them EOW? If not then why should he be okay with it?

The kids are in daycare so obviously there are times when neither parent is able to look after them due to work. He may be able to cut back on his hours or work from home depending on his job. He may be working more hours to keep out of the house and away from the tension.

How big is the town you are in? I have lived in very small towns (under 300 people) and there were apartments. Maybe not regular apartment buildings like the big cities but apartments in houses etc. You can rent a house and get a roommate to help with the bills.

If neither one can afford to live in the town alone then have you asked him about both of you moving to your hometown or a town that you can both afford to live in?
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Old 02-05-2018, 08:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wantedahappyfamily View Post
The reason I wish to leave is because he is emotionally abusive. [and lots of other good reasons]

You are going to rapidly learn that your reason for leaving is immaterial. You want to leave, that is enough.



Quote:
He does not bathe them, [and other childcare stuff]
Lots of new parents haven't done childcare stuff before. It is not that difficult, he will learn. He will also clean his own house.




Quote:
This is where things get messy. I want to return to my hometown with my children
You're right, that has the potential to get very messy.


Quote:
My SO is adamant that we are not moving.
Then it will be messy


Quote:
Has anyone been in this situation before and have recommendations on where to start? I would ideally like to make the change over the summer, to avoid the kids having to change schools mid year. But I don't know how long of a battle I am in for. I don't have a job lined up in my hometown as of yet, but I'm certain I would find something.
There is no chance of winning a mobility case by this summer. Maybe by next summer.

Quote:
I should also mention that I do not have much money for legal fees, but do have EAP through my work.
You work though, which means that it is unlikely that you qualify for legal aid.



Quote:
My daughter can't grow up thinking her future husband is allowed to call her stupid.
I agree, you probably should be getting a divorce.


Quote:
Thanks for your reaponse. Sadly there is zero chance that they will be able to stay in the same school when we split. Neither of us can afford a house on our own, and there are no apartments in the district.
If you go to court, you are going to spend $40,000 on your mobility case... each. You can both rent houses in the school district for years with that type of money.


Alternatively, you can self-rep, however your case is a bit weak. You have clearly laid out why moving is better for you, but I'm not too clear about how it is better for your children. I think you might need a lawyer
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Old 02-05-2018, 11:03 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janus View Post
If you go to court, you are going to spend $40,000 on your mobility case... each. You can both rent houses in the school district for years with that type of money.
As a pure "mobility case" yes, I agree with your estimate on costs. But, if you throw in all the other "stuff" that the poster's emotional stuff it is more in the range of 150,000 to 200,000 each.

Also, excellent observation on the EAP stuff. Missed that one. If you move how will you continue to be employed? Right now the children benefit from both parents working. The court will expect the status quo to continue on that. So you won't automatically become a "stay at home parent".

To quote Justice Mossip:

Quote:
There is no other area of family law litigation in which the idea of “winner” and “loser” is less applicable than that of mobility cases. It is also true, that even with the very best parents, it is the area where “win-win” solutions can rarely, if ever, be fashioned. Parents involved in a mobility dispute often have to resort to the courts, because even with the best of intentions, and with both parties doing their best to put their child’s interest before their own, they cannot find a solution to the desire of one parent to move with the child, and the other parent vehemently resisting that move.
http://canlii.ca/t/1zt7g
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2018, 04:54 PM
sahibjee sahibjee is offline
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Take a break, go somewhere away from your S/O and if possible without the kids too for a couple of weeks, or if possible a month. move the furniture around in your home, there are other similar things that can be done to fix the relationship.

in other parts of the world where relationships last longer people take a short break (i.e. visiting one's parents or some other relatives they haven't visited in a while) that helps things cool down and by the end of the break both parties are more willing to compromise and make the relationship work.
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Old 02-05-2018, 05:15 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sahibjee View Post
Take a break, go somewhere away from your S/O and if possible without the kids too for a couple of weeks, or if possible a month. move the furniture around in your home, there are other similar things that can be done to fix the relationship.

in other parts of the world where relationships last longer people take a short break (i.e. visiting one's parents or some other relatives they haven't visited in a while) that helps things cool down and by the end of the break both parties are more willing to compromise and make the relationship work.
Then he says she abandoned the kids. Not a good idea.
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