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dh moved out: need recommendations of professionals to support family with separation process...

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Dh is moving out today for a trial separation. Although we had long-standing marital problems (largely related to parenting stresses), the first time he ever mentioned separation to me was six days ago. I am totally unprepared for this.

Can anyone recommend a professional who can help guide me through this process?

I want someone who specializes in taking a child-centered approach to family transitions. My 6 yo ds has various special needs and my youngest is only 3. We have also identified therapies that would give ds the help that he really needs, but we don't have funding for those and I feel that ds is in a developmental window where interventions could play a critical role. Also, we are in the midst of a financial crisis (incl debts) which will only be made worse by the cost of paying for a second residence and hiring professionals to help us. I'm a homeschooling SAHM who has put her career on hold because my kids need me so much and because dh spends a lot of time on a side business (in addition to his job).

People have advised that I see a personal lawyer but I am reluctant to do that given that an adversarial dynamic is not in my or my dc's interest. A mediator has also been recommended, but I'm not clear on how that would work when I am still reeling from the shock and have little information about what actions are needed for my children's sake. I'm wondering if there's a different type of professional who can facilitate things in a non-legal way. Dh has expressed the intention of acting in the dc's best interest and he is a very loving, involved father.
post #2 of 22
Here is the story I heard on CBC that I thought would interest you. They apparently aired an episode of Doc Zone with the same story (I originally heard it on the radio). Hopefully this will give you some resources to check out...

http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/docz.../howtodivorce/

Also, if you click on the "resources" link you will see a list of resources, including THIS mediator who is in Port Coquitlam. His website may help answer some of your questions about mediation.

And HERE is the website for Family Mediation Canada which may also provide you with answers.

post #3 of 22
I'm afraid that I don't have any advice, but I did want to say how very sorry I am that you are having to go through this right now.
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piglet68 View Post
Here is the story I heard on CBC that I thought would interest you. They apparently aired an episode of Doc Zone with the same story (I originally heard it on the radio). Hopefully this will give you some resources to check out...

http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/docz.../howtodivorce/

Also, if you click on the "resources" link you will see a list of resources, including THIS mediator who is in Port Coquitlam. His website may help answer some of your questions about mediation.

And HERE is the website for Family Mediation Canada which may also provide you with answers.



Here's the video:
http://www.cbc.ca/video/#/Shows/Doc_Zone/ID=1233752002

I'll watch it after the kids go to bed if I have time.
post #5 of 22
You SHOULD see a lawyer, both of you should. But it need not be an adversarial process. (I agree that it too often is). There is a group in North Vancouver that specializes in collaborative law, which is a mediation type process that knows the minutia of the family law system, they would be a good choice. (and they recommend this child specialist http://www.advancedtherapeuticcounselling.com/)

What is in your children's best interest is to see you and thier dad on a very regular basis. Your littlest one doesn't have a good concept of time yet and going more than a few days without seeing one or the other of you is not a good idea. It is also hard on the kids to transfer between houses, so if it is possible for you and your DH to share both residences and leave the kids in the original home, that would be best for them. A nutty idea but best for them! It would also mean that you would only need to find a bachelor or one bedroom apartment for your second residence.

Good luck, sorry that you are going through this and sorry that you had no warning of it.
post #6 of 22
ksenia, i can imagine you're in shock. let me see what i can find for you x

*
post #7 of 22
Let me know if I can help in any way.

post #8 of 22
Ksenia, where is he staying currently? have you discussed the idea of sharing a second residence?
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
He is staying a 10 minute drive away from here. At this point the plan is for the children to sleep here, so hopefully his apartment will be a novel place to go and not something that displaces their primary home. The children doing overnights with him doesn't seem practical at the moment, though I realize that time may come. Dh has never ever cared for the children at night -- I've always been here for them and dd still wakes at night and wigs out if she doesn't get nursing . Dh is having really really extreme sleep issues right now, so I don't think he's motivated to do overnights either (yet). I'm sure he'll want to do that eventually since he's been told (by his ever helpful divorce veteran work comrades ) that that protects his access to the kids. I raised the possibility of sharing a secondary home, but it doesn't seem like 1 it would make a difference for the kids right now and 2 dh is pretty clear on wanting his own space and wanting get away from me. In the medium term, though, all options are going to have to be on the table and seriously assessed. I agree that sharing a secondary arrangement makes a lot of sense, but I also see that there are so many things that would prevent that from working.
post #10 of 22
Ksenia, I'm sorry I don't have any real advice or resources to share. I am thinking of you and your family during this time. I wish you didn't have to deal with such difficult decisions.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ksenia View Post
his ever helpful divorce veteran work comrades
Ugh. How ugly. Perhaps it would help him regain some perspective if he considers how he lives and parents and what his priorities are in relation to theirs? These are not people like him, and their solutions are not necessarily (and perhaps not even likely) going to be in line with his ideals.

Once you get caught up in that legal system, sometimes things can spiral out of control... I got stuck with an *extremely* expensive lawyer just as a matter of happenstance. (And I was a student on student loans at the time, and it was a custody dispute!) I hope you're able to find some middle ground... I'm sorry I don't have anything to suggest.
post #12 of 22
Ksenia,

Please get some legal advice.

You can do this for little to no fee through the family court system.

Having had to support so many of my women friends with small children going through divorce this season (one having lived with me through all of Nov and part of Dec) I just want to stress, make sure you know your rights in regards to the children.

Please contact me if you have any questions. I have quite a few lawyers in my family.

So sorry you have deal with this.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacksmum8 View Post
Ksenia,

Please get some legal advice.

You can do this for little to no fee through the family court system.
Right, what I forgot to add in my last post is that the Family Law Courts have free legal advice available to people that pass a certain financial test. YOU have no income, you qualify, I'm sure of it. Call and find out. It is confidential and free and you will know what your rights are.
post #14 of 22
ksenia, if you want to have a playdate just so you can go into a corner and make some phone calls, do let me know

*
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by artparent View Post
ksenia, if you want to have a playdate just so you can go into a corner and make some phone calls, do let me know

*
Me too.
post #16 of 22
i am so sorry
i am not in vancouver, but i really really recommend you seek legal advice of some sort. i say this from my personal experience with divorce, and that of friends who have also been through the process. it never hurts to line up spousal/child support and child access issues legally. it is really hard to predict how an ex spouse is going to react as they go through the grieving process also.

i found this link for you, maybe it will give you some direction:
http://www.fmep.gov.bc.ca/
post #17 of 22
Knowing your DH's line of work and the advice that he is getting, FMEP is NOT the way to go. Go there if you have a child support order in place AND he has a history of not paying, but certainly don't start there. That's a good way to turn things adversarial in an instant. FMEP doesn't afford you any rights, it just enforces them once they are ordered by the court. If you can keep things out of thier hands and peacefully between you and him, you will be FAR better off.
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdtmom2be View Post
Knowing your DH's line of work and the advice that he is getting, FMEP is NOT the way to go. Go there if you have a child support order in place AND he has a history of not paying, but certainly don't start there. That's a good way to turn things adversarial in an instant. FMEP doesn't afford you any rights, it just enforces them once they are ordered by the court. If you can keep things out of thier hands and peacefully between you and him, you will be FAR better off.
good point. for some reason i was thinking of the family law information centers they have in alberta, which are very helpful - do they have that in BC? there are resource links on the FMEP though, which she may find helpful.
post #19 of 22
Ksenia, I'm just catching up with posts here and have no advice right now. I will talk to a friend who works in a related field and let you know if she has some suggestions.
Many hugs to you.
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
I think I am going to agree to mediation (pref with a psychologist rather than a lawyer). I had one counselling session with the one who I had seen with dh, but that's $120/hr so I probably won't be doing that again. I am entitled to some free counselling through my dh's employee assistance program, though dh was not impressed with them (when they showed up to support the firefighters after they had a traumatic fire incident where Stephan and his colleagues earned a medal of bravery). I guess that's the sensible route even though I really would prefer to hand-pick a counsellor through a personal recommendation. IME bad counselling can be worse than none and I have to be careful about managing my emotions right now because my children need me to keep it together.

Tonight was really rough. I did have a shoulder to cry and I am grateful for that, but...
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