Custody in Canada - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-22-2011, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm on all these govt websites and can't seem to find what I'm looking for...

I would be the one ending the relationship, and there is no abuse or anything of the sort going on. My partner is a good parent, though easily overwhelmed and generally oblivious to day to day things like meals (they just magically appear, or he thaws a pizza) and laundry (if I'm sick or something, he doesn't even think to wash the diapers, it's just a crisis when there aren't any!). He'd figure it out though, or, rather, his mom would do it, and the kids would be safe.

dd is 2.5 and still breastfeeding, and ds 7 months. I would want "sole" custody (defined as >60%). I've been a SAHM for almost 3 years, and my degree is in a field that would be difficult to get in to. I think I would go back to school, and could finish a second, professional degree in 2-3 years of full-time study. I'd have to find childcare and a job, etc, etc. I don't think he'd even want more than visits with ds at this point, but as he grows that could change. 

Do I have to have these things lined up BEFORE I can get sole custody? Am I at a disadvantage since I am not currently employed and my partner is? I know I should talk to a lawyer, but I don't think I'm ready for that step quite yet. Does anyone have a general, vague idea? 

I'm not looking to cut my partner out of the kids lives by any stretch of the imagination, but I can scarcely imagine how I would be able to send them off for weekend visits, never mind splitting it 50/50! His parents would go completely nuts demanding custody on his behalf though, and they are very, very well connected here while my family is mostly on another continent and otherwise several provinces away.  

??

Thanks.


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Old 07-22-2011, 10:32 PM
 
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divorce here is no fault. so you can end it there's no impact.

You could easily get alimony.

You'd need more than 60% to breastfeed.

You can put in a first right of refusal clause= he can't leave the kids with anyone else without your permission and if you want them he has to bring them back so his parents can't have "custody for him"

I suggest BEFORE you make any moves - make plans to go back to school.

Visit schools, talk to people - so it doesn't look like you are doing it to avoid working.

It's a total advantage you aren't working.

PM me.  I've been there, am there etc.

 


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Old 07-26-2011, 11:12 AM
 
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If there is no abuse, why do you need sole custody? The father has just as much right to a relationship and decision making with his children especially if hes been a decent father and is interested in continuing that.
In Canada it is very rare indeed to get sole custody except in cases of extreme abuse where charges have been issued.

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Old 07-26-2011, 11:26 AM
 
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Also, you cant just take him right into family court to demand custody for no reason, the judge will see you as being unreasonable, controlling and vengeful. You and your ex will need to make an attempt at mediation first and the decisions made need to be done in the best interest of the child, not of either of the parents.

 

Keep in mind that if the grandparents have been active and regular participants in your children's life up until now, they will be able to ask for 'grandparents rights' if you deny them visitation to the children if they wish to do so.

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Old 07-26-2011, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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sole custody here is defined as 60% or more. I don't want to keep them from him 100% of the time, but I have always been the primary parent and would like to remain the primary parent. Also, how the heck do you do 50/50 with a breastfeeding child who has only just barely begun to play with solid food?! 

Phew. I feel a little attacked, pp, but it is a sensitive subject, so maybe I'm just taking it the wrong way. We do currently see the grandparents about once a month or so, and even though I do not really want them as models for my children, I do know that it is important to maintain the relationship. I just don't want a situation where THEY press my partner to demand more time only so that they can have more time. Given history and the relationship, it is not at all a stretch to imagine my partner sitting zoned out on his computer in his parents living room while his parents do all the care-taking and parenting. 

Is 50/50 the standard now, and deviation from that requires exceptional circumstances? What if his current time with them (just physically in the same space, not necessarily as the caregiver) is about 2 hours a day plus about 6-8 hours over a weekend, with about 1 hour in the whole week where he is one on one with either of the kids (I can literally count on one hand the number of times he's been on his own with both of them). I do a lot when he's "with" them, and am pretty much the only one who feeds/diapers/washes/plays/etc. I *know* he will just figure it out if he's required to, but isn't it a bit drastic to go from me being the 80-90% parent to me being the 50% parent? 

We're not dealing with abuse, just a relationship where I give and do and he expects and receives and sees nothing wrong with the status quo (other than that I should be doing more). I don't love him the way I should. I'm unhappy and feel trapped. This has been ongoing over several years, and I have sought out and obtained counselling for us, but nothing really changes. If I only get to see my kids 50% of the time, I don't think I can get out of this relationship! 

I'm not looking for any sort of sole legal custody, if that makes a difference.


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Old 07-26-2011, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And, I sound like a complete jerk. I don't even believe in divorce (for myself. I made a commitment, and even if that wasn't the right decision, I do largely feel that it's my bed to lie in), but I've been thinking about it more and more of late. I was just wanting to know more about how custody works as I ponder things. 


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Old 07-26-2011, 04:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ComaWhite View Post

Keep in mind that if the grandparents have been active and regular participants in your children's life up until now, they will be able to ask for 'grandparents rights' if you deny them visitation to the children if they wish to do so.



This is basically a bunch of BS.  If when the father has visitation, the children see their grandparents, the grandparents would have no standing to bring an action for visitation.  Seriously - the grandparents would have to be denied ANY and ALL relationship with the children for a period of time - they can't just waltz into court and demand visitation.

 

OP - I'm not in Canada, but in the US you would have a good shot at getting sole physical (with generous visitation to the father) and joint legal custody.  As the SAHP, you have been the primary caregiver, and therefore the person who should keep custody.  With no abuse, and a good father as partner, he would likely get joint legal, and therefore joint decision making power.  I don't know what the breakdown of that is in Canada, or if they differentiate between physical and legal custody of the children.

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Old 07-26-2011, 10:58 PM
 
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In Canada physical custody is called custody, and legal custody is called guardianship. This is a good website for family law in BC... I think most of the provinces are similar.

 

Grandparents rights, while BS, are very real in parts of Canada. My ex in-laws took me to court because they don't like the frequency or duration of the visits I allow them each month. $2000.+ later, we have a court order that states they have the right to slightly LESS visitation than I continue to offer them. 


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Old 07-27-2011, 08:02 AM
 
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My situation is different than yours because my ex wasn't fighting me for custody.  But, I am currently on government assistance, hadn't worked since before DS was born, and have plans to start a 2 year program in September and I asked for and received sole custody (again, ex was ok with that).  That makes me responsible for decisions and I need to inform ex of my decisions.  So that is custody and then there is 'access' which is the time spent with the other parent.  I told ex that all I was ok with is one day per week (my ex is going through a lot of issues right now and hasn't been involved at all).  He agreed with this and I told him that I would gladly increase that once he starts becoming part of ds's life, I just didn't want it written in.  He has yet to start his one day per week visits.  

 

Also - if you are planning on going back to school - get your kids on a daycare wait list NOW and also a daycare subsidy list.  Depending on the city you are in/want to go to school in, there may be long waits for this (1-2 years).

 


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Old 07-27-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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Consulting a lawyer (or several lawyers, which I recommend) does not commit you to any actions. It also doesn't have to cost you an arm. There are free legal consultations services that can take place over the phone. I would also investigate the possibility of legal aid seeing as you are a SAHP. If you can, poke around and get a referral for a good family law lawyer in your area, and pay for the 1 hour consultation. It's really worth it to have your questions answered by a professional who knows the laws in your geographical area. They change from province to province. There are little details that they may know that will be useful to you.

 

If and when you decide to consult a lawyer, bring a set of written questions that you're brainstormed beforehand. Make sure everything is covered. It doesn't hurt to be informed so that you can line things up quietly and make your next move.

 

I consulted 3 lawyers, hired 1, then fired her, then hired another, before I made the move to separate. Knowing what lay ahead helped me prepare emotionally and intellectually.

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Old 07-27-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post





This is basically a bunch of BS.  If when the father has visitation, the children see their grandparents, the grandparents would have no standing to bring an action for visitation.  Seriously - the grandparents would have to be denied ANY and ALL relationship with the children for a period of time - they can't just waltz into court and demand visitation.

 


Yep, they sure can and do in Canada. Especially in Ontairo and Alberta.

 

OP: I didnt mean my post to sound like an attack, sorry.

If you think that after separation that you and your ex could work things out by yourselves or though mediation, that is far preferable to court. I was told by my duty council that she often sees the judge order bottle feeding for visits for kids under one. 

Generally, 50/50 isnt the rule, and overnights arent generally the rule for kids under 1,  but only you can predict how your ex will be in regards to what he wants for visitation.

 

 

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Old 08-03-2011, 07:56 PM
 
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She's not in a province that recongises granparents rights.  Besides she had a baby with him, not his mother.  First right of refusal trumps that one. 

 

 

Quote:
Phew. I feel a little attacked, pp, but it is a sensitive subject, so maybe I'm just taking it the wrong way.

You're going to have to articulate this to your lawyer or a judge, come up with a rational reason that's not emmotional.

Breastfeeding ends eventually.

 

 

Quote:
Is 50/50 the standard now, and deviation from that requires exceptional circumstances?

 

 No it isn't.  Especially if he's busy and it sounds as if he's exercising visitation in your house?

You're the primary caregiver, he has visitation. 

 

 

Quote:

I'm not looking for any sort of sole legal custody, if that makes a difference.

Yeah you do want sole physical.  Get any kind of joint and you're kicking over babybonuses, tax credits, they use it as an excuse to pay no child support.

 

DO NOT GET JOINT CUSTODY, it means he has to consent as well as you to dr treatments, vaccinations, school changes, etc.  They are never responsible enough to show up.

 


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