My daughter is attending first day JK tomorrow there's a parent presentation info session same time. My ex wife is

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Customer: My daughter is attending first day JK tomorrow there's a parent presentation info session same time. My ex wife is working and has her best friend taking my daughter.We are in a brutal and bitter access battle. I have had to start litigation but its been a year and barely moving.Currently joint custody but she only let's me visit in her yard, a judge in case conference had to suggest to her she could have a reversal against her if she doesn't allow unsupervised access which still hasent happenedHer and her best friend recently, upon hearing more bad news for them about the case and being fired by their lawyer, wrote up a word document accusing me of past murder suicide threats etc. Slinging mud. Point being she is willing to purger herself
The school welcomed me to attend and sent me an invite. I told my ex I am going and to let her friend know. Now she says If I attend her friend will pull their children out of school as they don't like me and don't want me around. We had moved my daughter to this school to be with her kids as they are friends so I agreed. Now that I am showing up its suddenly an issue
I said I'm still attending as I have a right to info in a court order and gave my word to my daughter.
She said I had better not come near them
My question is, I have to go near them as its a small gathering and my daughter is with them and will want to say hi. Can they call police for or get a restraining order by me attending? I have no criminal record
Answered by Thom, LLB (JD) in 3 mins 9 months ago
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Thom, LLB (JD)
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

Hi and thank you for using Just Answer.  My name is***** will be assisting you with your question.

Just a general disclaimer that this conversation is for informational purposes only. I am a licensed Canadian lawyer; however, you would need to retain a lawyer to take any legal action and/or preserve any of your legal rights. I may be away from my desk from time to time, but rest assured I will always return back as soon as possible.

I am sorry to hear of this difficult situation.  Before we get started, can you tell me what province you are in and if the "joint cusotdy" is provided for in a writen agreement or interim order pending the outcome of the litigation?  Thanks.

Customer
ontario. the joint custody is our sep agreement filed with the courts. we are going to our settlement conference this month with no end in sight.I have no interm order yet will be seeking one this month
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

Your former spouse cannot deny you access in the presence of a shared parenting arrangement she agreed to and is filed with the courts.  That agreement is enforceable against her if she is denying you your custody.  Given that the event is tomorrow, there is no time even for an urgent motion to enforce the agreement. Courts do not look favourably on parents who deny access in the absence of their being any risk to the child. But all of these remedies are after the fact because nothing can be achieved quickly enough before tomorrow.  Unless your agreement strictly forbids you to have access to information about your child's education and that the information has to be filteed through your ex-wife to you, then you have every right to be there.

I cannot predict what it is your ex-wife's friend will do.  Calling the police would be extreme if you did not present a risk and if there is no no-contact order in place.  The police don't want to get involved.  Have a copy of the agreement with you.  If the friend removes the children, remain calm. Taking matters into your own hands is not advisable.  Your ex-wife may want to be reminded or told about what the impact such a spectacle will have on your child, especially as it seems your daughter is expecting you and wants you there.  The other option is to avoid the potential for conflict entirely, do not attend the event and instruct your lawyer to convene a case conference or bring a motion immediately to address your ex-wife's denial of access.  In some cases, she could be made to pay your costs of having to take this step.

I hope this helps.  The solution, given the time frame, is more practical than legal.  The legal remedies can be pursued after the event tomorrow.  I cannot stress enough the need for you to take the high road should you decide to attend.  You want to be able to attend before a judge without anything available to your ex-wife to hold against you.

I am available for follow-up questions.

Customer
thank you, ***** ***** the detailed reply.I haven't fully made up my mind yet but my ex is claiming that my daughter will be devastated if I go because her friend will transfer her children from school. so I may want to avoid so that 1)child isn't hurt or upset even if it's not my doing 2)so that my ex can't claim she warned me and I went and emotionally hurt my daughter any way.the thing is, if I avoid, it only postpones this issue until the next time we are all there for school events etc. and it gives her another method of successfully alienating me which she may play upon again
Customer
i do have written signed permission to be there. I just don't want my daughter hurt by their unreasonable behavior if she is led to believe her friends can't attend that school because I showed up
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

Her friend is not going to transfer her kids from the school.  It's a bluff.  The logistics of removing her kid from school because you show up to an event makes no sense and to have it related to a family law matter that does not involve her is even more ridiculous. Your ex-wife is playing a dangerous game.  Courts do not appreciate parents who use children as leverage.  The best interest of the child is the paramount principle.  If you respect that principle no fault will be found with you.

I respect your decision to, perhaps, take the path of least resistance, but only you can assess the relationship you have with your daughter and what your presence will do for and to her.  If you think she will be upset, or if she has been coached to react, you may want to avoid the event and then make your ex-wife answer to a judge for her behaviour. If you have not already, I recommend you retain an aggressive family lawyer who press on these issues on your behalf.

I never asked and should have earlier.  How old is your daughter?

Customer
she's 4my daughter has asked me to go repeatedly and said she will be looking for me. however, my gut says there's a good chance she has been coached tonight to believe I will cause her to loose her friends.if I do go, and my daughter doesn't react like her normal happy self and freaks out, I may have to leave to prevent disrupting her day.this is a terribly hard decisionI really appreciate the time you've given me alreadyI do have a legal aid lawyer on my case, and he feels for me and has even done some pro bono for me as a result but due to my ex dragging things out, going to mediation with no intentions of talking, etc. I have very little hours left to bring a motion.we have the settlement conference this month but its not likely to settle anything
Customer
This is a big decision, and I'm aware small events like this can set things in motion that ripple for a long ways, so I am trying hard to weigh whats best for my daughter here
Customer
I'm weighing calling their bluff and risking dealing with my daughter possibly being coached and upset already
or
not going and setting a precedent for more future behavior and tactics like this and possibly letting my daughter down.
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

I don't envy your decision or situation.  Judging your daughter's reaction may be best.  Avoid the friend and if she engages, ignore her. Allow her to cause a scene.  Record it if necessary. You have a right to see your child and an obligation to shield her from conflicts between you and your spouse.

If you let me know where you are exactly, i may be able to help you find a lawyer who can help you out.

Customer
I live in King City Ontario, just north of Toronto
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

Try (289)(###) ###-####and ask for a free 30 minute consultation.

Customer
thank you, ***** ***** that!
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

You're welcome.  I wish you the best.  Thanks for choosing Just Answer and if you have any other questions related to this or amy other matter, please return and ask for me by stating in your question, "This is for Thom".

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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

Hi.  I ma curious as to how things went.

Customer
thanks for checking in!I went. decided to gauge my daughter. met the principal and parents etc. then they arrived, I made no attempt to interact to avoid conflict. my daughter always is excited to see me and either didn't notice me or just didn't say hi. so I left them alone. my ex wife's boyfriend took my daughter in to the school, my ex wife ended up coming after all, plus the friend of hers and husband.I am worried that it will confuse my daughter why we aren't all cordial, but I tried last night to convince them to agree to say hello or wave today to save face for the kids but no dice.the friends husband walked away early on and made a call, went over to my vehicle while making that call, then watched me for a while while on this call...
who knows what that was all about. only time any of them met eyes with me.so kinda sad but at least no conflict! except for possible confusion for my daughter which is concerning
Customer
they were visibly agitated, and I doubt I've heard the last of this....unfortunately
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

That't too bad.  Such unnecessary drama.  Did you contcat the lawyer today?

Customer
no I haven't yet, I rushed back to work right after, just finishing now.I do plan to though
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

I am happy to continue to answer any questrions you may have and I am encouraged that you will contcat a lawyer.  Good luck.

Customer
Thanks! I plan on reaching out Monday.today didn't go so well though. She had tried to alienate us in the past and after refusing calls or visits for year I finally filed for court where the case conference judge advised her to allow full unsupervised access or she could face a reversal if this goes to trial. he suggested we mediate before the next case conference. we did. she agreed to an expanding schedule but still only allow s my daughter to see me at her house and confined to her yard under moms supervision. even though I'm clearly still litigating, the visits have gone okay given the situation. until today.she came outside to end the visit and my daughter pleaded for more time saying she misses me . my ex started mudslinging in front of my daughter. saying that I abandoned her for that year (when my wife refused to let me call or come) and that I hate my daughter etc and that she doesn't know what she's saying when she "misses me" meanwhile my daughter is shouting at her mother "but I do miss him"earlier during this visit my daughter pleaded with me for more parenting time and said mom gets mad when she asks or when she mentions me at all so can I please tell mom....I redirected.I shouldnt have but i told my ex off. asked her to take our daughter inside 3 times, she wouldn't and continued mud slinging with daughter there I assume to drive a wedge between us, to which I kept defending myself while trying to grab my stuff keys wallet toys and bail outta thereI dropped the ball by raising my voice and by not just shutting up when she kept going in front of our daughter and refusing to take her in.I knew things were tense after the school thing but this was bad for my daughter.was hard to let my ex say I abandoned my kid and hate my kid in front of her without defending. I just wish I haddent raised my voice.. she was just as loud
Customer
now I feel sick. I feel for my daughter and am worried my ex will decide to use this as an excuse to refuse access again, which is even more worrisome since my daughter is already hurt by all the restrictions. now she prob feels this is her fault too.I just printed out my clean criminal record check today and will be requesting a motion at this case conference in a week
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Thom, LLB (JD), Expert

You're taking positive and meaningful steps toward building a relationship with your daughter that a court will see. Take it easy on yourself.  Many fathers have been where you are and they are out there to speak with you if you wish  http://www.canadianequalparentinggroups.ca/Ontario.aspx.

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