We separated in 2008. My son is now 11 turning 12 in December. We never actually got any orders outlining access except when my ex tried to go to Japan without informing me and I ended up with temporary full custody for 6 months.
The arrangement between us has always been that I see my son every other weekend. Due to circumstances I was not able to do much about that even when I had full custody. Following the emergency temporary order in 2008, we met in court to discuss the access issue among other things like child support for example. At that time the judge was not willing to make a decision and suggested that we have a case conference first. That never happened and the last year or more I have been sending e-mails to my ex's Lawyer to try to get the ball rolling in that direction. I have been able to get my situation stabalized and have moved close by my son's school. I have let it be known that I want a 50/50 arrangment. My ex has not been willing to meet and has thrown up the "status quo" banner at me on many occasions. Her Lawyer has done this more so.
I have been able to have my son come home after school often as opposed to afterschool care until I arrived from work or my ex arrived to pick him up. She originaly liked the idea I believe but feel that someone may have told her it would help my cause if she allowed that to happen - in any account she has changed her view about aftershool arrengements and despite my home being 2 blocks away now prefers to pay for after/before school care. She does not want or support my ability to develop a good relationship with my son. I have no drug issues, criminal issues etc.
This past May 2012 my ex decided that my weekend was not more important than her plans and picked my son up from school on that Friday. I caused a little scene at her home, filed a police report and soon realized that there was nothing I can do because we have no order in place.
Since the passive approach was not working and no order was in place I decided to talk with my son (to make sure this was something he also wanted) and change the schedule on my own. She got upset and and left him with me for a week but the shcedule I set has been kept 100% consistent since May and My son and I have been enjoying the benefits. He is here Every other weekend plus Tues and Wed nights.
Her Lawyer asked me to stop and threaten to file a motion to enforce the status quo, however this has not happened and I beleive since we are now in the summer months my ex and her Lawyer feel that this schedule will not have merit in terms of changing the status quo that existed before the change in May.
Therefore I want to take the initiative and need some advice. (I cannot afford a lawyer and am currently in bankruptcy until at least Feb)
I had planned on pushing ahead and scheduling a case conference. As I mentioned in the past my ex's Lawyer said a case conference is expensive and he would rather I send him my proposal in an e-mail. After some resistance I have doen this but for the last 2 months now have not been given any reply. I would like to demonstrate to the court that I am serious about making some important changes in the parenting arrangment and need something in wrting (an order) even if only temporary.
I was told that my file is actual no longer active. I thought it was because in 2011 a support order was issued and a divorce oder was also part of that. I was told at the court house that these things simply "survived" the status change and that if I wanted to register a case conference I could either file a procedural motion to extend the life of the case file or simply file a new application.
I decided to file a motion to request my file be made active for another 265 days so we can try to make some progress with our divorce and more importantly so that I can then file a case conference and try to get somekind of access order issued.
Does my plan make sense?
- Order to reactivate our file or New application
- Case conference (even though they do not want one and will not agree to 50/50 access)
- What next?
My goal is to make a 50/50 arrangment official to avoid any debate in the future. Have we done enough to change the status quo?