Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Court not always the place for child-custody battles

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Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I do not believe your advice to Country Mom to get the husband to call his lawyer because his wife is withholding visitation because of a girlfriend of less than one year was helpful. I can relate. I've been in a relationship for five years. My partner's ex has taken away his children and refused him access to the children time and time again for no valid reason. It takes several months to appear in front of a judge. After several years of court battles, my partner was granted access to his children 50 per cent of the time. Eight months later, there was a minor disagreement and she refused to let him see his children for three months. My partner did everything to gain back access to them. Even if there is a custody agreement, everything must be done through the court -- a slow and painful process.

Then the judge decided not to restore the 50 per cent agreement, as the child-care arrangement had already been changed and it would be a disruption to the children's lives. They now have to wait for a trial judge, which costs thousands of dollars and many more months. So my partner's ex clearly did something illegal, and not only were there no consequences, but she was rewarded! I agree it can't hurt for Country Mom to call the ex herself, however, a hang-up is likely all she will get. -- Seen How the System Works, Winnipeg

 

Dear Seen the System: Divorce mediation is another way to go. It would help, in this case, to get all three people involved to work it out. It's really Country Mom -- the new girlfriend -- that the ex-wife is fighting in this battle. So far she is winning. Why would she want to co-operate? Luckily, divorce mediators have ways and means that can often work to reduce the anger and jealousy quotient between parents and get everybody to work together for the childrens' sake.

 

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: This situation described by Country Mom may not be entirely as it seems. There is a business called Fairway Divorce Solutions that helps couples mediate these kind of situations and is far less costly than the court option. I have been there and done the court thing and I wish Fairway was available then. They are at 204-414-9181, 43 Scurfield Blvd. -- Another Way, Winnipeg

 

Dear Another Way: This divorce mediation group also offers one free consultation. The website fairwaydivorce.com has more information.

lovecoach@hotmail.com

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 26, 2014 D4

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