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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 96411
Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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How can I get sole custody of my children? I am living in

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How can I get sole custody of my children? I am living in Alberta and trying to get a divorce. My children are only 5 and 3. My husband has a long history of depression and a high stress job. Any advice?

debra thal :

I am sorry to hear of the difficult situation.

debra thal :

Are you separated now and if so where are the children living?

debra thal :

Have you seen a lawyer yet?

Customer:

no, i haven't seen a lawyer and we are not separated. The children are living with both of us right now.

debra thal :

Does he want joint custody?

Customer:

yes, for his days off schedule... 10 days on and 4 days off. (and so he won't have to pay as much)

debra thal :

So he knows about the 40%!

But is he saying the kids should live with him for 4 days straight and then with you for 10 days straight?

Customer:

that is what he is saying right now, but I can't honestly see that happening. I also don't think that would be healthy for my kids. What exactly is the 40%? We have only heard about it through friends.

debra thal :

That schedule cannot work most of the time. It's too confusing for kids.

If you the kids live with you for less than 40% of the time the then set amount of child support may not apply and he would pay you less.

debra thal :

I think you need to see a family lawyer.

debra thal :

You can do that without telling him of course.

debra thal :

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

debra thal :

Let me find the number for you.

debra thal :

The number is:

1-800-661-1095 or 403-228-1722 in Calgary

Customer:

How much can I expect to pay for this? (just a ball park figure)

debra thal :

It depends on where you live, how much of a fight you will have on your hands etc.

This could be settled shortly or you may need a full blown trial.

Customer:

thanks for the number

debra thal :

Do you need any information other than this?

For example, do you know what a Court decides about custody?

debra thal :

how

Customer:

well i have a ton of questions because I don't know much about the whole thing. I don't know how the court decides about custody.

Customer:

Also, I am wondering mostly about my mortgage.... How can I get my name off of there without selling our house?

Customer:

I am planning to apply for a student loan, but they won't help me while I have this huge mortgage

debra thal :

Essentially the Court makes a decision in terms of what it considers best for the kids. So it would consider who was the primary caregiver, who they are bonded with more, child care plans if you work or are in school, extended family etc.

debra thal :

The bank will not let you off the mortgage if your name is XXXXX XXXXX title to the house.

debra thal :

They may let you off it's not.

debra thal :

But this will also have to be worked out between the two of your or again a Court will have to decide.

Customer:

damn... thats what I thought. I simply don't have the start up cash to move out yet, and I can't apply for family allowances or anything until i am separated for three months. But i can't get separated until i can get a loan, and I can't get a loan until I sell my house! Any ideas on how to get around all of this?

debra thal :

Does he earn more than you do?

debra thal :

And why can't the house be sold?

Customer:

it can, but it will take a while. He makes much more than I do.... 120,000/year. I am a stay at home mom and I go to university part time. (two courses a semester)

debra thal :

Then he will need to also pay some spousal support to you as well, at least for some time.

So go see a lawyer for free first. And have the lawyer review your facts and financial information and then you will have a better idea about your options.

Customer:

will do... thanks again for your help

debra thal :

You are very welcome.

debra thal :

I hope you can work this out.

debra thal :

And keep my name.

debra thal :

If you need some more help you can put it into the subject line next time you post.

debra thal :

Thanks

Customer:

I will for sure... a second opinion is always a good thing.

debra thal :

Good luck!

debra thal :

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