Hello, I am Canadian. I am the mother of 2 children 5 and 3. I have had a separation agreement made up in February 2011. The father will not sign. i have been living in Washington since the end of June 2011. I have a letter signed by a lawyer and the father giving me permission to be in Washington with the children. He skypes 2 times per week and had has visited the kids on numerous occasions and I have brought them to Alberta. My concerns is I have never felt safe giving him alone access with the children. I caught him smoking majuanna in the car with the kids. They have told me Dad smokes majuanna in the garage by himself and with another man sometimes. He has had them on the roof of his house when they were 2 and 4. He has had a DUI's and old criminal record. He smokes cigarettes in the car with them. He MAKES them kiss him and hug him very often. And when when they finally do, he makes them do it again. I saw him lick my little girl on the tongue more than once when she stuck it out. I had to grab her and take her away. When they come back from visiting they have bad dreams, wake up crying telling me about there dreams about their Dad. My little boy was very upset one day saying that Dad told him he had the ability to get the family back together again. He has not paid any money toward the kids. There is more stories. I have never felt safe leaving them with him. When I was there at least i could protect them or new what was being said. He is extremely demanding and i need some legal advice on what kind of access he can and what he can not have. Thank you Eva
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to assist you. Kindly use CONTINUE or REPLY button to ask for clarification or follow-up questions.Are you now filing for divorce in Washington state?
That is a concern. If I divorce in Washington, Does that make the divorce legal in Alberta Canada? Because we are both Canadian. Is it best to divorce from Alberta? What about child support? how does that get reinforced?
Did you respond back to me? and where do I go rate your answer?
Thank you for the information:
That is a concern. If I divorce in Washington, Does that make the divorce legal in Alberta Canada?
Response 1: Yes, it does. U.S. divorce would be recognized in Canada. When you file for divorce, you have to ask for sole legal and physical custody of the children.
In a custody case, the Court would make a decision based on what is in the best interests of the children by looking at the living arrangement of the parties to the custody dispute, their lifestyles, associations, parenting skills, etc. If the Court finds after reviewing these factors that the child would be better off living with you, the Court would rule in your favor. Otherwise, the Court would award custody to the father or award joint custody to both of you. So it is very important that you tell the Court any and all reasons why the father should not be given custody of the children; any witnesses should be brought to the Court to testify. Remember that the Court can only make decision based on the evidence presented to the Court.
Because we are both Canadian. Is it best to divorce from Alberta?
Response 2: No. Since you are already in the U.S. and you are trying to get the children away from their father who is in Canada, it would be prudent to file the divorce in U.S. instead of Canada and make it difficult for the father to challenge custody of the children from Canada.
What about child support? how does that get reinforced?
Response 3: Child support issued in the U.S. can be enforced in Canada through U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Child Support Enforcement, which coordinates the enforcement with the State's child enforcement agency and Alberta. The province of Alberta signed a reciprocity agreement regarding child support enforcement with the U.S. in 2002:
US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement:
Alberta Maintenance Enforcement Program:
Washington State Child Support Enforcement:
The forms for filing for divorce and custody are available at the Courthouse in the county where you live at the Clerk's office. You may also download divorce forms online from the Courts web site:
Furthermore, you may retain the services of a local divorce attorney to assist you with your case. You can use the following sites to find local divorce attorneys:
That was very helpful thank-you.If this goes to court, he will have to come here?Does it matter that I am not here with a green card or working visa. (I am not working, but at this time I have over stayed) I will be going back to Canada for a visit in a week. I never have problems coming into this country. Will this be an issue in court? I wouldn't think so since I have a signed letter giving his approval of me being here.
That was very helpful thank-you. If this goes to court, he will have to come here? Response 1: Yes, that is correct. Does it matter that I am not here with a green card or working visa. Response 2: No, it does not matter. Your legal status does not have anything to do with your divorce and custody of your children.
(I am not working, but at this time I have over stayed) I will be going back to Canada for a visit in a week. I never have problems coming into this country. Will this be an issue in court? I wouldn't think so since I have a signed letter giving his approval of me being here. Response 3: No, it would not be an issue.
You have really helped me.How do I know what kind of access is safe for the children? How do I make that decision? Is there a professional (child psychologist?) that knows what is best for them regarding there age and situations the father puts them in?
You have really helped me.
Response 1: You are quite Welcome!
How do I know what kind of access is safe for the children? How do I make that decision? Is there a professional (child psychologist?) that knows what is best for them regarding there age and situations the father puts them in?
Response 2: You pretty much know what a safe access should be. The father should not be allowed to have unsupervised access to the children with his drug habit and his inappropriate interaction with the children. However, you may also consult with a local child therapist to obtain his or her professional opinion. You can ask your primary physician to recommend one or ask friends and relatives for referral if you do not have a primary physician or Pediatrician for the children. Also, the Court may appoint one in the case if necessary to evaluate the children. However, this would be moot if he does not show up for the hearing. The Court would award you sole legal and physical custody with no visitations to him if he does not show up for the hearing to speak for himself.
Goodluck with your case,
You have made me one happy girl. :-)Since you have given me such great advice, What can you suggest for me in getting residency or legal status or something? (without getting married)
You have made me one happy girl. :-)
Since you have given me such great advice, What can you suggest for me in getting residency or legal status or something? (without getting married
Response: This is an Immigration Question. The policy of this site requires that you open a new post for it under Immigration Category. Do not forget to rate one of my previous answers to give me credit for assisting you. Thank you for your cooperation,
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