click here to watch our full court story
Court is done and finished... for now. I am still in shock of how stressful it was, and we never even made it into a court room.
Court was suppose to be on Tuesday October 1st but on the Thursday before my legal aid lawyer called me to inform me that they wanted to make a deal. The deal was based on his claimed income amount(which is lower then he makes because he has a business and doesn't pay him self the full amount) and what he wanted to pay for back pay(which was not even close to what I was expecting). My lawyer really wanted to take the deal and I felt pressured into taking the deal because of it.
Originally I was told that I would get back pay from the day DB was serves papers back in November 2011, not knowing he had already filed in court. meaning I should have been getting back pay from November 2011- October 2013. My current lawyer informed me on this Thursday that my first lawyer had not put in an application for support and she had done so in July 2012, so she told me I would only qualify for back pay from July 2012 forward. She also said that since I started income assistance September 2012 all the back pay I would get from September 2012 forward would go to the tax payers(which she didn't want to fight for). So since she had already told me untrue information about income assistance in the past( Click here to read the false information) I couldn't trust her this time. I also wasn't convinced I would get any support from Nov 2011-June 2012 because im my affidavit in Dec 2011 it was stated that we were applying for child support and custody.. but i'm not a lawyer so I don't know what that means.
My lawyer wanted to make it so that I got all the back pay and that it didn't go to income assistance so she wanted to word the order so that it was just for the year I wasn't on income assistance. In an ideal world that would be awesome, but would income assistance see through the plan and have a problem with this... would they want to cut me off forever because "I was" intentionally screwing them out of money that they were owed. So stressful and at this point im really starting to feel alone.. no one I know has gone through anything like this and I don't have a partner to tell me how they feel and it was scary.
I don't feel like sharing why I settled but I settled and for a lot less back pay then I wanted to. I got the lawyers to give a little bit of back pay for both years so that if income assistance wants me to give them money I will(and I'll keep you posted how that goes). The amount I settled for is less then a years worth of child support and NONE of my receipts from the extraordinary expenses were even considered in the amount. But hopefully if DB is happy then I wont have to see a court room.
I got them to update the custody/guardianship on the new order but it was like pulling teeth. My lawyer didn't even want to bring up asking for guardianship because she "didn't want to open the can of worms" and put it out there and end up getting less then I already have. But given our story HOW ON EARTH would I not leave with sole guardianship? The only reason I ended up getting sole guardianship is because DB emailed me asking if I accepted his offer so I asked about guardianship and he agreed. But it still wasn't as easy as that. I asked my lawyer to put it on the order and she said since I had sole custody I had sole guardianship.
On our old order where it says I have sole custody right under it, it says guardianship will be decided on another date.. Reading that whos going to give me a passport for them with out DB's signature? The reason she finally listened to me and put it on the order is because I said how I changed their last names so to everyone who sees the old order Im going to have to connect the dots how there last names use to be _____ and now are Harris.
Very stressful time, didn't feel supported or knowledgeable.