Support Group Meetings [The handwritten notes from which this transcript was made have been submitted in this lawsuit. For reasons of promised privacy, many last names and other identifying facts are omitted where noted. A second file contains transcriptions of the notes for the year 2000.] [Back]
January 2, 2001 18, 4
Rick (called me today) never lived together, child 6 months. Has been voluntarily giving some support; no court yet, she asking because wants subsidy for daycare. Gets general, standard advice, including shared parenting plan from ([Source A]. [Not outstanding -- knows nothing]
Gary (Came with Colleen, who came few weeks ago) two kids, 14 and 16; still in home, wants out. She unemployed but "looking", has mostly worked since kids older; he paying the bills. Trying for WCB -- saying unable to work? [Warned of dangers re spousal support, etc.] says the kids want to go one each way. Asks re buying another car -- ramifications. Gets advice on that.
John blank (my contact.) Four weeks ago, she said she wanted divorce. 16 years marriage, she making $20,000 more this year. (She teacher, he sales representative, irregular schedule.) No papers yet, she has consulted lawyer. Hoping for reconciliation, realizes little hope. Grabbed her wrist once demanding what's going on; she took kids to hotel the next night. Kids seven and nine. [Quite articulate] she wants primary.
Paul blank two girls, 14 and 16. He diagnosed with hepatitis C (can't work overtime any more; very debilitating) in September; she asked for separation in November; she moved out with oldest daughter. She went to Newfoundland to see a guy. (Internet romance? Cybersex?) Both daughters now living with him in the house. She filed for sole, then revoked; now wants "joint".
January 9 28 + 3, 6
Dick blank here -- works at blank.
Jim blank here -- success in court against his lawyer and wife hit for perjury -- good story! [Psychologist blank -- Mail order psychologist! -- discredited].
Glen (not yet) (Jiggs's friend)
Glen with now wife (my contact.) Long-term alimony.
Jim blank access problem -- her mother thinks he's unfit father. Married, separated one year. One son, almost year old. Access four hours each Saturday, supervised. She made accusations -- not really serious, he indicates.
Darren blank separated, hasn't seen 2 kids for over a year. Has had access orders. Very soft-spoken. (depressed?) Doesn't know much about what's in the court orders -- "who has custody" (!) She now in Vancouver, he thinks. $500 per month maintenance. But has taken some good initiatives on his own.
Les blank and Julie (articulate) (my contacts) daughter suing him for sex abuse. Her lawyer on contingency. Daughter went and saw blank, who probed for past sex abuse by father!
Gary recommends Elsa Rice as good legal aid lawyer -- teaches at UA and takes some cases.
January 16 18, 4
Tony blank (alludes to a drunken road rage event getting him in trouble. From the emotional stress, he says.) Separated now, moved out. [Leduc RCMP told him they could get him ordered out if he didn't leave, after she called 911 in an argument. *Write this up! It's his home as much as hers, but --] She handicapped, can't work. No papers filed yet. [Fairly articulate.] [Tim] gave advice re spousal support and property
Steve blank here?
Jason access problem, daughter three. Divorced last summer. She has sole custody. (He in poor emotional state, just went along with his lawyer.) She had good reason to leave him -- but says he's now reformed. (Drink, pot, irresponsible. But caused by depression.) Hired a lawyer. Went to court without him just before Christmas, and to date still hasn't told him fully what's in the order! Went and got the clerk's notes to find out. Just fired lawyer. Law society suggested it! Needs a better access schedule; ex wants to suit her irregular schedule./ Maintenance problems as well, needs to vary. [In her affidavit, she says he threatened to shoot her. Says he has solid evidence of fabrication.] But they get along fairly well. She has the power. [Fairly articulate. Seems a dedicated father.] Advised to go for change to shared parenting.
Richard wife left last Friday night under influence of neighbor (ex lawyer). Kids 12 and 9. Went to women's shelter with daughter in Camrose -- doctor in Wetaskiwin told her her husband has psychologically tortured her. She did a similar thing last summer. This time he wants to file for separation -- can't take it. She has tried to goad him into violence. Has a history of emotional dysfunction. She did call cops on Friday, but when they came, she said no, hasn't hit me. Warned about ex partes and stuff to come. Even getting his own ex parte suggested -- grounds being her instability and needs of the children. [Tim] thinks best he get a lawyer. [Quite articulate.] (computer expertise)
January 23 20, 4
Randy 19 year old supposed to be in school to get maintenance (and supposed to send Randy proof he's in school). Her new husband is RCMP; throwing his weight around. He's in arrears to MEP. His lawyer got consent order without his consent. Advised re new court order, Rick Fowler. [Fairly articulate.] [Obviously, I recorded little detail in these support-group notes of mine. But I still remembered this alleged bad behavior when the Post scandal occurred two months later.]
Sean blank (my contact) wants name off property so can get loan to buy new property to have place for kids to see him. Three kids, 12, 10 and 7 -- no divorce papers, though he pays support they agreed on. [Working class guy].
Delores (talked to Russ Cable and Elsie) Wife of medical doctor, she got custody. 13 and 15. Huge legal bills, can't get closure. Blank controls case. Hugely overcharged by lawyer -- doesn't trust taxation. Not working -- says she's sick. $4000 per month child-support. Of property remaining, won't get over 100,000; $300,000 in legal debts. [Very articulate.] (But no sympathy from [Tim].).
Will blank (my contact) bad divorce with son, charges against Will. Mostly over now; wants to help on help line.
January 30 18, 4 + 1
Steve (and Diane) British accent. Just starting on separation efforts. Two kids, 12 and 10. She hasn't worked for seven years; not trained. No conflicts yet. [Lots of general prevention advice.] [Sensible, articulate people!]. (Works for blank)
Rich blank kids 9 boy, 11 girl had about 50-50 arrangement until open assessment; now has four days a month -- Blank (none court ordered, he says -- probably mistaken) Wife has masters in counseling, much influence. (He a carpenter.) On legal aid (Blank), had subsidy for the assessment. She moved to Lacombe in August (he to Tofield) -- that's when new access amount started, evidently. [Not terribly sharp]
[Norman blank update: she has disappeared with child.
James two children 16 and 14 (and child from affair by her). He handicapped (on AISCH now) Horror of a judge, horror of an MEP story. Finally got some help from Kevin Quayle. Access denial -- she's moved now and he doesn't know where. Social worker horror story. Her lawyer, just now, Blank (legal aid). [Quite articulate.] But has short term memory problems because of medication. Judge won't put police enforcement clause. So discouraged, he doesn't want to see kids any more. Kids wholly alienated. DNA test proves he's not father of young one; he still held accountable. [Jiggs suggests possibility of eliminating or reducing maintenance based on total alienation. Advised to get in front of Judge with AISH evidence and plead hardship case.
February 6 21, 4 + 1
George unwed, child three years old. Ex has become vindictive in past year. Going to school to get job in city to be near child. Wants to go for 50-50 situation. Every second weekend access now (at most). Cancelled cheques show he's paid support -- but there are no court orders. ($300 per month) (sharp guy).
Maria separated a year; has had two strokes and can't work. He stole her WCB cheques; took car, etc. Worried about him getting pension. (No kids together). He doesn't work. [Tim] explains how it's divided. (Quite low intelligence.).
Dennis (will just listen) Jiggs knows. [Guy with real personal problems! A danger to us?]
Stephen blank (my contact) Very distraught. Alcoholic, but sober for 7- 8 years, until now (until accident in December?). (Drunk now, evidently) Has lost friends and church kicking him out -- really down. Kids didn't invite him for Christmas. No restraining order -- she's asking court to order him out this Friday, but there are no orders! ([Tim] has to explain this to him again).
February 13 28, 5 (plus 2 for help line)
Ron blank trying to represent self, but opposing lawyer keeps fining him for actions (?). MEP problems, lost job, lots of bad stuff. (Lots of section 7. But grounds to think the kid not getting the stuff) Access denial because he insisted on making support cheques to her instead of others (!) Charged with harassment -- responded briskly and got them dropped. She owns blank business! And hides income/assets well, he says. [Has been very active fighting his case. Very knowledgeable.] Unwed, got guardianship. Has had blank, who chastises him for not having lawyer. (?!) [He may be too hostile for their liking.].
Gord blank His case just starting. Two kids, three and 13 months. The mother ran with them (just before the second born) to grandparents house. Two years common-law. (Told still must go to court to get guardianship.) The grandmother is the real problem. ([Source A] urges him to talk shared parenting plan to her before filing. [Good.] Urged to start with parenting after separation course, mediation.
William blank (my contact) had custody of daughter for 9 1/2 years, never got maintenance from her; then she nailed him for support. Especially looking for precedents to help get the back 9 1/2 years money. [Tim]'s advice: with no order, best bet is to go for hardship (which requires her to disclose her high income). [Fairly smart working class guy; sensible.].
Blaine blank (came with Randy!). Three kids, far along in his battles. Wants to sue ex's husband, for years of grief. Says he has physically and mentally abused Blaine's kids (recently got him convicted--that blank), and his kids sexually abused Blaine's kids. (Got restraining order against that child through CART -- stays with the blank's ex.) [Sharp guy, clearly.] [Tim] asks why he hasn't gone back for custody. (The blank's bad history.) Answers the cost is high (assessment etc.). [Tim] says lawsuit very impractical, and would cost more than going after kids. Gary points out assessment should be unnecessary in this case; should appeal to Trussler.
Randy blank (my contact.) Talks about wife's son's assault on him. Just got a divorce lawyer.
February 20 15, 3
Kelly blank (my contact.) No conflict until 13-year-old got out of hand; she wouldn't allow discipline, so they broke up, and she kicked him out. (Other child, girl, is 10.) Neither wants divorce, but live-apart settlement. (Called cops, who recommended he leave, and she changed locks.) Has agreement from her lawyer -- custody to her, etc.. Advised not! She doesn't want to reveal the assets -- Hm.
Larry blank mother and kids in B.C., he came here in 1999. Wondering if payments could be lowered, but his income now a little higher. No access denial -- seems not concerned re not seeing kids. (Says he phones a fair amount.) Wants to stop paying for kids. Advised that all could change if one of the two came to live with him.
Jim blank "common law." (He didn't see it that way -- 8 months), no children. He wanted to get her out of his house, so grabbed her and pushed her out. Cops charged him with assault and he served time, but she got to stay there. She stole car, camper, artwork, $22,000 cash -- even forged cheques. He's back in the house now. She did all this to another guy in Calgary. Two lawyers did naught for him, he thinks -- 1 still acting for him. Long story of misbehavior by cops, judges.
February 27 18, 0
(Several old stories updated.).
March 6 24, 6 + 1
Alan access denial for months, two kids 11 and 15, divorced nine years, she sole custody. Going to mediation, hates courts. No specific questions, except maybe re maintenance increase he may face. Reasonably smart, tough accent. Urged to consider custody change.
blank here to get background to help on help line.
Vern blank. Maintenance too heavy (based on a year with much overtime). Income has gone down one third. Joint custody, kids 13 and 16 -- no access problem. About $1200 plus $300 section 7! Advised re going to court. Oops -- his woman friend says there are access problems whenever he upsets her, via alienation. They even made fondling accusations against him, as result of his claims her boyfriend was doing it. (Child welfare refused to listen to him.) [She sharper, more intent on injustice than he.] At one point the one girl wanted to live with him for three months, the mother went ballistic and threatened cutting her off permanently. Both express interest in getting involved to change the system. [Interesting thought: custodial parent not accountable for use of money as long as children have basic necessities. So even here, the standard is basic needs! Another equality-argument! And "the child should share the father's standard of living" is sheer pretext!].
Edward blank. (Saw channel 10 ad.) Just interested -- a grandfather now, was a single-parent of daughter (and son who died). Ex got custody, but took off. Fairly sensible. May join to help? Backed off when that suggested.
Rob blank. (left early).
Mike blank. No access (four years old); lawyers worthless. Common law. Separated six months. From Vermillion (saw our ad in Sun). On Internet -- ([Source A] advises re that. Has interim order now. [Didn't relate stuff he told me: her criminal harassment charges over access, etc.]
March 13 18, 2
"Sam" blank here -- tell a bit of story: false accusations, etc.
One new guy left without speaking, without leaving fill out sheet.
Scott blank here asking [Tim] how to get prosecutor to prosecute violent ex. (Long discussion over Scott's case.) Wednesday blank her trial.
Stan blank divorced six years ago in US (dual citizen, as are kids). She so full of false accusations, doesn't want to see kids any more (11 and 13). MEP here after him, hasn't located him yet. Maintenance way too high because based on fabrication. Rick here -- says hard to advise what to do in Washington court where from. If it were here, could get MEP to hold off on arrears. Rick to arrange anonymous contact with person at MEP. [Next week: his friend Alan says he's had great success through Rick!]
March 20 15, 3
Claude blank. (My contact.) Says will just observe.
Paul after five years of separation, divorce papers served him on Thursday. Court on Monday for physical abuse charges (Child welfare involved) against her new boyfriend. Now just has "reasonable access". Wants to go for sole custody himself, and the kids (eight and 11) want to live with him. Massive accusations in her affidavit. She wants to move to US. Seems unlikely to leave the boyfriend. To go to court for divorce on Monday -- needs to delay past Thursday (but is going to QB from provincial anyway?). [Seems quite harsh.]
Bill. Nasty divorce, thrown in jail three years ago so walked away. Here to tell us to get money and research and power. [Rather opinionated, some odd ideas.]
March 27 9, 1
(Evan goes into his new problem -- moving kids to new school. 30 minutes of advice.)
Dan blank three kids, 8, 10 and 12. Still living together but papers filed. She wants sole and all. Given much general advice. Her motions in court in nine days!
April 3 16, 3
________ (Specific questions on travel with child; catching ex in failing to disclose assets, getting proof the kid really is enrolled in 10 activities.)
(([Source A] talks a lot about new criminal charges against him, including one that's indictable. "For a breach only?" Is asked. Yes, he says.)
Robert (read Sun article about men's helpline.) (Girl, 1 1/2 years.) Has assessment coming up with blank. Now has limited access with no overnight. Making allegations against him. Thinks lawyer blank is poor. "Why cross-examine on affidavit -- she'll just lie?" Accusations he abused her teenage daughter. No support order yet, paying voluntarily. She's hiding income, says. [[Tim] says recent case law holds unsworn testimony has no weight.] Day care worker now making claims that he's disruptive, don't want to let him see her now. She has accused an ex of abuse -- and now he's just moved back in! [[Tim] says get the documents on this.]
Kevin from out of town. Blank is lawyer -- not doing right by him. [[Tim] says she's usually good.] Assault charges thrown out. Mutual restraining order now. Has police enforcement clause, cops do naught. [Advised to go to his supervisor.]
April 10 13, 4
Steve blank. (My contact.) Many bad things on mother's record, he primary caregiver until three months ago. But he has no money. She didn't serve him properly -- he urged to counter serve her on her court date.
Darwin blank (came with blank.) Son is six. Hasn't seen son since before Christmas, garnishee. Common-law -- at first denied paternity. There is still hassling over DNA results. She has assaulted him -- judge said not relevant to custody case. [Fairly sharp guy.] Can't afford lawyer, advised to file own papers and represent self.
April 17 12, 0
Some discussion of older cases, [Source B] and others.
April 24 16, 2
-- Brenda Colmer back --
(Scott blank here -- his ex convicted, to go to pre-sentencing.) (Another guy here again -- alienating eight-year-old daughter, 13-year-old son already alienated. Two years ago, affidavit accusing serious violence against the son.) Shawn finally got access with daughter -- supervised. First time went very well.)
Pierre blank. Divorced nine years, kids 15 and 13. Didn't see kids, after she moved from Newfoundland to Calgary, for six years. She contacted him saying needed money after he moved to Edmonton and got new marriage. [Quite articulate.] Has started in court, representing self.
Curtis blank. Bad legal aid lawyer story, so bad order on maintenance and access; access denial. Friend Rob blank brought him to Save On Foods meeting back when [but neither name is on the sign-up sheet!]; keen on representing self so Curtis going to. Was depressed in past, says he's okay now.
May 1, 2001 14, 2 plus 2
Gerry blank and Connie. Three kids, 18, 16, 14. The younger ones would rather like to come live with him, especially the boy./ Acrimonious divorce five years ago originally (using legal aid to punish him) and heavy access denial now. / [well spoken and fairly sensible; solid couple.] Retired military. Advised to represent self, maybe get an assessor to help overcome the kid's fear of mother.
Don blank separated three weeks. No court order yet, just MEP (via welfare) saying what they want interim. He's already paying all expenses directly. She horrid one day, cooperative the next. Unmarried. Told to get a lawyer and move fast (she may move away): non-removal order, property preservation order, etc.. Two kids, six and infant. His "ex" constantly phoning new girlfriend. [Working-class guy, sensible.] Given lots of information re general dangers.
May 8 13, 2 (one my contact, to help us.) Gerry back.
Don Two kids 17 and 18 in school, not doing the work (correspondence school); says his order requires them to be in school to get paid even before 18. (?!) His ex works for WIN house. (?!) [Fairly sensible.]
May 15 8, 0
May 22 8, 1 plus 1
Rachel (here for son): access denial, false accusations. $60-$70 K on lawyers, and problem ongoing. Poor lawyer. Girl and boy, 11 and 12; alienation. Son a truck driver -- crane operator, out-of-town a lot. MEP threatening to take license. One year arrears. Payment $900/month. Ex vindictive and crazy but clever. At Christmas, MEP garnisheed wages. [Advised to go to court to get set small rate for paying arrears; Brenda to help them with MEP.] May be under old child support guidelines -- lower now? [Nice lady, not highly knowledgeable.] Sex abuse accusations against him and her; police didn't take seriously but court did. One home study in his favor; ex sued the psychologist and won. [?!] Social services recently looked into her past at his behest; mother doesn't know what their report decided.
[Updates from Jerry and Dennis]
May 29 1, 11 (Kelly blank back.)
Denise back -- trying to get custody, wants information. Told about filling out notice of motion, affidavit, etc.. Daughter has been with father in Slave Lake for 7-8 months. (She left and came here.) There is no order now. Has been to battered wife group. Says the five-year-old boy's rage at her is from being forced to go to dad's access visits. Daughter 18 months.
Jenna blank. [Very quiet, very distressed.] Serious harassment by ex -- got her fired, got child welfare to take her kids over her prescription for sleeping pills and in home observation, then given to him three weeks ago.
Kelley blank. False accusations of sex touching continue. Cooperation from psychologist blank but not from police and blank. Daughter age 9. [His mother Doris with him -- very sad. He's quite pessimistic -- years of grief.] She even accused a doctor and got another doctor to agree! Has had blank as a lawyer, but no success. Advised to represent himself. Went to blank, not impressed with him and didn't want to keep paying him. His ex wants him back -- many lies directed toward that.
June 5 15, 1 (Kelly and Jenna back -- updates.)
Betty blank. Her ex not making his payments. He's trying to claim the boy (17) is not in school. In home schooling, ADHD. Son doesn't want to see him, he doesn't call. [Not sharp at all.]
June 12 15, 3 (Paul not here?)
(Brenda, _____ and their son here again for first time in long time. Cops told him if they charged her, Crown would throw it out.)
Dustin blank says the mother very abusive to child, drug user, etc.. (Has hired blank-- who referred him to us--to investigate); she planning to get child and hit him for big maintenance. Common-law less than one year -- got guardianship. Very distressed that he had to do that. Got interim access (every weekend), and she has fought that and has denied access. [Quite articulate, good at reasoning.] Fired his lawyer for noncommunication, wants to see [Tim] and represent self. Wants primary residence. Advised to file variation order to start process.
Del blank. Marital discord, getting information. Fears she'll run with kids to Saskatchewan. (She keeps threatening.) Advised to file first, here, to avoid that. She has serious emotional problem that goes away when she is on medication. Has called cops on her for her violence -- they made him take the kids and leave the house. [Fairly articulate. Works in oilfield, runs an apartment.]
Shaun blank (my contact from MJ.) Goes into litany of lawyer woes, judge and police woes. Six years common-law. Horrible story. *Gerry blank has restraining order story!
June 19 14, 0
(Just deeper details on old stories.)
June 26 17, 0 Shaun, Dustin back
Shaun tells [Tim] story for first time.
July 3 12, 0 (one new guy left before we started)
July 10 18, 3 plus 3
Yvonne blank three kids, 7, 9 and 14 -- in Grande Cache. Noncustodial parent, separated six years. Not seeing kids regularly. The 14 year old girl wants to come to her, and she would like all of them. Child welfare opposing her or not helping. Evidently allegations made against her fiancé so he can't be around the kids, by court order -- but no reasons known. [Adequately knowledgeable and sensible.] Going for home studies.
Ronnie blank. (Here with Gayle.) Grandmother in divorce case, her son the custodial parent. [Feisty, able.] The mother ordered to have supervised access for her psychological problems. Says her son's lawyer blank doing good job.
Eddie blank. (My contact, native.) [Tim] advises them to go to native lawyer blank -- should be big help. George McGough offers to help.
__________ (Came with Gayle and Ronnie.) Her son accused of abuse, eventually back with father.
__________ A guy here back in January or February. Maintenance issue mediated (not court order) back then. Now income drop, so here for advice. No problem yet.
July 17 15, 1 (Bill back -- wacko)
Rob blank. Five years common-law. 2 (three?) kids. Still together, planning separation. He would prefer and so would she to be primary caregiver. Guardianship to be heard in August (she has signed for). Has gotten good information from court counselor. [Sensible working-class guy.] Somewhat fearful she'll take kids and leave; warned about her getting cops to kick her [sic] out.