I separated from my common-law spouse June 1 2012. We have two children age 5 and 8. Initially we made a verbal agreement to share the children 50%, but his behaviour and various events have caused me to question if this arrangement continues to be in the best interest for the children. Part of the reason why I left was because he was very passive aggressive and controlling, and I witnessing behaviours in the children that lead me to feel that they are at times afraid to express themselves when they are in his care. I am not sure how to proceed or if I have enough to warrant a custody case. I believe that he can be a good father, but don’t feel that he always acts in the best interest of the children. I don’t want to revoke all access to the children from him, just amend it so that they spend majority time with me. I worry that perhaps I am approaching this from an emotional perspective and am looking for legal counsel in the best way to proceed so I can ensure the best quality of life for the children. I am located in Kingston, Ontario so I am not sure if you can even help me, but if you have a resource in this area you can point me to I would be more than happy to utilize that resource. I also have to be mindful of expenses as I cannot afford a large retainer, but because of my annual salary don’t qualify for legal aide (whereas he would because he is currently unemployed). There was no arrangement made for child support, I have been paying all of the day-care expenses. When he lost his job I indicated that I would no longer pay for child-care on his days with the children while he is off work.
I just need a direction to go in, or someone to tell me I am over-reacting and worrying to much and that the children will be fine.
I appreciate any advice or guidance you have to offer.