I haven’t done a Men’s Rights post in a minute, and this might not even count as such, but I’ve had a pretty bad experience over the last couple weeks going through the Family Justice Report Service and figured I’d give people on the outside who’ve never know the joy of the Family Court system an idea on some of it’s inner workings.
What is a Family Justice Report?
A Family Service Report is a court ordered report that the Family Justice Center of British Columbia does when a Judge makes an order for them to do so. My American readers can think of it as a child protective services report. It typically involves meeting and having an interview with one of the councilors there (basically a social worker) and can include other things like them coming to check on your living situation and also observing you interacting with your child/ren. You know, like that scene in the second season of True Detective with Collin Farrell.
Why Were You The Subject of A Report?
I have been in the Family Court system for close to two years now. I have been trying to get weekend visits with my daughter, to have her spend weekends with me at my place. In asking for this my ex claimed she was concerned and didn’t know if I had a safe environment for a living situation, because she claimed by bathroom in my previous apartment had been very dirty when she saw it. The judge asked if she would like to have one of these reports done to ascertain the status of my bathroom, and she affirmed that she would indeed like a report done.
Due to a high demand on the system, these reports take a minimum of 8 months from the time they are ordered to the time they are actually scheduled. In my case it was about 10 months. This is the first part that I really want to let sink in, that it takes 10 months for the government to organize sending someone to my house to see if my bathroom is messy or not. During this waiting period the entire court process is put on hold as decisions can’t be made without the report. That’s parenting time that is taken away for frivolous reasons, at least in my case, time which cannot be gotten back.
How Did Your Report Process Play Out?
This is where things start to get really pathetic. I finally met with my Family Justice Councilor, which of course I had to take time off work to accommodate since I work 9-5, same as they do. The interview itself wasn’t very noteworthy, but there is one thing to mention which is that I brought up the fact that I currently have a roomate due to some financial difficulty that I’ve been undergoing – kind of long a story but the court we attend is in Surrey, BC and I live in Nanaimo so for the first court date we had, I got a room in a fleabag hotel so I could make it to court on time the next morning and ended up contracting bedbugs from that motel (at least that’s my best guess where they came from) and eventually after the first treatment of my apartment didn’t clean the infestation, threw out all of my furniture, good times.
So to help get back on my feet I took on a roomate just last month even tho I want the second room of my suite to be used as my daughters room, eventually. The councilor said that it would be good if I could have my roomate be present for the walkthrough so that she could meet her and get a sense, so to speak.
My roomate was kind enough to schedule her work around the walkthrough so as to make sure to be present for it. Even tho the place was passably clean, I had a pro come in and do the whole place up proper. When the walkthrough finally happened the whole thing lasted less than 90 seconds. This is not an exaggeration. The councilor didn’t even go in the bathroom. The conversation with my roomate consisted of her saying ‘hi’ without making eye contact. I was honestly gobsmacked. This is what I had waited 10 months for. What an absolute joke.
I have not done the observation part of the report yet. That is happening next week and will be the last part of the process. But I had a conversation with my ex yesterday in which she told me, with a shit eating grin, how the councilor had told her over the phone that “she thought it was pathetic that a grown man living in a basement suite with a roomate would think he’s capable of caring for a child”. She really emphasized the derision of the “grown man living in a basement suite with a roomate”. Now I just want to unpack this statement, if I may, because frankly, it pissed me the fuck off.
First of all, living in a basement suite is not something that people should be made to feel ashamed of. How much of an elitist do you have to be to look down on someone for living in a basement suite?
Having said that, I do not live in a basement suite. My suite is on the ground floor. This place doesn’t even have a basement. So that begs the question, how mentally deficient do you have to be to not know the difference between a basement and the ground floor? I mean this is a person who’s job is to determine if I’m fit to care for my child, and inquiring minds honestly want to know, what is the intelligence quotient of this person?
Next, I probably make more money than that judgemental cunt does. But like I said, I live a ferry ride away from my daughter and I go and spend every single Saturday with her in Vancouver. Every single Saturday. In downtown Vancouver. That costs me a lot of money which is in addition to child support, car payments, court costs and everything else…
This is the system that we have. You have to break your back and your wallet to have a relationship with your child, and no matter how many hoops you jump through, there is always going to be some pathetic creature in a position of authority that wants to point at you and say some bullshit like “look at this loser, 35 years old and can’t get by without a roomate”. Is it any wonder some men give up?
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