Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre
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Child Custody Archives

CHILD CUSTODY LAWS NEED SEA SHIFT SOCIAL POLICY CHANGES

Social policy drives drives child custody laws. . Until now, common "wisdom" has told us that kids are generally better off with one parent primarily; usually that has translated into maternal sole custody.

EQUAL SHARED PARENTING - THE WINDS OF CHANGE

Disputes over child custody and access tend to consume inordinate amounts of court time, parents' scarce financial resources and these disputes cause parents and children untold harm on many levels. Such organizations as the Canadian Equal Parenting Council, Lawyers for Shared Parenting, and Leading Women for Shared Parenting amongst others, were in the forefront of the Canadian 2013-2014 campaign in support of a private member's Bill (C-560) that would have legislated a rebuttable presumption in favour equal shared parenting.

Disappearing Dads - A Report from the Canadian Association for Equality Panel Discussion 26 November 2015

Due to the tremendous force of gender role expectations, it has been a struggle for divorced men to bring their personal struggles into the public sphere. On a chilly November evening, I headed downtown to attend a lecture on "Disappearing Dad's", hosted by the Canadian Association for Equality. The event was heavily protested. The irony of the backlash at this lecture was that we were joining together to discuss an issue that affects men and women alike.

PARENTAL ALIENATION - ALIENATED CHILD (NOW AN ADULT) RESPONDS

I recently received some important feedback concerning a parental alienation case.  The email was from the alienated child (now an adult).  His point is that things are not always what they seem to be when we look only at a reported case decision.  My response is that as adults we must be so very careful to never engage in behaviours that will damage a child.  Here is our exchange (indentifying details have been redacted):

Hague Convention - Child Abduction

The international treaty known as the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is part of the statutory framework in all Canadian jurisdictions as well as in over 75 countries. The Convention addresses the inter-jurisdictional legal conflicts when a parent or guardian removes a child from country "A" to country "B". Children wrongfully removed ought to have their residential status determined by the jurisdiction with which they have the closest connection. "Forum shopping" is discouraged.

Motions to Change and Material Change in Circumstances - The passage of time is just not enough to prompt a change in residential time.

Brown v. Lloyd was a motion by the dad to change the previous final order so as to increase his already liberal access time with his then 9 year old son to equal parenting time. The Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed dad's appeal from the trial decision (five day trial) that had dismissed his motion for equal time. The appellate court reminds us that even before you can get to first base, you have to establish a "material change in circumstances".  

CHRISTMAS ACCESS

As the temperature dips, the leaves fall, and the Halloween costumes are safely stored away, many begin to look forward to the Christmas season. You have made a shopping list for gifts and have pulled out your trusted recipe box and have begun to plan a delicious Christmas dinner. Perhaps you have lovingly brought out the box of ornaments in anticipation of decorating your tree. So what does all this have to do with child custody and child access?

ALCOHOL MONITORING IN CHILD WELFARE AND CUSTODY/ACCESS CASES

Allegations of alcohol abuse are often advanced to restrict a parent's access to his/her children in both child custody cases and in child welfare (children's aid society) cases. There are reliable measures available to challenge such allegations.