Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre
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Toronto Family Law Blog

EQUAL SHARED PARENTING - CHILD CUSTODY INTERIM MOTION

Equal Shared Parenting within child custody law is very much a thriving concept in Ontario. Superior Court Justice W.D. Newton has penned what I believe to be a very important decision: Balke v. O'Connor.  Although it was decided on 24 April 2017, remarkably the case has received no further mention other than a brief summary in "Epstein's This Week in Family Law", 2017, Issue #35 (4 September 2017). The decision deserves to have a much wider swath and this blog post is a step in that direction.

GRANDPARENTS, GRANDCHILDREN, CHILD CUSTODY, ACCESS, VISITATION

Advocates Daily dot com has highlighted my contemplation of the grandparent/grandchild access conundrum.    I hope that these articles will provide much needed inspiration for all of us to seriously consider the harm that is done to grandchildren.  It's not just a simple matter of judges stepping in.  We need a profound change in societal attitudes, a "sea change" or "sea shift" if you will.  These cases need to be resolved by all of us  - and that should ideally be outside of court where at all possible. 

Here are the links:

Grandparents often 'collateral damage' in divorce

Courts need to be more 'activist' in protecting grandparent rights: Colman

Grandparents should be peacemakers, not troublemakers: Colman  

PITFALLS OF SIMPLY REGISTERING SEPARATION AGREEMENTS

I don't like Separation Agreements. Many would surely disagree. In my view, Separation Agreements are not always that easy to enforce. It is much better to have a court order, especially if you seek to enforce a parenting plan. While the provincial government has a government agency mandated to enforce support orders, no similar agency exists with respect to enforcing parenting provisions. So, I don't like Separation Agreements.

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.

Where intimate relationships are fractured, dads have to bring forth much more evidence just to maintain, let alone expand, their residential time with their kids. It's the same whether in court, in mediation, or in negotiations. We are imprisoned by our gender biases, myths and stereotypes. So, how do we change child custody laws?

PROCEDURAL FAIRNESS: ONTARIO APPEAL COURT MUDDIES THE WATERS

Procedural Fairness v. Procedural Anarchy: The Ontario Court of Appeal in Frick v. Frick 2016 ONCA 799 has attempted to promote procedural fairness. While partially successful in that endeavour, the court has unfortunately encouraged procedural anarchy.

PARENTING TIME ACCESS: URGENT MOTIONS FOR CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY ACCESS -

  by GLORIA ANTWI - Associate Counsel at the Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre

The Christmas tree is overflowing with toys in two separate homes but who will determine where the children open their gifts this year?  

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Justice Marvin Zuker of the Ontario Court of Justice noted mentally preparing himself every year for the onslaught of urgent motions. Since motions seem to be the litigants' tool of choice for last minute access, it is important to examine one's chances of success before filing an urgent motion.

How to Reduce Conflict in Parenting Time Access Exchanges

Preparing the Child for the Parenting Time Access Exchange:

Children need predictability and assistance in preparation for transition between their two homes. Children need to hear each parent speak positively about the other parent and the other parent's extended family. Reminders should be given at appropriate intervals about the upcoming parenting time and a positive message about the other parent should be included.

Do's and Don'ts of a CAS Apprehension of Your Child

Where there is a perceived threat to the health, safety or well being of a child, the Children's Aid Society (CAS) has the legal right to apprehend a child - ie. remove the child from the care of the parent or other guardian. If you are concerned about a possible apprehension, read the guidelines for apprehension management below and immediately contact a lawyer to obtain further guidance.

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.

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