Gene C Colman
As a father of seven children, and grandfather to many, I realize how essential it is for children to have significant contact and input from both parents. A divorce should not mean that one parent becomes cut off from the children.
I believe that men generally have been quite poorly treated by Canada’s family law justice system. The “deadbeat dad” stereotype has unfortunately become mainstream and has made its way into the very fabric of the legal system.
I have found that in many cases for a father to maintain a meaningful relationship with his children post-separation/divorce, he must bring forth much more and better quality evidence than would a mother. Many of my clients are fathers who wish to maintain relationships with their children.
Do I represent women? Certainly. My clients quickly come to realize that my chief concern is representing people whose rights and concerns are unfairly threatened. Men certainly do not have a corner on injustice.
After more than 37 years as a family law lawyer, I find that I do best for clients who have challenging situations of fact and/or law. I welcome complex cases, particularly meritorious appeals on points of law.
In September 2018, I was named as the FDRIO (Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario) member of the month.
My approach to the crucial issues in modern family law are front and centre:
- Equal Shared Parenting: There should be a rebuttable presumption in favour of equal shared parenting.
- Parental Alienation: The advocate for the “target” parent must think outside of the box and devise ways to achieve real results for the client. While not every case can have a solution, there are far too many cases where the legal system does not respond with sufficient resolve and creativity.
- Fair Treatment for all – Procedural Fairness: Family courts must dispense justice in an even handed manner without discrimination. Preserving procedural rights ensures that each side has the opportunity to fully and fairly place his/her case before the court.
- Gender Equality: Courts must make decisions without preconceived notions based upon a person’s gender.
- Fathers’ Rights: Some react negatively to this term. I believe that “Fathers’ Rights” should equal “Family Rights”.
- Child Support: Child support should be administered in our courts in a fair and balanced fashion.
Areas of Practice
- 100% Family Law
- Alimony & Spousal Support
- Children’s Rights
- Custody & Visitation
- Domestic Violence & Neglect
- Prenuptial Agreements
- York University, 1969 – 1970, Undergraduate studies;
- Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1970 – 1973, B.A. (Major: International Relations; Minor: Political Science);
- Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 1973 – 1974, Graduate course work and research, M.A. programme, International Relations;
- Osgoode Hall Law School, 1974 – 1977, LL.B.;
- Ontario, 1979
Professional and employment experience since call to the Bar in 1979:
- 1979 – 1980: Employed by solicitor, Colin Rayner, Hamilton, Ontario
- 1980 – 1982: Partner – Rayner, Oliver & Colman, Hamilton
- 1982 – 1988: Sole practitioner, Hamilton
- 1988 – 1990: Associate: Teplitsky, Colson, Toronto & Brampton
- 1990 – 1995: Senior partner – Colman, Greenwood & Posen, Toronto
- 1995 – present: Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre, Toronto
Gene C. Colman:
- practice restricted to – family law, mediation, arbitration;
- has represented children in Hamilton’s Unified Family Court as a member of the Official Guardian’s Child Representation Panel (1980 – 1988);
- is the founder and former Managing Editor of the Canadian Journal of Family Law; currently serves on the Advisory Board; (Wikipedia entry for Canadian Journal of Family Law)
- has appeared in all Ontario trial level courts, in the Divisional Court and in the Court of Appeal. Boards appeared before include Labour Relations Board, Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, Assessment Review Court and Review Placement Advisory Committee;
- helped to draft standard Arbitration Agreements in family law and commercial matters for the Rabbinical Court of Toronto;
- Founding Editor, currently Member Advisory Board Member, Canadian Journal of Family Law, 1976 – Present
- 1st President of Balmoral Homeowners Association and Board Member, 1990 – 2017
- Founding and Active Member: Lawyers for Shared Parenting
- Founding Member, Former Sec-Treas., currently ex officio advisor to Board of Directors, Canadian Equal Parenting Council, 2004 – Present
- Canadian Bar Association, Member, 1979 – Present
- American Bar Association, Associate Member, 1990 – Present
- “Alimony Insurance could be tax deductible”, Law Times, 2 March 1992, and Money & Family Law, 5 May 1992;
Custody of Children:
- “Joint Custody: Recent Developments” (1989), 4 C.F.L.Q. 1;
- “Joint Custody: An Update” (1989), 19 R.F.L. (3d) 246;
- “Children’s Law Reform Act Amendments Pose Problems”, Law Times, 19 March 1990;
- “The Language of Custody: Terminology, Trends and the Canadian Experience”, The Federation Of Law Societies and The Canadian Bar Association 1992 National Family Law Programme, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island;
- “Equal Shared Parenting International Innovations: Evaluating Myths and Stereotypes”, Presentation to the 56th Annual International Conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Toronto, 31 May 2019
- To access the lengthy paper including footnotes and sources, click here.
- To access the shorter Powerpoint presentation, click here.
- “Dispute Resolution – Let’s Get On With It!”, Hamilton Law Association News Magazine, April 1989, vol.3(4);
- “Lawyers can Resolve Cases Faster With Planning and ADR”, Law Times, 12 February 1990;
- “Court Action & ADR: Resolve Cases Faster”, ADR Conference Materials (Unified Family Court, May 1990);
- “The M.A.D.S. Method: A Revolutionary Proposal for the Early Settlement of Matrimonial Cases”, Canadian Dental Association Journal, 1990, vol. 56(5);
- “A Recipe for fixing the family law system”, Law Times, 22 August 1994;
- “Beis Din – A Proposal for Reform: Ensuring Enforceability of Beis Din’s Judgments” (a detailed research paper for the Rabbinical Council of Toronto, February 1995 – This paper recommends the reforms required so judgments of the Rabbinical Court of Toronto would be legally binding and enforceable under the Arbitration Act, 1991 of Ontario.)
- “Gett Law must be used cautiously by lawyers”, The Lawyers Weekly, Vol 17, No. 11, July 18, 1997, page 11;
- “Re: I Will Never Give You a Jewish Divorce (GETT)”, Matrimonial Affairs (Canadian Bar Association – Ontario Family Law Section Newsletter), Vol. 9, No. 1, September 1997;
- Summary Judgment Available in Child Welfare and Custody Cases, 1998, Quicklaw – Syrtash Collection of Family Law Articles, SFLRP/1998-001;
- “Gender Bias and Family Law: Where are We?”, The Federation of Law Societies and The Canadian Bar Association, 2000 National Family Law Programme, St. John’s, Newfoundland;
- “Procedural Fairness Essential in Family Law Cases”, Matrimonial Affairs (Ontario Bar Association – Family Law Section Newsletter), Vol. 13, No. 1, September 2001
- Procedural Fairness and Case Conferences, June 1, 2004, Canadian Journal of Family Law, 2004, Vol. 20(2), p. 379
- “Jewish Marriage and Ontario Law”, (joint authorship with Joseph Posen) Perspectives, December 1991;
- “Fuss About Pensions – Practical Suggestions”, Money & Family Law, August 1996;
- “Pensions: Practical tips for general practitioners” Law Times, 29 July 1996;
- “Pension Reform – Watch Out”, Money & Family Law, Vol. 20, No. 7, July 2005 (jointly with G. Edmond Burrows and Penny Hebert);
- “Summary Maintenance Rehearings: Factors to be Considered” (1978), Canadian Journal of Family Law, vol. 1(1);
- “Separation and divorce and MDs: What is your licence to practise worth?”, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1990, vol. 142 (6);
- “Facing Separation and Divorce: What is your Licence to Practice Worth?”, Canadian Dental Association Journal, 1990, vol. 56(1);
- “Divorce and Support: When and Why”, Canadian Dental Association Journal, 1990, vol. 56(8);
- “Putting Hubby Through – the Compensatory Support Conundrum”, Canadian Dental Association Journal, March 1990, vol. 56(3); Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1990, vol. 142(2);
- “New Ontario law means new rules on child-support payments”, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 1991, vol. 144(3);
- “Third Party Support Payments”, Money & Family Law, Vol. 11, No. 12, December 1996, page 95.
- “Can Child Support Arrears be Cancelled? The Ontario Court of Appeal Rules”, Money & Family Law, Vol. 12, No. 3, March 1997
- “Child Support Guidelines – New Laws, New Challenges” (1998), 15 C.F.L.Q. 229
- “Guidelines’ Undue Hardship Produces Conflicting Decisions”, Money & Family Law, Vol. 13, No. 7, July 1998;
- “Miglin v. Miglin – The Death of Private Ordering?” Matrimonial Affairs (Canadian Bar Association – Ontario Family Law Section Newsletter), Vol. 12, No. 8, May 2001;
- ” Contino v. Leonelli-Contino – A critical analysis of the Ontario Court of Appeal interpretation of section 9 of the Child Support Guidelines” (2004), 22 Canadian Family Law Quarterly 63 and in: (2004) 20(2) Canadian Journal of Family Law 379;
- ” Contino v. Leonelli-Contino – A Case Comment”, Money & Family Law, Vol. 19, No. 1, January 2004, and in Matrimonial Affairs, Vol. 15, No. 4, March 2004;
- “Action Needed on Paternity Fraud”, Law Times, June 13, 2005″
Reported and Digested Cases
- Josling v. Zasada,  CarswellOnt 1370 (Ont. U.F.C.)
- Coreslab Ltd. v. Van der Meulen Construction Ltd.,  O.J. No. 262 (Ont. S.C.) – Motion for judgment in construction lien action
- Lamb v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.,  I.L.R. 5865 (Ont. S.C.) – No fault insurance benefits: meaning of “employed at date of accident”
- C.C.A.S. Hamilton-Wentworth v. S. (M.) (1985), 10 C.P.C. (2d) 60 (Ont. U.F.C.) – Exclusion of witnesses during child welfare trial
- Edwards v. Edwards (1985), 45 R.F.L. (2d) 292 (Ont. U.F.C.) – Lump sum support
- C.C.A.S. Hamilton-Wentworth v. S. (J.C.) (1986), 9 C.P.C. (2d) 265 (Ont. U.F.C.) – Qualifications of expert child welfare witness
- Taylor v. Persaud,  O.J. No. 936 (Ont. C.A.) – Punitive damages sought in face of criminal conviction
- Banks v. Banks, , 2 A.C.W.S. (3d) 436,  W.D.F.L 147, 9 F.L.R.R. 132 (Ont. U.F.C.) – Joint custody ordered under Divorce Act in face of spouse’s objection
- Re J.(K.): C.A.S., Hamilton-Wentworth v. J.(A.) and S.(S.),  O.J. No. 758 (Ont. U.F.C.) – Child welfare interim hearing where abuse allegations found to be unsubstantiated
- Vandeworp v. Vandeworp (1988), 28 O.A.C. 128 (Ont. Div. Ct) – Appeal of reduction in spousal and child support arrears and spousal support order
- Bekeros v. Bekeros (1989), 19 R.F.L. (3d) 432 (Ont. U.F.C.) – Attributing income to dependent spouse on interim support motion
- Kreznarich v. Ramsay,  O.J. No. 781 (Ont. Dist. Ct) – Motion to produce documents and reattend for further examination
- Nicol v. Nicol (1989), 21 R.F.L. (3d) 236 (Ont. H.C.) – Value of R.R.S.P.’s for purposes of Family Law Act, Gifts and Inheritances, Compensatory Support, Overnight Access
- Gremont v. Gremont,  O.J. No. 1738 (Ont. Ct, Gen. Div.) – Motion to amend pleadings and add party where spouse/officer of family company was dismissed by his spouse/majority shareholder in the family company
- Weidberg v. Weidberg (1991), 32 R.F.L. (3d) 110 (Ont. Ct, Gen. Div.) – Rabbinical Court judgment summarily enforced by Ontario Court
- Mannarino v. Mannarino (1992), 43 R.F.L. (3d) 309 (Ont. C.A.) – Lump sum spousal support
- Zaharova v. Kovler,  O.J. No. 3877 ,  O.J. No. 3380, D.R.S. 95-20342 – Successful appeal from a decision of Provincial Judge H. Douglas Wilkins on 8 December 1993, dismissing a motion for summary judgment in a custody claim brought by maternal grandmother against father and uncle of the children; Decision of Judge Wilkins: [ 1993] O.J. No. 3444, D.R.S. 95-20191
- Reyhanian v. Reyhanian,  O.J. No. 1617, D.R.S. 98-03547 (Ont. Ct, Gen. Div.) – Spousal support and child support pursuant to the Federal Child Support Guidelines and generous access to the father including order for an “access facilitator”
- Billark v. Billark (1998), 36 R.F.L. (4 th) 361 (Ont. Ct, Gen. Div.) Interim child support claim dismissed where joint custody and 40% of time with one parent
- Robinson v. Robinson,  O.J. No. 5251 (Ont. Gen. Div.) – Joint custody, challenge to status quo implemented by unilateral actions of one spouse
- Stein v. Stein,  O.J. No. 427, 2002 CarswellOnt 373 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Interim spousal support awarded of $20,000.00 monthly plus $65,000.00 lump sum;
- Shomer v. Shomer,  O.J. No. 1553 (Ont. C.A.) – Acting for respondent on appeal of divorce judgment, appeal dismissed
- Stein v. Stein,  O.J. No. 5015, 2002 CarswellOnt 4451 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Successful motion to strike pleadings and strike respondent’s setting action down for trial in face of non-payment of interim spousal support and costs
- Costa v. Costa,  O.J. No. 3257, 2002 CarswellOnt 2778 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Custody issues in context of religious and cultural upbringing of children; costs disposition at  O.J. No. 4763, 2002 CarswellOnt 4197
- Farrar v. Farrar (2003), 63 O.R. (3d) 141, 222 D.L.R. (4 th) 19, 32 R.F.L. (5 th) 35,  O.J. No. 181, 2003 CarswellOnt 195 (Ont. C.A.) – Successful appeal with respect to procedural fairness issues in the conduct of a trial; Valuation of husband’s pension where credits earned entirely prior to the date of the marriage, value changing during the marriage, and pension in pay prior to date of separation; Valuation of wife’s interest in former husband’s pension where credits earned entirely prior to the date of the marriage; Entitlement to survivor benefits; Successful appeal of lump sum spousal support in favour of husband
- Gabel v. Gabel ,  O.J. No. 960, 2003 CarswellOnt 1090 (Ont. C.A.) – Successful appeal of dismissal of motion to set aside default divorce judgment
- Barker v. Barker ,  O.J. No. 2484,  O.T.C. 503 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Variation of spousal support
- Vollmer v. Jones ,  O.J. No. 2134 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Successful motion to strike irrelevant allegations in family law application
- CAS of Halton Region v. K.L.A.,  O.J. No. 3958, 216 O.A.C. 148 (Ont. C.A.) – Successful appeal from appeal decision in Ont. S.C.J. whereby new trial ordered for the respondent parents. Case successfully addresses issue of procedural fairness for parents in child welfare proceedings
- Winick v. Winick,  CarswellOnt 6099; O.J. No. 4091 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Certificate of Pending Litigation is properly vacated.
- Langlois v. Grenier,  CarswellOnt 7153; 2008 ONCA 802 (Ont. C.A.) – You can’t always get what you want at an appeal. It’s much better to get your ducks in order in first instance.
- Krymko v. Krymko,  CarswellOnt 6435 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Four different courts for two children in two jurisdictions. A jurisdictional nightmare!
- Children & Family Services for York Region v. R. (L.),  CarswellOnt 6513; 2010 ONSC 4505 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Holding a C.A.S. accountable is a proper purpose of a costs award but on the facts of this particular unique case, costs were not awarded.
- Rodriguez v. Guignard (2012), 20 R.F.L. (7 th) 146, 2012 CarswellOnt 5183; 2012 ONSC 2444;  O.J. No. 1895; (Ont. S.C.J.) – An off the record settlement meeting means just that – you cannot raise the contents of the meeting in an affidavit, no matter what!
- Howe v. Demedeiros,  CarswellOnt 10512; 2012 ONSC 4775 (Ont. Div. Ct) – Appeal decision with respect to procedural fairness and child support arrears.
- Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society v. H. (K.),  CarswellOnt 11542 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Costs against CAS on disclosure motion.
- Kawartha-Haliburton Children’s Aid Society v. H. (K.) , 2012 CarswellOnt 11340; 2012 ONSC 5165 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Additional reasons to clarify above decision: A Society may be liable for the costs of a disclosure motion where it does not conduct itself fairly in carrying out its statutory responsibilities. A Society should be held accountable. Bad faith is not required to be proven. Where there is no bad faith, then partial indemnity costs follow.
- Gavriluke v. Mainard, , 32 R.F.L. (7 th) 99, 2012 CarswellOnt 15358; 2012 ONSC 6928 (Ont. S.C.J.) – What court has jurisdiction? France or Ontario?
- Rodriguez v. Guignard,  CarswellOnt 503; 2013 ONSC 146 (Ont. S.C.J.)
- Gavriluke v. Mainard (2013), 32 R.F.L. (7 th) 111, 2013 CarswellOnt 5108; 2013 ONSC 2337 (Ont. Div. Ct) – Appeal decision: What court has jurisdiction? France or Ontario?
- Children’s Aid Society of the County of Dufferin v. H. (E.),  CarswellOnt 9677; 2014 ONCJ 336 (O.C.J.) – Outrageous C.A.S. behaviour results in costs award against the Society.
- Children’s Aid Society of Toronto v. S.P.,  CarswellOnt 8099; 2017 ONCJ 340 (O.C.J.) – Expedited Rule 1 Hearing under Child & Family Services Act concerning unexplained head injury to infant.
- Hayman v. Maticiw, 2018 CarswellOnt 21530, 2017 ONSC 5725 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Given concerns about mother’s ability and willingness to foster relationship between father and children, her ability and willingness to provide children with necessaries of life and to act as parent, and her unreasonable conduct in unilaterally removing children from Toronto and negatively impacting their relationship with father, she was not granted sole custody. Shared custody granted. Equal time sharing to be implemented when father moves to Barrie, Ontario.
- Kozak v. Kozak, 2018 CarswellOnt 5094, 2018 ONSC 690 (Ont. S.C.J.) – Mother brought motion for increase in child support for all children retroactive to 2008 – Motion dismissed – Mother misled court at interim motion by failing to disclose that oldest child was about to be married, and that second oldest child had graduated post-secondary education – As result of mother’s deception, father significantly overpaid child support – Mother had no reasonable excuse for failing to enforce father’s obligation to provide income tax returns – Mother owed father $69,677 for overpayment of child support, to be set off against $6,775.62 owed by father to mother for university expenses.Wife brought motion for increase in spousal support retroactive to 2008 – Motion dismissed – Wife could not claim retroactive increase as it was not pleaded in motion – No presumptive increase in spousal support existed based on increases in payor’s income post-separation – Husband had large income tax debts due to non-deductibility of both child and spousal support in United States – Wife had made no steps to obtain self-sufficiency in 14 years since separation – Spousal support was to terminate when youngest child turned 21, which would occur in 2020.
- “The Language of Custody: Terminology, Trends and the Canadian Experience”, National Family Law Programme, 1992
- “Gender Bias and Family Law: Where are We?”, The Federation of Law Societies and The Canadian Bar Association, 2000
- “Ensuring Enforceability of the Rabbinical Court’s Judgments”, The First Annual Comparative Law Conference – Justice and Jewish Law, May 3, 1998, Toronto
- A number of presentations to FACT (Fathers Are Capable Too), Toronto, and one presentation to Non Custodial Parents of Durham, Oshawa, from 1997 to the present covering such topics as “Gender Bias in the Family Courts: Fact or Fantasy?”, “Parental Mobility – Will the Courts Permit Relocation?”, “Custody and Access”, “Custody and Access Assessments”, “Introduction to the Child Support Guidelines”, “Undue Hardship under the Child Support Guidelines”, “Recommendations of the Senate Commons Joint Committee on Custody and Access”
- “Parental Alienation in Canada: Trends Analysis”, Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome, Toronto Convention Centre, March 27, 2009. Some of the findings of this research are found at my web site. Click here.
You can actually watch this presentation on You Tube.