Children may experience a great deal of stress and emotional challenges when parents divorce. Child custody and access cases are certainly most challenging for parents and their children. Children often must adapt to new living arrangements, and they may be struggling with anger and confusion. As parents, you have a great deal of influence over how your child navigates this difficult time.
During a child custody dispute, parents are under a microscope. Everything they have done or said, and anything they have failed to do or say, could come up. Further, personal shortcomings can be used as a weapon by a vindictive ex.
Fathers have long seen challenges in family court, especially when it comes to matters of child custody and parenting. The legal system alone presents obstacles by way of unfair processes and outdated biases.
Rigillo v. Rigillo was a child custody/access appeal decision. At trial the judge limited the father's parenting time to the minimal amount that he had secured under a without prejudice temporary order where the mother was the primary caregiver. The Ontario Court of Appeal held that it is mandatory for a court to consider the MPT principle.
R.B. v. A.H. is an interim child custody access decision from the Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court. It is remarkable for some startling yet what should be patently obvious observations with respect to the importance of maintaining children's bonds with both parents in a meaningful way.
This 2019 child custody/access grandparent case - Ninkovic v. Utjesinovic - comes from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The case is a good example of how the court may overturn a parent's decision and allow access to a grandparent.
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.
by GLORIA ANTWI - Associate Counsel at the Gene C. Colman Family Law Centre
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".