The Basic Obligation: The most basic obligation in family law dispute resolution is the legal requirement to comprehensively disclose financial information. If a financial claim is being made (child support, spousal support, or division of property) you must disclose your true financial position to the other party honestly, fully, and quickly. You also have an ongoing duty to update your financial disclosure throughout the proceedings.
Goldstein v Walsh (27 May 2019) cautions family law litigants - If you take unreasonable and obstructive positions throughout proceedings, this will amount to "bad faith". Result? You may be ordered to pay a devastating costs award. Madam Justice J. Kristjanson of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ordered the father to pay his ex-spouse's costs on a substantial indemnity basis - $420,000. This huge award was based on:
There is a presumption that a successful party is entitled to the costs of a motion, enforcement, case or appeal (Ontario Family Law Rules, R. 24(1)). There is, however, no such presumption for costs in a child protection case (Rule 24(2)). Does that mean that a successful parent can never obtain a costs order against a children's aid society? Let us delve a little further.
Child welfare agencies have a fairly light onus on them when it comes to analyzing whether or not they were justified in effecting an apprehension of children from their parents' care. (But at least there is some degree of onus on them.) Despite the fairly easy test that they must pass, there are still some occasions where the courts will step in and sanction a children's aid society. Cree Nation and Family Caring Agency v. L.(R.) is thankfully one of those cases.
In an important child custody case, Family Court Chief Justice, John Harper, addresses parental alienation almost without using those words, "parental alienation". Clearly, F. (A.) v. W. (J.) is an egregious example of the lengths that a vengeful and ill parent will go to alienate the children from a formerly loved parent.