We are open in our 7 offices to serve your needs

 

The stigma around mental health has been slow to change, but change is happening. Mental health issues can be difficult for anyone to deal with, even if they are living in a family not going through separation or divorce. In a recent decision from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the court looked at a situation involving access to the children where the mother suffered from mental health issues, and lived in a different province.

Mother unresponsive to father’s application

The matter began with the father requesting an order that the parties’ children, who are 19, 12, and 9 years old, reside with him and that he be the sole decision-maker for all matters regarding the children. He also asked that any contact between the children and their mother be supervised.

The father was seeking summary judgment, likely due to the time it had taken to get to trial. The motion was originally brought in December 2019. It was adjourned on January 7, 2020 to June 30, 2020. A temporary order with the same conditions the father was seeking was put in place at that time. On February 12, the court set the hearing date for March 30, 2021. During the hearing, the mother was represented by the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee (“PG&T”). The mother requested an adjournment, but the request was opposed by the children’s lawyer as well as the father.

The court denied the mother’s request for a number of reasons, noting that she had more than a year to deliver responding materials, but failed to do so.

Court recognizes importance of relationship between children and mother

The court noted that it is,

“beyond any debate that the mother has a lengthy history of serious mental health issues. She is the mother of these children, however, and always will be. I am sure that she loves them, and they love her. She deserves the respect of this Court in being provided with some reasons for the disposition of the Motion, notwithstanding that she did not oppose it.”

The mother currently lives in New Brunswick, while the father and children remain in Ontario. She currently has supervised access with the children via Zoom for 45 minutes every Saturday. However, these visits happen infrequently, and is mainly between the mother and the two younger children. In addressing how the kids are doing, the court stated that their views and preferences of the children are “clearly in favour of the relief being sought by the father.”

It was found that it was in the best interests of the children to bring some finality and formality to a situation that had been the status quo for a number of years. The court found it was also in their best interests to continue to live with the father, for him to make all decisions for them, and that the children’s visits with the mother be supervised.

Contact Gelman & Associates to learn how knowledgeable family law lawyers can protect your custody and access rights. We strive to provide you with the information and resources necessary to make informed decisions about family law matters. To help you maintain positive mental health during a difficult period, we also offer our clients a free consultation with a psychological professional.

Conveniently located in six offices throughout Ontario, our offices are easily accessible by transit and off-highway. In order to be available to clients and prospective clients, our phone lines are open Monday to Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Call us at (416) 736-0200 or 1-844-736-0200 or contact us online for an initial consultation.

Contact Form - Contact Us Page

Request a free consultation

Please fill up this form with your contact information and someone will be in touch with you soon.

Contact Preferences

How would you like to be contacted? Click all that apply.

How can we help you?

Brief description of your legal issue:

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm is not secure and does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

locations

Toronto

4211 Yonge Street • Suite #210 • Toronto • Ontario • M2P 2A9

View Map | Learn More

Aurora *

16 Industrial Parkway South • Aurora • Ontario • L4G 0R4

View Map | Learn More

Barrie

500 Mapleton Avenue, Suite A • Barrie, Ontario • L4N 9C2

View Map | Learn More

Downtown Toronto *

100 King Street West • Suite #5600 • Toronto • Ontario • M5X 1C9

View Map | Learn More

Mississauga

4257 Sherwoodtowne Blvd Suite #300 • Mississauga Ontario • L4Z 1Y5

View Map | Learn More

Scarborough *

10 Milner Business Court • 3rd Floor • Scarborough • Ontario • M1B 3M6

View Map | Learn More

Grimsby *

33 Main Street West, • Grimsby • Ontario • L3M 1R3

View Map | Learn More

Whitby *

105 Consumers Drive - Unit 2, • Whitby • Ontario • L1N 1C4

View Map | Learn More
* Satellite office that requires you to book an appointment with us prior to arriving at the office.
Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
Law Society of Ontario
Peel Law Association
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
York Region Law Association
Collaborative Practice Simcoe County
Law Association Simcoe County
Widows & Orphans Fund