Access by a Non-Parent

Sometimes a party will seek access to a child even when that party is not the child’s biological parent. In a recent case, an Ontario court considered a man’s request for access to a child that he had not seen for over a year. Interestingly, that child was also not the man’s biological son. The …

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What’s In A (Attempt To Change A) Name?

It’s natural for divorced or separated parents to disagree over how certain elements of raising their children are handled. Some issues may seem small in nature, but others can be larger and come with long-lasting impacts. In an example of the later, an Ontario mother recently wanted to change the name of the children she …

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Judge Says Treat High Conflict Parents Like Children

In an earlier blog post, I made reference to a November 2016 decision of the Honourable Mr. Justice Pazaratz and his denunciation of the parties’ practice of videoing each other with the child.  In re-reading the Reasons in the Whidden and Ellwood case, I discovered commentary by Justice Pazaratz on a wealth of other relevant …

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Stopping Cellphone Videoing in Custody Cases

Cellphone videos and photos have become an epidemic in family law cases.  Almost every client who comes in the door wants to show me a video of his or her spouse behaving badly.  This is particularly so in custody cases.  One parent videos (often surreptitiously) the other parent’s interactions with the child, in the hopes …

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Inter-Disciplinary Magic

Last week, I attended the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (Ontario Chapter) conference. It was inspiring and enjoyable to spend time with professionals all of whom work with families going through separation and divorce. There were lawyers and social workers and psychologists and judges. There were individual speakers on topics ranging from challenging clients …

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Are you ready for the summer? Overnight Camp and Divorce

So, school is almost out. My son finishes today at noon. He is one of the many kids counting down the days until he leaves for overnight camp – a countdown that began in September. If you are separated or divorced, here are a few pointers on how to make it easier for your son …

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Neutralizing conflict through parenting co-ordination

Parenting co-ordination easing the pain of separation Parents trying to iron out the details of high-conflict separations should communicate like business partners, says family lawyer Jennifer Samara Shuber. “It’s like running the business of the family,” says Shuber, a partner with Basman Smith LLP. “Would you send screaming, swearing emails to your business partner? No. You’d send …

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