How Does the Court Determine a Child’s “Habitual Residence”?

In a recent Ontario case, the court considered the interesting question of how to determine a child’s “habitual residence” for the purpose of an application under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the Hague Convention). The Background The parties began dating in May 2017, started living together in June 2017, and …

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Contempt of Court for Breaching Access Orders

In a recent case, an Ontario court heard a father’s motions to find the mother in contempt of court for failing to facilitate access in accordance with court orders. In considering the motions, the court had to consider the interesting question of when, and in what circumstances, it would be appropriate to find a party …

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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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