I have a mental illness. Will this impact my custody or access claim?

Blog Post
March 22, 2019
Read Time: 3 minutes

One in five Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness in any given year. Roughly eight percent of adults will have major depression at some point in their lives, and anxiety disorders affect around five percent of the household population.

Bill C-78 – Modernizing Family Law in Canada

Blog Post
May 25, 2018
Read Time: < 1 minute

What is Bill C-78 and how does it update divorce law in Canada? Our latest Family Law blog post looks at the introduction of this bill, and what changes it proposes to family law legislation.

Attending Kids’ Events: Whose Turn is It?

Blog Post
September 21, 2016
Read Time: 3 minutes

With the first nip of fall in the air and the first week of the new school year behind us, kids are gearing up to start extra-curricular activities and various school events. While many children can’t wait to start hockey or gymnastics, and are eagerly looking forward to the field trip to the museum, for separated parents, navigating what events you can or should attend can be tricky.

We Are Family: Legal Issues When There Are Children From Multiple Relationships

Blog Post
June 15, 2016
Read Time: 2 minutes

In family law, we are seeing an increasing number of clients with multiple ex-spouses and children from past relationships. These clients bring with them new challenges for family lawyers. For example, parents may want to have the same parenting regime with children from multiple relationships, or may wonder why their child support obligations are so much higher than if all of their children had arisen from one relationship.

My Spouse the Narcissist: Five Tips for Dealing with Ex-Partners with Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Blog Post
October 29, 2015
Read Time: 3 minutes

Separating is never easy. Separating from a spouse with a personality disorder even less so. As lawyers, some of the most difficult separations we see are those where one spouse suffers from narcissistic personality disorder. What can you do to make sure that you don’t get dragged down into a world of conflict when separating from a person who has narcissistic personality disorder? These five tips may help you.

Getting Grandparents Access to their Grandchildren

Blog Post
September 15, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

While reading the paper last weekend, I learned that Sunday, September 7th was Grandparent’s Day. Just like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, I think it is appropriate to have a day that is intended to thank and cherish those important people in a child’s life who, quite often, play a large role in helping raise our children. I think most grandparents would agree with me. But, what does the law say in relation to whether a grandparent has a right to play that role?

Police Enforcement of Custody and Access Orders

Blog Post
May 1, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

The recent case of Patterson v. Powell has given rise to a discussion of how parents can enforce custody and access orders in the event that the other party (or sometimes neither party) is cooperating with the parenting schedule. In my view, lawyers, judges and parents all have a duty to assess the emotional impact on the child when determining what the custody and access rights will be, and to craft these orders in a manner that is intended to minimize their potential harm.

Reflections on Parenting: Bill C-560 – Proposed Changes to Custody under the Divorce Act

Blog Post
February 7, 2014
Read Time: 2 minutes

On December 6, 2013, a Private Member’s Bill (Bill C-560) was introduced that, if passed, would create a presumption that shared custody and equal parenting time is in the best interest of the child when making orders for custody and access under the Divorce Act. If successful, the proposed legislative change would put the onus on divorcing parents to prove why equal parenting time is not in a child’s best interests. Private Member’s Bills, though important, rarely become law. Nevertheless, the Bill is generating an interesting discussion.

Cooperative Parenting During the Holiday Season: the Best Gift Separated Parents can Give their Kids

Blog Post
December 12, 2013
Read Time: 2 minutes

Winter break can be a contentious time for separated parents sharing custody of children, especially young children. Every parent wants to share in the excitement and joy of the holidays with their child. There is no preferred access schedule that separated parents follow when it comes to the holidays. Largely, the schedule depends on where the parents live, what their traditions are (if any) over the holidays, and what is in the best interest of the children.

Child Protection – A Hard Act to Balance

Blog Post
September 4, 2013
Read Time: < 1 minute

Recently, there have been some thought provoking parenting cases in the news. In some cases, it is obvious that children are in need of protection, but in other cases, you have to wonder whether the court is interjecting prematurely. Child protection workers and judges are faced with making these unenviable choices on a regular basis.