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  • Writer's pictureTaylor Law Group


Avoid becoming road-kill in your family law dispute!

There are few family law disputes which evoke the levels of utter contempt and hostility seen in your typical custody/access dispute.

For one example just check out the following remarks from one extremely frustrated Ontario family court judge commenting on the parties before him in a recent, bitterly contested, custody/access case. While hardly typical the behaviour is familiar.

“This is yet another case that reveals the ineffectiveness of Family Court in a bitter custody and access dispute, where the parties require therapeutic intervention rather than legal attention.”


“While Larry’s conduct has largely reflected nothing more than inept parenting, Catherine’s parenting-alienation behaviour has been evil.”

Or the one I enjoy most,

“The New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines,“dickhead” as a “stupid person”. That would not have been my first guess”.

Trust me when I tell you that you do not want your own attitude and behaviour to be described in similar fashion by your family court judge.

So just how can you avoid such negative characterization by the court, while radically improving your chance of a positive parenting decision in your favour, and more importantly, in your children’s best interests?

You follow the four words of advice I regularly give to all of my family law clients, regardless of their level of perceived injustice, or hostility, they harbour towards their spouse. “Take the high road.” It means putting aside your negative feelings towards your spouse and focusing on you and the children, specifically (and this is really the courts only consideration) why your proposed parenting arrangement is in the children’s best interests.

This approach could include, for example any efforts you have taken, or plan to take, to enhance your own parenting skills, or what plans you have to support the children through such difficult times, (ie counselling.)

Imagine the sheer surprise to both the judge and your ex when your entire testimony, and evidence, is focused on improving and supporting, the lives of your children, rather than targeting the parenting shortfalls of your ex.

Now here’s the kicker(s) so to speak. You acknowledge your own parenting mistakes and shortfalls (which we all have as humans, and which will also give you instant credibility and trustworthiness, in the eyes of the court.)

And for the coup de grace, you acknowledge to the court the benefit of your children having two loving parents in their lives, namely you and your spouse, and how you are committed to making that happen.

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