Court Procedure: The Office of the Children's Lawyer

Court Procedure: The Office of the Children's Lawyer

When deciding custody and access, the court must consider the best interests of the child. One of the factors is "the views and preferences of the child". One of the many ways of bringing your child's wishes to the attention of a judge is the Office of the Children's Lawyer (OCL). In this post, we discuss in more detail how the OCL assists in custody/access disputes. This post reviews what the OCL is, how you can get them involved in your case, and how they help.

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Changing Your Child’s Name After Separation/Divorce

Changing Your Child’s Name After Separation/Divorce

If you are considering applying to change your child’s name, there are several things that you should take note of. In this post, we will discuss how your custody order or agreement affects the steps you must take to change your child’s name, including whether you need consent, who you must notify, and the factors the court will consider if they are asked to decide the issue.

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Motions to Change: Custody and Access Orders

Motions to Change: Custody and Access Orders

As with child and spousal support, in order to obtain an Order varying your current custody or access arrangement, you must prove that there has been a material change in circumstances.  In order to successfully obtain a variation order regarding custody or access, the change that occurred must be material, and must have also affected, or be likely to affect the best interests of the child. The change must also be one that was not foreseen at the time the initial order or variation was made. You cannot use a motion to change custody/access as an avenue to appeal the initial decision.

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Court Procedure: Motions to Change

Court Procedure: Motions to Change

One or both of the parties' situations may change significantly after a court Order is made, and the terms may no longer reflect reality. When this happens, it will be necessary to bring a Motion to Change.  The procedure for Motions to Change is set out in Rule 15 of the Family Law Rules. In this post we will answer some frequently asked questions about this procedure.

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Custody and Access: The Voice of the Child

Custody and Access: The Voice of the Child

This is one of the most common questions we receive from clients. Often it is asked with, "I heard that when my child is 12..." or "My child is 13, can he decide..." There are many misconceptions about at what age a child can decide where they want to live. This is because there actually is no age at which they get to decide.

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Court Procedure: The Voice of the Child

Court Procedure: The Voice of the Child

The best interests of the child prevail as the primary consideration in any custody or access dispute. These includes the views of the child at the heart of the matter if they can be reasonably ascertained. There are a number of ways to put the voice of the child before the court so their views and preferences can inform the judge’s final decision.  

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Do Grandparents Have Access Rights?

Do Grandparents Have Access Rights?

Ontario recently passed a Bill amending the Children’s Law Reform Act to recognize the special relationship between children and their grandparents. The Bill amends provisions of the CLRA that deal with custody or access matters, to expressly include grandparents.  These amendments state that grandparents may apply for custody/access, and that their relationship with the children should be considered. 

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