Keep Kids Out of the Courtroom with Collaborative Law
During divorce proceedings, or even long after a separation has taken place, former couples with children will strive to do what they feel is best for the kids. For British Columbia residents, this may mean using collaborative law to come to an agreement on custody arrangements and visitation rights. However, when ex-partners can’t agree on a solution, the case may be taken to court and left to a judge to decide.
In June 2015, a woman and her ex-husband were in court regarding their three children, 13, 10 and 9 years old. The exes had been fighting each other for about five years, and the woman was using her 16th lawyer, the man his fourth or fifth. The register logging all their hearings now stretches to 55 pages.
At the heart of a June 24, 2015 court appearance was the children’s refusal to visit with their father, despite a court order. Out of apparent frustration, the judge is alleged to have directed inappropriate language and abuse toward the children, even comparing the eldest child to convicted murderer and cultist Charles Manson. In the end, she sentenced all three children to 17 days in a juvenile detention centre.
Though this shocking case is certainly an exception rather than the rule, parents who fight over their children in court do risk exposing the kids to unpleasant situations and outcomes. If the option seems reasonable to both parties, it may be preferable to work towards a compromise with the help of a team experienced in collaborative law. Contacting a family law firm in British Columbia is a great place to start planning the best possible future for children after a divorce.
Source: wzzm13.com, “Panel urges 30-day suspension for Oakland County Judge Lisa Gorcyca“, John Wisely, Nov. 15, 2016