News / Articles


Legislative Changes Recognizing the Importance of Connections with Family and Community

It is anticipated that the Child, Youth and Family Service Act (CYFSA)1 will be proclaimed in 2018 and will replace our current child protection legislation, the Child and Family Services Act (CFSA). The CYFSA introduces comprehensive amendments including: increasing the age of protection to include 16 and 17 year olds, allowing Children’s Aid Societies to expand services to these youth (these amendments will come into…

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The Growing Area of Fertility Law In Ontario

We are partners in the Family Law Group at the Kingston law firm of Cunningham Swan Lawyers where, in addition to offering a full range of family law services, we are rapidly expanding a niche practice in the developing field of Fertility Law. Given advances in science, there are many more children born today by non-traditional means, including the use of surrogacy, sperm donation and…

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BOOK REVIEW- Fairly Equal: Lawyering the Feminist Revolution

Linda Silver Dranoff Fairly Equal: Lawyering the Feminist Revolution is a recently published memoir of a renowned Toronto lawyer, activist, and former magazine legal columnist, Linda Silver Dranoff. Silver Dranoff’s book resonates with the reader on two levels: as a personal memoir of a woman lawyer in a male dominated world, and as a historic account of the era of second wave feminism in Canada, marked…

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BOOK REVIEW- Overcoming Parent-Child Contact Problems: Family-Based Interventions for Resistance, Rejection, and Alienation

Edited by Abigail M. Judge and Robin M. Deutsch Drs. Judge and Deutsch have offered readers a collection of chapters written by leading clinicians and researchers who have made significant contributions to our understanding of families, where a child resists a relationship with or rejects a parent. Among the list of recognized experts, are contributions by AFCC Ontario Chapter members, Dr. Barbara Fidler, Ms. Shely…

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Steps to Justice: Your guide to law in Ontario

Steps to Justice – Here we go! In case you haven’t seen this yet, a brand new website was launched in January under the leadership of CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario) that you will want to check out. Launched with support from TAG (The Action Group), Steps to Justice (www.stepstojustice.ca) is a new public legal information website that covers several areas of law, including family…

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Bringing Family Law into the 21st Century: Amendments to the Children’s Law Reform Act

We are living in a rapidly changing world, impacting the lives of individuals and families and re-shaping society. The complex issues we face test the boundaries of the family and the legal system. We need to understand new constellations of families, accept an expanding definition of ‘parent’, and consider moral and legal issues as they arise. These social changes pose a challenge to the legal…

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Domestic Violence: Problems at the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Family Justice

Written By: Clyde Smith and Linda Smith Our comments are offered irrespective of the guilt or innocence of a person charged with a domestic violence offence and they reflect what we see happening in the cases we deal with in our Eastern Ontario law practice restricted to criminal and family law. It is important that all family justice practitioners be aware of what happens after…

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Where Have All The Assessors Gone? Addressing Frivolous and Vexatious Complaints and Moving Towards Potential Solutions

Written By: Tami Moscoe, L.L.B. & Barbara Jo Fidler, Ph.D., C.Psych. High conflict family law cases can be challenging to resolve without input from a mental health practitioner with specialized knowledge, training and experience. Custody/access assessments have an important role to play in resolving parenting disputes. Perhaps most importantly, assessments help to create child-focused parenting arrangements that are tailored to a family’s circumstances. Assessments provide…

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The Evaluation of Grandparents as Supervisors of Parental Access

Written By: Dr. Raymond M. Morris The evaluation of grandparents as supervisors of a non-custodial parent’s visitation, and for that matter any relative or non-professionally trained third party who wishes or agrees to provide supervision, must be assessed in relation to three main components. Implementation of those components and subsequent report as noted by Justice K.L. Hawke of the Ontario Court of Justice added “positive…

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The Ontario Court of Appeal Gave Us 1.7 Million Reasons to End Court Orders for Custody

Written By: Steven Benmor and Shely Polak In the groundbreaking decision of M. v. F. [2015] O.J. No. 2048, the three judge panel of the Court of Appeal, consisting of Justices Benotto, MacFarland and Tulloch, considered the best interests of a six year-old boy in a high conflict custody dispute. The social science literature defines high conflict separations as being characterized by high levels of…

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