woman's hands on thick book

  Skuce v Skuce (2020 ONSC 1881): The Skuces separated in May 2019, with three young children. The children have lived with their mother since then, spending time with their father in informally supervised settings. The father is a recovering addict who has been clean and sober for various periods of time, most recently since…

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woman's hands on thick book

In Douglas v Douglas (so far unreported), the father brought a motion to have the status quo access arrangements with the 6 ½ year old child reinstated. The parents have been separated since December 2018, and there are no court orders in place dealing with parenting time. Since February 2019, the father has had regular…

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On March 20, Justice Diamond issued a decision in a case (Jackman v Doyle, not yet reported) in which the mother sought the return of the children from the father’s care. The triage judge, Justice Shore had, the day before, deemed that the unlawful withholding of the children, given the COVID-19 situation, met the urgency…

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woman's hands on thick book

Two COVID-19 family law decisions addressing the issue of what makes a case “urgent” under the present court regime in Ontario have been decided on in the past week. One has been reported (Smith v Sieger, 2020 ONSC 1861); the other, Ribeiro v Wright, is expected to be reported shortly, but for now, we only…

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woman holds childs hand

Toronto Star reporter, Jim Rankin, interviewed Luke’s Place and other women’s services on the impact of social distancing and self-isolation during the COVID-19 crisis. Nearing the end of March Break, a woman gets a call from her ex. He says he’s going to keep the kids past his regularly scheduled access, adding: “and I don’t…

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thoughtful young woman

The connection between COVID-19 and the safety of women living in or attempting to flee abusive relationships may not be immediately obvious, but those of us practising family law, in particular, need to be aware of it. Public policy decisions that close schools, community centres, libraries, arenas and swimming pools; encourage people to work remotely…

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sad, pensive woman

Early in my law career, the opposing party on a family law file involving family violence was representing himself.  I was retained on a bare bones legal aid certificate. In my naivete and desire to save my client the cost of hiring a process server, I decided to serve her ex myself. Fortunately for me,…

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