I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Family Law in Canada a Social Program by government for Women

 In the column below by Kirk Makin relating to reform  of Family Law  in Canada I've made the following observation:

Not one word on a rebuttal presumption of equal parenting for fit parents in cases of child custody.

Trying to tear one parent from their children is a sure way to create tension right at the start. I'm not sure they get the real problem yet

Today's Family law regime is a social program designed by government as a transfer of wealth from men to women along with physical custody of the children to mom, which occurs in 90% of cases. If any other outcome involving 90% to a certain special interest group occurred there would be screaming from the rafters. Given it is men being marginalized, not so much as an eyelash out of place in the MSM or legal profession.

It is a system designed for women (note the mention only of women and children, in the same breath) but not men in the report. That is a clear hint it will do nothing to help children love and see both mom and dad after separation and divorce in equal parenting for fit parents.

Accordingly if dad wants to try and be equal he will have to spend 10's of thousands of dollars in an adversarial legal system stacked against him from the start. His success rate is not much higher than if he had just walked away from court and acquiesced with the highly sexist operation of Family Law. That hurts the kids and they may carry the scars for years, if not for life. After all if mom doesn't want to share equally with a fit dad - who is being adversarial?


Report to Supreme Court chief justice calls for family law overhaul

The Globe and Mail

Published Wednesday, Mar. 27 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

Last updated Wednesday, Mar. 27 2013, 11:56 AM EDT

An unreleased report commissioned by the country’s top judge is urging a radical overhaul of Canada’s family law system.

The report to Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin, scheduled for release next month, calls for restructuring the family law system from the ground up, with a focus on streamlining the court process and ending a fixation on combat.

The report, from a committee headed by Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cromwell, goes on to make more than two dozen recommendations, including the creation of specialized judges who can shepherd a family law dispute from beginning to end.

The family law system has been under attack for much of the past two or three decades over litigation that drags out and the destructive effect of the adversarial process on couples who are vulnerable and prone to go on the attack. And the inordinate costs of litigation have led to a massive increase in the number of litigants who represent themselves – now as much as 70 or 80 per cent.

A copy of the report, obtained by The Globe and Mail, says that estranged spouses and their children are seriously damaged by the adversarial system; and that judges, lawyers and law schools must embrace a culture of mediation and settlement.

The ground-breaking report also recommends the imposition of painful cost awards against litigants who behave badly or impede settlements.

It says that law schools have to stop minimizing the importance of family law in their curricula and that legal aid for family law cases must be sharply increased.

“Cuts to family legal aid have a disproportionate effect on women and children, particularly those who are most vulnerable – e.g. aboriginal, immigrant and disabled women,” the report notes. “Even middle-income levels typically cannot support the cost of any significant amount of legal representation.”

The report also recommends the creation of unified family court branches across the country to provide one-stop shopping for litigants who must currently navigate between the provincial and federal court systems.

Chief Justice McLachlin struck the committee out of concern that justice is fast becoming inaccessible to a vast proportion of the country. She asked her Supreme Court colleague, Mr. Justice Thomas Cromwell, to head the group – known as the Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters. Judge Cromwell is expected to unveil the report and its 31 recommendations next month.

Another of the report’s recommendations urges that estranged spouses be forced to attend one session with a qualified professional mediator before they are permitted to proceed toward a trial.

The working group states that the failure of the adversarial model to resolve family law disputes has taken an enormous toll on the finances and mental equilibrium of litigants.

“Adversarialism is a deep habit of our culture,” it says. “It is a default position, an attitude that people in Western cultures learn early and tend to employ quite automatically.”

Family law disputes affect more Canadians than any other single area of law, the report states, yet law schools treat it as an afterthought because they have become so geared to pleasing the demands of large law firms.

“There is a causal relationship between unresolved legal problems and increased health, social welfare and economic problems,” the report says. “We wonder at the ultimate impact this will have on public confidence in the justice system and on civil society.”

The Chief Justice’s committee applauds a number of efforts that have been made in various jurisdictions to speed up and mediate family law disputes, but says they have been piecemeal and not well co-ordinated.

It says the court system needs fewer generalist judges who merely “umpire” family disputes, and more specially designated judges with the expertise and commitment to prod litigants toward a negotiated settlement early in the process.

The committee says the press, with its innate love of stories involving conflict and emotion, also play a key role in maintaining a public perception that the family law system is a forum for “trial by combat.”

It says judges, practitioners and bar associations can help reverse this psychology by throwing themselves behind public education programs. Court personnel, it says, can also play a role by providing mandatory information sessions and user-friendly services in courthouses, allowing self-represented litigants to learn about the legal process and the mechanisms available to settle cases quickly, peacefully and at minimal cost.


Also in talking points some comments from the original article.