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MacLean Law - Top Vancouver Family Lawyer 2018

Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers, articled student Fraser MacLean, works closely with his father Lorne N, Maclean, QC on family parenting time, parenting responsibility and child custody appeals.  MacLean Law’s award winning, Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers handle cases in the BC Supreme Court, BC Court of Appeal and even the Supreme Court of Canada and our award winning team knows that proving a material change in circumstances is key. Our firm has helped set the law on child custody appeals in the leading cases of Young v Young in the Supreme Court of Canada and Dedes v Dedes in the BC Court of Appeal. Our Appeal lawyers are ready to assist you.

Table of Contents

  1. Four Tips to Winning a Child Custody Appeal
  2. How do you Appeal a Child Custody Order Successfully?
  3. Family Custody Appeal Lawyers Win By MacLean Law Test Applied
  4. Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers – Why Appeals Are Not Rehearings

Four tips to winning a child custody appeal

If you want to know how to win your Vancouver BC family child custody appeal, we provide these four tips to winning a child custody appeal:

  • don’t reargue facts
  • do prove there has a material change since the last order
  • do prove the parenting plan or change you want is in the child’s best interests
  • do hire a top family lawyer with a proven record of winning child custody appeals

How do you appeal a child custody order successfully?

So, how do you appeal a child custody order successfully? The BC Court of Appeal’s latest decision in AB v. CB reiterated what you must prove to win a family law child custody appeal.  The Court dismissed an appeal by a father who had shared parenting time to allow his child to move to Kelowna with him because his ex -spouse and new partner were out of work and facing financial woes. Fraser MacLean points out that the appeal was dismissed because the Court of Appeal agreed with the Chambers judge who found there was no material change in circumstances and that the move would not be in the child’s best interests.

[10]        Following separation from the father, the mother met and married her current husband, Mr. G., who was employed in the Alberta energy sector. At the time of the variation application, Mr. G. was not working as a result of the economic downturn in the energy sector. He had been forced to sell his truck and a property he owned has been foreclosed upon. Mr. G. had not secured new employment at the time of the hearing, and had a debt significant enough to warrant concerns that he may have to declare bankruptcy.

[11]        The father is employed in the financial sector and has strong career prospects which could be advanced if he were able to work full-time in Kelowna instead of frequently working remotely from Salmon Arm to exercise his parenting time.

[12]        The judge examined the different parenting styles of the mother and father and the role each played in the various aspects of the child’s life.

[13]        The judge recognized that the first step in his analysis was to determine whether there had been a material change in circumstances. Only if there had been, could he consider the parenting arrangements afresh. He correctly set out the three-part test for varying a custody order established in Gordon v. Goertz, [1996] 2 S.C.R. 27.

Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers Win By MacLean Law Test Applied

So what is the proper test to be applied to vary a BC child custody and parenting time order? Fraser MacLean of our team of Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers explains that the firm’s win for our client in DEDES was reiterated by the Court of Appeal:

[51]      The claimant relied on Dedes v. Dedes, 2015 BCCA 194 at para. 25 where the court said:

[25]      As articulated in L.M.P., the test for material change is based not on what one party knew or reasonably foresaw, but rather on what the parties actually contemplated at the time the order was entered by agreement.  A function of the material change threshold is to prevent parties from re‑litigating issues that were already considered and rejected; in such cases, an application to vary would amount to an appeal of the original order (see Gordon at para. 15).  As was stated by L’Heureux‑Dube J. in Willick at p. 734, “the diversity of possible scenarios in family law dictates that courts maintain a flexible standard of judicial discretion which does not artificially limit the adaptability of the Divorce Act provisions”.  …

Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers – Why Appeals Are Not Rehearings

[14]        It is useful to begin with some general comments that guide my analysis. First, the Supreme Court of Canada and this Court have long recognized that decisions by trial judges in family matters are owed great deference: R.E.Q. v. G.J.K., 2012 BCCA 146 at para. 33. This approach promotes the final resolution of matters in dispute in order to minimize continued conflict and the depletion of family resources on prolonged litigation. This approach is intended to assist in minimizing conflict within separated families and is especially important when the interests of children are at stake. More particularly, the courts do not encourage multiple applications dealing with the same subject matter that serve often only to exacerbate conflict and deplete resources. This Court is not a second trial court and it is not our function to retry a case or substitute our opinion for that of a trial judge. Trial judges are in a privileged position to assess the best interests of the child, having heard all of the evidence. Our task is limited to correcting legal errors, such as errors in legal principle or palpable and overriding errors in the appreciation of the evidence.

Hire Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers Who Have A Winning Appeal Record

Vancouver Family Custody Appeal Lawyers who have handled appeals successfully at the highest level, like those at MacLean Family Law, can give you the straight goods on your chances of success in bringing or opposing an appeal. Meet with Lorne MacLean, QC today to get a straight answer to your Vancouver child custody appeal questions. MacLean Family Law has 6 offices across BC in Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Kelowna and Fort st John and also in Calgary Alberta.