The Best Comox Valley Family Lawyers diligently represent clients throughout the Comox Valley, including Courtenay and Comox B.C. Vancouver Island recently landed on CNN’s best 20 places to visit in 2020, and as outlined in an article by the business examiner, the Comox Valley ranks as one of the fastest-growing rural, regional districts in the Province. With the growing population in the Comox Valley, our top-rated Comox Valley Family Lawyers are committed to helping Comox Valley residents with all Family Law and Estate Litigation matters.
BEST COMOX VALLEY FAMILY LAWYERS 1 877 602 9900
One of the most common disputes between separating and divorcing parents are disputes involving their children. COVID-19 has unfortunately caused more problems with many families in this regard. When parties are involved in a family law dispute and have children, decisions must be made on how the children will be provided for, where the children will reside, how often each parent will see the children, and how parental decisions will be made. The best Comox Valley Family Lawyers assist in sorting out a child-focused solution.
In custody and parenting time disputes, the sole consideration is the best interests of the child. S. 37 of the Family Law Act (“FLA”) lists the factors that parents or the court must consider when deciding what is in a child’s best interest. S. 37 of the FLA states the following:
Best interests of child
37 (1)In making an agreement or order under this Part respecting guardianship, parenting arrangements or contact with a child, the parties and the court must consider the best interests of the child only.
(2)To determine what is in the best interests of a child, all of the child’s needs and circumstances must be considered, including the following:
(a)the child’s health and emotional well-being;
(b)the child’s views, unless it would be inappropriate to consider them;
(c)the nature and strength of the relationships between the child and significant persons in the child’s life;
(d)the history of the child’s care;
(e)the child’s need for stability, given the child’s age and stage of development;
(f)the ability of each person who is a guardian or seeks guardianship of the child, or who has or seeks parental responsibilities, parenting time or contact with the child, to exercise his or her responsibilities;
(g)the impact of any family violence on the child’s safety, security or well-being, whether the family violence is directed toward the child or another family member;
(h)whether the actions of a person responsible for family violence indicate that the person may be impaired in his or her ability to care for the child and meet the child’s needs;
(i)the appropriateness of an arrangement that would require the child’s guardians to cooperate on issues affecting the child, including whether requiring cooperation would increase any risks to the safety, security or well-being of the child or other family members;
(j)any civil or criminal proceeding relevant to the child’s safety, security or well-being.
(3)An agreement or order is not in the best interests of a child unless it protects, to the greatest extent possible, the child’s physical, psychological and emotional safety, security and well-being.
(4)In making an order under this Part, a court may consider a person’s conduct only if it substantially affects a factor set out in subsection (2), and only to the extent that it affects that factor.
Fraser MacLean Comox Child Parenting Time Lawyer
The best Comox Valley family lawyers understand that it is natural that parents may have different views of what is in their children’s best interest. At times, this results in one parent withholding parenting time from the other parent, even when there is a court order setting out that parent’s time with their children.
S. 62 of the FLA outlines when denial of parenting time is not wrongful:
When denial is not wrongful
62 (1)For the purposes of section 61 [denial of parenting time or contact], a denial of parenting time or contact with a child is not wrongful in any of the following circumstances:
(a)the guardian reasonably believed the child might suffer family violence if the parenting time or contact with the child were exercised;
(b)the guardian reasonably believed the applicant was impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time the parenting time or contact with the child was to be exercised;
(c)the child was suffering from an illness when the parenting time or contact with the child was to be exercised and the guardian has a written statement, by a medical practitioner or nurse practitioner, indicating that it was not appropriate that the parenting time or contact with the child be exercised;
(d)in the 12-month period before the denial, the applicant failed repeatedly and without reasonable notice or excuse to exercise parenting time or contact with the child;
(i)informed the guardian, before the parenting time or contact with the child was to be exercised, that it was not going to be exercised, and
(ii)did not subsequently give reasonable notice to the guardian that the applicant intended to exercise the parenting time or contact with the child after all;
(f)other circumstances the court considers to be sufficient justification for the denial.
(2)If, on an application under section 61, the court finds that parenting time or contact with a child was denied, but was not wrongfully denied, the court may make an order specifying a period of time during which the applicant may exercise compensatory parenting time or contact with the child.
Best Comox Valley Family Lawyers – Obtain Makeup Parenting Time 1 877 602 9900
That being said, the best Courtenay family lawyers explain that if children are being withheld from another parent for no legitimate reason, the court can order make-up parenting time, or even fines against the parent who has wrongfully withheld children during the other parents parenting time, as seen in the following cases below:
Kanta v. Kanta, 2017 BCSC 2321
In Kanta the parties had one child who primarily resided with the father. The court ordered a fine of $5,000 under s. 230 of the FLA on a suspended basis, to encourage a parent who had failed to comply with parenting orders to comply with the court-ordered parenting time moving forward.
K.E.F. v. T.W.P., 2016 1706
In K.E.F. the parties had two children and had entered into consent orders which established parenting regimes. The court found the father in contempt of consent orders because of his deliberate decision not to use his authority to override the children’s wishes to spend less time with their mother. The court ordered a fine of $5,000 payable to the mother.
K.R. v. J.W., 2016 BCSC 225
In K.R. the mother was found to have wrongfully denied parenting time because her conduct encouraged her daughter’s resistance to parenting time with her father.
If you are having difficulties co-parenting after separation, want to vary a parenting order, or feel you have wrongfully been denied parenting time, speak with one of our Courtenay Family Lawyers or Comox Family Lawyers today. Our Comox Valley Family Lawyers are readily available for phone or video consultations. Call one of the Best Courtenay family lawyers today 1-877-602-9900.