Does a child’s increased age and their mature wishes justify a change in a parenting order? The short answer is – YES. Changing Parenting Time For Wishes of Child cases are complicated and judges and lawyers need to consider the veracity of the children’s wishes and the influence of parents over them in cases of potential alienation or even parental lobbying. Children definitely need to have a voice but they are not solely empowered to make the choice in a disputed family case. Today founder, Lorne N MacLean KC explains how changing parenting time for wishes of the child works. Click here to book an appointment.
Changing Parenting Time For Wishes of Child 604 602 9000
MacLean Law was just named as an awardee of excellence as top Canadian Family law Firm of the Year and our lawyers regularly handle child parenting and guardianship cases to resolve them out of court or in court if necessary. Our wins include Canada’s most famous child custody case of YOUNG v YOUNG in the Supreme Court of Canada. Changing Parenting Time For Wishes of Child cases require a careful assessment of family dynamics and a focus on what has changed since any child parenting order was last made.
A recent Superior Court case provides a punchy statement of what is required to change a parenting order as a child matures and expresses their well considered wishes on where they want to live.
- Courts in other provinces have similarly concluded that a child’s increased maturity, together with their expression of preference, can constitute a material change in the child’s circumstances.
- See Giroux v Buss, 2010 BCSC 965, where the British Columbia Supreme Court found that there had been a material change in the child’s needs and circumstances due to conflict between the parties and the child’s expressed desire to spend more time with his father.
- More recently, in J.D.C. v S.L.C., 2015 BCSC 1938, both parties conceded, and the Court agreed, that a material change had been established on the basis that the children had matured to the point that their voices should be heard. In that case, the children had been too young to express a view when the original parenting arrangement was established.
- Further, in Albers v Albers, 2011 ABQB 456, 7 RFL (7th) 207, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench concluded that the expressed desire of the 12-year-old child to reside with the father was sufficient to constitute a material change in circumstances. In that case, the parents had divorced when the child was about 5 years old.
- In Ontario, it would appear that the trial-level courts have generally held that a child’s expressed preference respecting the parenting arrangement may amount to a material change in circumstances sufficient to vary a parenting order. See, for example: Wood v Greer‑Wood, 2005 CanLII 31296 (Ont Sup Ct) at para 55; Gill v Chiang, 2011 ONSC 6803 at para 51, 16 RFL (7th) 252; Oickle v Beland, 2012 ONCJ 778 at para 51; Kavaner v Jancsurak, 2012 ONCJ 543 at paras 27–28; Fraser v Logan, 2012 ONSC 4087 at para 56; Gloger v Gloger, 2014 ONSC 379 at para 63; and E.O. v O.E., 2019 ONCJ 921 at paras 46 and
What Do The Courts Look At In Considering A Child’s Wishes On Parenting Time? 604 602 9000
Ensuring the children’s wishes are of long standing and well considered is a key factor say several studies.
Factors informing the question of material change may include: the current age and maturity level of the child; the age of the child when the existing parenting arrangement was established; whether the child’s expressed preference has remained consistent; whether the child’s preferred residence has appropriate rules and responsibilities; and, whether the child was coerced in any way. See: Oickle at paras 51 and 55; Kavaner at paras 27–28; Fraser at para 62; and E.O. at para 61.
If you have a question concerning Changing Parenting Time For Wishes of your Child, call us today at 604 602 9000.