Negotiating the Family Justice Maze: A Cooperative

Negotiating the Family Justice Maze:
A Cooperative Approach
AFCC-O Kingston
& Faculty of Law, Queen’s University
April 4, 2013
Chair Ms. Karla McGrath
Apr. 5, 2013
Domestic Violence: Interval House & Domestic Violence Counselling - Michelle LaMarsh
Advice pre or at the point of separation : K3C Relationship & credit counselling
Financial Planning: Debbie Hartzman - Certified Divorce Financial Analyst
Mediation & Mandatory Information Program : Limestone Mediation - Katherine Ham
Family lawyer: Frontenac Family Law Section - Mark LaFrance
Collaborative Family Law & lawyer mediator: Tina Fasano
Legal Information & Advice: FLIC & Duty Counsel - Leanne Wight
Family Court Assessments: Dr. Robert Rowe & Sabrina Tripolitano
Office of the Children’s Lawyer: clinical investigators & lawyers - Vince Ramsay & Trish Crowe
Family Court: Justice Trousdale
Supervised access: Salvation Army
High Conflict & Abuse Allegations, Supervised Access: Children’s Aid Society - Peggy Wright
Children’s Mental Health Issues: Pathways - Gavin Anderson
Shelter & Services for Women
& Children since 1975
Danielle Duchesneau
2-Hour Forms
Access to 2 hours of free legal
assistance or advise
24-Hour Crisis and
Support Line
Legal Aid Ontario Advice Lawyers –
Family Violence/Immigration &
Refugee Law
613-546-1777 or
Outreach Services
Counselling for women and
children in the community
Aboriginal Women’s Program
French Language Services
Emergency Safe Shelter
For women and their children
leaving abuse
Counselling & advocacy
Up to $300/year per individual
for legal
and safety needs
Robin’s Hope Transitional
Self contained apartments for
women & children
Rent geared to income
Family Court Support
Worker Program
Presented by Donna Forster, MSW PhD RSW
Clinical Program Director
Role of FCSWs
• Education on options to resolve family law issues
and information about legal processes
• Ensure safety plan is in place if client plans to leave
or has already left
• Help to navigate through the legal system (steps in
family law cases, understanding legal terms and
documents, how to apply for Legal Aid, access duty
counsel, etc.)
• Support client in working with their lawyer
• Support clients who have to self represent by
helping them stay organized and on track through
the process
FCSWs Continued
Make referrals to other community and legal supports
and services
Provide 2-hr Legal Aid certificates for family or immigration law so clients are able to retain
some legal advice/information
Provide direction/assistance on how to fill out court documents and how and when to serve
and file them
Assist clients in understanding the roles of other systems and professionals like Child & Family
Services (CAS), Office of the Children’s Lawyer, etc.
Help to determine what does/does not constitute applying for an emergency motion
Help client to document history of abuse for legal purposes and to gather evidence that may
be helpful in family court
Accompany clients to lawyer appointments or court if requested and debrief outcomes
Accessing Support
There is no fees involved in the FCSW Program.
The service is nonjudgmental and confidential.
Clients may be referred by other professionals or they may self refer.
Clients can be seen in Kingston or L&A County and there is flexibility
regarding day/time.
Contact: Dana Orr (613) 549-7850 x 3224 or
[email protected]
(613) 354 – 1607
Our Napanee office is located at 113 Richmond Blvd., Unit 16
Financial Planning
Professional Investments/Insurance
1180 Clyde Court, Kingston On, K7P 2E4
[email protected]
Only involved if parties have lawyers
Finding a (Good) Family Lawyer
Mark LaFrance
• Frontenac Law Association
• Ontario Lawyer Referral Service
• Legal Aid Ontario
Mandatory Information Program (MIP)
Katherine Ham (Limestone Mediation)
• Mandatory Information Programs (MIP’s) designed to ensure that
parties starting a court application or bringing a motion to change are
provided with upfront information to help the parties make informed
decisions about the next steps in the parties’ family law case.
• 2 hour session: lawyer & mediator
• No charge
• 2 sessions a month at Kingston Family Court
1 at Salvation Army on Patrick St.
& 2 in Napanee
Mandatory Information Program:
• All family court applicants and respondents are required to attend a two
hour session; each attends a separate session. All family litigants are
required to attend a MIP, except:
* Joint divorces
* Cases that only ask for a divorce (with or without costs)
* Cases that only request incorporation of terms of an agreement or prior
* Cases that only ask for costs
* Motions to vary that only ask for child and/or spousal support
• The intent is that parties attend these sessions prior to beginning court
action but in reality they that doesn’t necessarily happen. When these
began there were already a lot of files in process; this created a large
“catch-up” Scheduling is complicated especially if someone cancels and has
to be rebooked; can’t attend one other party is booked into. However, the
hope and expectation is that in time everyone will attend a session early in
the process.
• Attendance varies from a few to 24 in Kingston
Family Mediation
What is Family Mediation?
It is a way of helping people resolve outstanding issues relating to parenting,
separation and /or divorce.
Mediators are trained professionals who help people to identify the issues and explore
various options so that they can work out their own solutions.
What are the Benefits of Mediation?
It is voluntary.
Parties are in control of the decisions and can work out their own solutions.
Children benefit from their parents working together.
People often learn more positive communication skills for the future.
It is less formal than the court and less costly.
For Mediation to work:
Parties must be willing and able to communicate their needs and listen to the other
party. They must be willing to negotiate and work out a solution.
Both parties must feel safe and able to resist pressure to agree to something that
seems unfair.
• What issues can be mediated?
How and when to separate.
Parenting issues (decision making and residential
Child Support/Spousal support.
Division of Property
• Who can use Mediators?
Couples who have had a very brief liaison
Separated couples
Married couples
Common law partners
same sex partners
• Who can refer clients to mediation?
Lawyers, judges, other professionals in the community, previous clients
or self referrals.
Finding a Mediator
LIMESTONE MEDIATION: call 613-546-2549/ email [email protected]
Onsite Mediation: at the Family Court Building, 469 Montreal St
9:00am - 2:00pm Tues, Wed, Thurs - on day of court appearance only 2 hours free
Offsite Mediation (at offsite office, 354. Montreal St.) Subsidized fee schedule
Information Referral Coordinator (available in FLIC office at the Family Court Building,
459 Montreal St) 9:00am - 3:00pm Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs.
Parenting Workshops
Child Protection Mediation
Elder Mediation
The Best Way to Access an Accredited Family Mediator:
OAFM (Ontario Association of Family Mediators) Website:
FMC ( Family Mediation Canada) Website
ADRIO (Alternative Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario)
Limestone offers additional workshops
• .Strategies for Effective Parenting- Helping
Kids Adjust
• Communication and Conflict- Keeping Kids
out of the Middle
• Dad’s Workshop- Support and Resources for
Dads on Their Own
• Fee for each of these is $40.00
Collaborative Family Law (CFL)
Tina M. Fasano, Ryder-Burbidge Hurley Fasano
One of the processes for separated spouses to resolve the legal issues. An
effort to made to resolve all issues by way of mutual agreement with the help
of specially trained lawyers and a commitment to avoiding court process.
Each party must be separately represented & decide to participate; some
cases not appropriate for CFL
Participation Agreement: (i) commitment to good faith negotiation;
(ii) best interests of child (iii) CFL lawyers will not litigate
Face-to-face meetings, the two parties and their respective lawyers;
possibility of jointly retained expert or valuator
Full and complete financial disclosure/good faith negotiation
A party is free to change counsel/stay within CFL process
Withdrawal from process, but need new lawyers
Legal Aid
Leanne Wight [email protected] 613-531-7888
Duty Counsel for assistance on day of court
Refer eligible clients for certificate
Advice Counsel (at Family Court)
– Mondays 10am-4pm
– Tuesday 12 pm – 4pm
– Thurs 11am – 3pm
– Friday 9am – 1pm
Self-represented family litigants
• Calculation of child & spousal support
• Ontario Court Forms
– Download or print Ontario court forms
• Family Law Education for Women
The FLEW website is a public legal information project to
assist women in understanding their family law rights
CLRA Section 30 Assessments
Sabrina Tripolitano, MSW, RSW
[email protected]
T: 613.214.1560
F: 613.766.6521
 An assessment to help the Court decide
issues of custody and access.
 Typically conducted by a Psychologist
or Social Worker.
Deciding on an Assessor
 Generally, parties or counsel agree on an Assessor
and put forward that name in Court.
 Important! The Assessor needs to have consented to
conduct the assessment and to report to the Court
prior to parties or counsel putting the Assessor’s
name before the Court.
 If the parties cannot agree, a Judge shall choose and
appoint an Assessor.
Who pays for the assessment?
 The parties generally share the cost.
 Sometimes, the Court shall specify the proportions
that are paid by each party.
I have an Order for a Sect. 30. Now what?
Information is collected through:
 Series of interviews
 Parent-child interaction observations
 Collateral interviews
 Resulting in recommendations and formulation of a
parenting plan
How long is the process?
 It depends.
 Up to 3 months from date of initial interview.
Dependent on:
 parties’ availability,
 complexity of issues, and
 number of collateral interviews.
What do you need to start?
With an Order:
Copy of the order
Retainer fee
Completed personal data form for each party
Copies of the materials
2. Without an Order:
 Signed copy of the services contract
 Retainer fee
 Completed personal data form for each party
 Copies of the materials
Family Court Clinic (HDH)
 Parenting capacity assessments for CFSA
proceedings (only)
Court order required: CFSA s. 54.1
Takes about 3 months from initial interview
No charge to parents
Dr. Robert Rowe, HDH [email protected]
Office of the
children’s Lawyer
Office of the
Children’s lawyer
• A law office in the Ministry of the Attorney General
• Providing service on behalf of children under 18 years in
respect to personal and property right
• In Family Law matters, OCL lawyers represent children in
custody & access disputes and child protection cases
• OCL clinical investigators prepare reports for Court in
custody & access disputes and may assist lawyers
representing children in these matters
• OCL involvement often results in resolution without trial
Office of the
children’s lawyer
• How to involve the OCL?
• A court action about custody and access or child protection
must have been started
• Either party may request appointment of the OCL
• Judges may request, by order, the involvement of the OCL
• Parties complete Intake forms, and the OCL will review the
order and intake forms then notify the parties and the Court
whether the OCL consents to become involved and the type
of service which will be provided
Office of the
children’s lawyer
• Types of service:
• Legal representation – a panel lawyer is assigned to represent
the child regarding custody and access or child protection
• Wishes of child must be presented to court, but OCL lawyer
may advocate a different position
• Children’s Lawyer Report – a clinical investigator is assigned to
complete a clinical investigation of the issues and to provide a
report to the Court outlining observations and
• Legal representation with Clinical Assist – a lawyer is
appointed together with a clinical investigator if there are
serious clinical and legal issues, or if the matter is likely to
proceed to trial.
• Service is in about 65% of family cases where requested but is
provided without charge
Family Court
Superior Court of Justice
Family Branch
Cour Supérieure de Justice
Cour de la Famille
469 Montreal St., Kingston, ON
Court Process
MOTION (if required)
Supervised Access (Salvation Army)
Description : Provides a safe, neutral and child-focused setting for visits
(supervision at the centre during entire length) and exchanges (time of exchange) between
separated or divorced parents. Staff keep factual records for each exchange and visit.
Times of arrival and departure are staggered so that parents do not have contact
Office Phone - 613-542-8533
E-mail: [email protected]
Primary Contact: Angela Anthony, Program Coordinator
816 Centennial Drive, Kingston
342 Patrick Street, Kingston
Eligibility: Visits are court ordered, court recommended, or by self referral.
Application: Contact office to schedule an intake appointment
Fees are charged to both parties using the service and is based on income.
Report fees are charged only to the requesting party, but both parties and/or legal counsel will
receive a copy
The Child and Family Services Act (CFSA) defines the roles and
responsibilities of Children’s Aid Societies and can be viewed
on the Government of Ontario website:
Section 37(2) of the CFSA:
Defines the specific legal grounds under which children may
be declared in need of protection
To report a child in need of protection, please contact us at: 613545-3227 or 1-855-445-3227. We are available 24 hours a day, 7
days a week.
Pour signaler un enfant ayant besoin de protection, veuillez nous
contacter au : 613-545-3227 or 1-855-445-3227. Nous sommes
disponibles 24 heures par jour, 7 jours par semaine.
Office Locations:
817 Division Street, KINGSTON
99 Advance Avenue, NAPANEE
1020 Elizabeth St, SHARBOT LAKE
12497A Hwy #41, NORTHBROOK
Main Number: (613) 545-3227
Toll-free Number: (855) 445-3227
Email: [email protected]
Children’s Mental Health
• MCYS funds (no charge to family)
• Most referrals from schools, MD, but will take from
lawyers (esp. OCL)
• Direct counselling to children plus parent support
• Intake Number
– 613.546.1422 ext. 1
• For emergencies after 4:30 p.m. and weekends please
contact Frontenac Community Mental Health Services @
More Resources
Couple Counsellors
Kingston Community Counselling Centre 613.549.7850
Vince Caccamo PhD 613.547.9814
Trish Crowe M.S.W. 613.548.4357
Deb Hudson M.S.W. 613.549.1739
Marilyn Kogon M.S.W., 613.531.8305
Deb Kowalik PhD 613.544.1065
Tania Nicholls, M.S.W. 613.452.1754
Gisele Pharand PhD 613.384.1014
Jim Rhodes M.S.W. 613.542.4488
Wendy Stewart PhD 613.531.3477
Carol White R.N. 613.546.0600
Chris Whynot M.S.W. 613.547.9814
Post Separation Counselling and Parent
Kingston Community Counselling Centre 613.549.7850
Colleen Abeles 613.547.5524
Vince Caccamo PhD 613.547.9814
Nicole Corbett, M.A. 613.453.1754
Trish Crowe M.S.W. 613.548.4357
Barbara Hill M.S.W. 613.888.2409
• Sabrina Tripolitano M.S.W. 613.214.1560
Children & Adolescents
Better Beginnings (parenting groups) 613.542.2835
Pathways for Children and Youth 613.546.1422
Kelly Benn PhD 613.532.1536
Su Buchanan PhD 613.331.1505
Trish Crowe M.S.W. 613.548.4357
Leonard Harris PhD 613.547.9814
Barbara Hill M.S.W. 613.888.2409
Erin McCormick PhD 613.539.4839
Sian Phillips PhD 613.545.3053
Sylvia Simonyi-Elmer PhD (play therapy)
• Sabrina Tripolitano M.S.W. 613.214.1560

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