Parenting is never easy after domestic violence or child abuse. Criminal charges or conditions against one parent can complicate things like parenting schedules and contact between parents and the children. For many years, advocates have called for a greater emphasis on a history of domestic violence when considering parenting orders. Recent legal changes provide a broader analysis of what family violence occurred and how it impacts the affected parent and child(ren).
Family Violence Factors
The recent changes to the Divorce Act now require courts to consider the following factors, in determining the impact of family violence:
- the nature, seriousness and frequency of the family violence and when it occurred;
- whether there is a pattern of coercive and controlling behaviour in relation to a family member;
- whether the family violence is directed toward the child or whether the child is directly or indirectly exposed to the family violence;
- the physical, emotional and psychological harm or risk of harm to the child;
- any compromise to the safety of the child or other family member;
- whether the family violence causes the child or other family member to fear for their own safety or for that of another person;
- any steps taken by the person engaging in the family violence to prevent further family violence from occurring and improve their ability to care for and meet the needs of the child; and
- any other relevant factor.
Often when lawyers get involved many events have already transpired between you and your spouse. It is important your lawyer understands you and all of your circumstances. You need a lawyer you can easily talk to. If you have experienced family violence or child abuse, it is important to get legal advice about the parenting issues early. We are lawyers that handle custody and access disputes. If you have questions about your parenting or custody and access dispute, or you have experienced family violence, contact Windsor family law lawyers Tanya McNevin or Thomas MacKay today by calling 519-259-1820. We serve clients in Windsor, Tecumseh, Lasalle, Essex, Leamington, Kingsville, Belle River and Lakeshore, and throughout southern Ontario.