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Old 10-20-2012, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Unevenplayingground View Post
There was a case conference with us, but there was no report done up by the OCL/social worker, they told us they will only do a report if it is going to trial. We were told if it went to trail (by our lawyer) that we would lose, judge doesn't usually go against the OCL/social worker, and that we could end up paying his ex's costs. Since we couldn't afford our own lawyer's fees we didn't go further. The system does favour the mother in most cases.
1. The cogent and relevant evidence to that "truism" being complete and utter bogus claim to make as an excuse can be found in the following case law:

Date: 2011-11-09
Docket: F-2172/09
URL: CanLII - 2011 ONSC 6451 (CanLII)

Notable quote from this very well cited case law:

The Respondent was one of the most skilled and well-prepared self-represented litigants this court has seen. He was meticulously organized, and consistently demonstrated a working knowledge of the relevant provisions of the Children’s Law Reform Act, Family Law Act, the Courts of Justice Act and the Family Law Rules. Under cross-examination he was responsive but unflappable. His own cross-examination of the Applicant and the OCL social worker was respectful, understated – and at times devastating.
393. Under questioning Mr. Drouillard acknowledged a couple “truisms” well known among lawyers, judges, social workers – and frequently litigants themselves.

394. The first is that “status quo” is important. Perhaps the first piece of legal advice separated parents get is that temporary arrangements often come to be self-perpetuating. That’s why parties work so hard to stake out their turf; create patterns; and obtain favourable temporary (or even temporary-temporary) orders.

395. The second truism relates to the simplistic correlation between “joint custody” and “conflict”. Although obviously a gross oversimplification, many parents come to perceive that if someone wants joint custody they have to be able to get along with their estranged partner. The obvious corollary: if you can’t get along; if you can’t communicate; if there’s lots of conflict, then joint custody is unlikely to be imposed.

396. The OCL social worker fully acknowledged that separated parents commonly share these stereotypical perceptions. While Mr. Drouillard testified that social workers preparing assessments and section 112 reports try to be mindful of strategic behaviour by parents, in this case he appears to have done virtually nothing to investigate the extent to which either party was manipulating the system for strategic reasons.

397. Mr. Drouillard described the relationship between the parties as being "very high conflict". He said each party made numerous allegations about the other. Things were particularly bad whenever the parents had direct contact. He said some of the conflict was "situational" in the sense that custody litigation represents a time of high emotional crisis for both parties, and they were likely each behaving at their worst. But he doubted the conflict will end when this court case is completed. He said that’s why he ruled out joint custody (which he mistakenly believed the Respondent was seeking). That’s why he recommended sole custody. And with the mother having the status quo, that’s why he recommended sole custody to the mother.

398. Just like those “truisms” would have predicted.

399. During questioning, the Respondent expressed frustration that the social worker simply accepted the Applicant’s numerous allegations, without making any effort to determine if they were true. Mr. Drouillard responded that he did not even try to make factual determinations as to who did what. He was simply summarizing the fact that numerous allegations were being made, and this level of conflict impacted on parenting.

400. The Respondent suggested that by simply listing allegations rather than investigating them – and then reporting many more of the Applicant’s complaints than the Respondent’s explanations – the social worker never really developed much insight. In the Respondent’s view, the section 112 report told us what we could just as easily discern from the size of the court file: these people fight a lot.

401. The Respondent challenged Mr. Drouillard. Why didn’t he dig deeper? Why didn’t he look into the allegations? The timing? The veracity? Inconsistencies? Why didn’t he distinguish between allegations and false allegations? Did it make any difference if people were acting in good faith – or bad? Do deceit and manipulation tell us anything about parental judgment? Did he even consider whether either party might have a motive to lie or promote conflict? Were there signs of parental alienation? Was it necessary for Maxeem’s world to be so terribly disrupted?

402. How was Maxeem affected? And how is he likely to be affected in the future?

403. It would appear that Mr. Drouillard spent little or no time asking any of these questions.
Suffice to say... You should read the case law from the link to see what the final result was on prior to "believing" that no judge goes against the OCL... That truism died many years ago with the hole "truism" that mothers always get sole custody.

Key point. Dedicated, educated and good parents are who get sole custody of their children. NOT GENDER!

2. No substantive issue can be ordered at a case conference and whatever you ended up with as a result of the case conference was agreed to on CONSENT. So you consented to moving away and not moving to trial for the child's best interests to be actually determined by the court.

Originally Posted by Unevenplayingground View Post
I don't understand why the case conference was not set up. Was the OCL not completely finished with interviews, etc?
You should have went to trial if your evidence for the move being in the child's best interests was as good as you state often in your correspondence rather than consenting to something else you didn't agree with at a case conference. You were under no legal obligation to consent nor could a judge at a case conference order against you.

Originally Posted by Unevenplayingground View Post
I think you are on to something when you say it depends on the judge, unfortunately. The system is broken.
I disagree 100% with the above statement. The system is not broken. Litigants fail to understand the system, educate themselves, throw away their rights in "fear" at case conferences and don't bother to invest any personal time in understanding the basic fundamentals of what defines a child's "best interests" before the court.

For the other parents that actually do... Actually read the link provided in this response in full to see the "truth" of what happens before the Superior Court, Family Law quite often.

Good Luck!
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