Thread: How to proceed
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Old 04-25-2006, 09:35 PM
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Cats v. Lion

In this case (Interim motion) expert opinion cited Kelly/Lamb article and you can also see the honorable Justice inferred to the principle of the child knowing the parent in their own environment to nurture a meaningful relationship between parent and child. This principal originates to the words of the highly cited SCC Case Young v. Young although not mentioned.

Baird v. Webb, 2002 SKQB 518 (CanLII)

Paragraph 8

[8] The father dismisses the mother's fear that the child will be distressed by change of his overnight caregiver. He presented an article by Joan B. Kelly and Michael E. Lamb published in Using Child Development Research to Make Appropriate Custody and Access Decisions for Young Children, Family and Conciliation Courts Review, Vol. 38, No. 3, July 2002, 297-311 at pages 308-309:

The extent to which infants and toddlers can tolerate separation from significant attachment figures is related to their age, temperament, cognitive development, social experience, and the presence of older siblings. Aside from their very immature cognitive capacities, infants have no sense of time to help them understand separations, although their ability to tolerate longer separations from attachment figures increases with age. The goal of any access schedule should be to avoid long separations from both parents to minimize separation anxiety and to have sufficiently frequent and broad contact with each parent to keep the infant secure, trusting, and comfortable in each relationship.

Preschool children can tolerate lengthier separations than toddlers can, and many are comfortable with extended weekends in each parent's home as well as overnights during the week. In general, however, most preschool children become stressed and unnecessarily overburdened by separations from either parent that last more than 3 or 4 days. The exception might be planned vacations, in which parents and siblings are fully available to engage preschool children in novel, stimulating, and pleasurable activities. Even so, most parents would be advised to limit vacations at this age to 7 days and to schedule several vacations rather than one single lengthy vacation.

and paragraphs 9 and 10 respectively

[9] I am concerned about the impact on a one-year old child of an access order that subjects him to six hours of highway travel every time he is delivered into the care of his father. Unfortunately, it cannot be avoided. If the access is to be meaningful and beneficial to the child, it must be exercised as the father sees fit. It must take place in a surrounding that is comfortable for both father and son; a place where the father can behave in a spontaneous and relaxed manner. Only then can the child know his father. That will not happen if contact with the father is limited to a few hours in a Wal-Mart mall.

[10] I am satisfied that alternate weekend access is appropriate in this case, although not for the length of time suggested by the father. To begin, his access should be from Saturday morning to Sunday evening twice a month. The mother should share the transportation burden by delivering the child to the father in Regina and picking him up there when he is returned. It would, therefore, be convenient to her if Daniel's access weekends coincided with the weekends the mother takes her older child to Regina for visits with his father. Time of delivery to the father and return to the mother will have to be worked out by the parties to their mutual convenience. There will be an order accordingly. If the visits go well, Daniel's time with his father should be extended, perhaps commencing on Friday. Hopefully, the parties can work this out themselves, together with such things as holiday and special events access.