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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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  #1  
Old 04-10-2020, 10:31 AM
rvalentines rvalentines is offline
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Default Sending letters to MP to fix Family Law! Please provide feedback

Please provide helpful feedback. I tried keeping my points small. I know there are a million other helpful ideas. Thanks

Dear Michael and Ali,

I hope both of you are keeping safe in these times.
I am a recently separated father going through the Family court system.

As a working professional in management, I was taken aback at what many father's are going through just to be able to see our children. While every case is different, the theme is the same:Not seeing their kids for months at a time due to allegations, despite having to pay child-support.
Solve: Child support payments should mean regular access to the children unless there is convincing and clear evidence the children's safety is at risk.

The amount of discretion (the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation) given to the Family Court Judges needs to end. I've spoken to a few different lawyers on what the outcome of the case will be and I was met primarily with "It depends on the judge".
Solve: A quick solve on this would be a presumption of shared parenting and placing the onus as to why a parent should not have shared parenting on the one making allegations. Many US states have recently established this presumption of equal shared parenting which supports this notion.

Rampant allegations of abuse in both Family and Criminal Courts as a leverage to establish de facto custody and get exclusive possession of the matrimonial house.
Solve: Allow for automatic shared parenting unless the allegations directly impact the safety of the children. I have spent nearly $50,000 in 6 months just to be able to see my kids once a week.

Lawyer Fees - Minimum $350/HR for a junior lawyer. This fee is exuberant for many individuals, and surprisingly, family law is the only area of law where paralegals are not allowed to practice.
Solve: Allow paralegals to practice in Family Law like every other area of Law (Civil, Criminal, etc). Many of us are driven to bankruptcy just trying to get access to our children.

Child Support table amount needs to be revisited. Many individuals are living pay-check to pay-check. At the very least it needs to be tax deductible. This is a huge sticking point for many individuals who have to pay child support while paying for rent and lawyers. I can delve into this deeper as needed with many plausible solutions.Many fathers are driven to suicide. You probably have heard the case of Keira Kagan right here in Toronto and her father who died a few months ago. The father was involved in a high-conflict custody case. Here is one article written by Christie Blatchford that articulates the above points with another Father who was driven to suicide.
I have tried keeping my observations short with a proposed solution in the hope that we can improve the system. Improving the system is an economic benefit to Canada's future.

I also understand that what I am asking for is not something that can be fixed quickly. That's not what we are asking. We are asking to at the very least start the discussion so that our future generations can benefit from a more efficient system if and when they go through separation.
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2020, 11:55 AM
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Tayken Tayken is offline
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It is a waste of your time. Every year about 20 people post this same thread with a similar letter. Focus on your issue rather than systemic issues. Solve your problems first.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:05 PM
standing on the sidelines standing on the sidelines is offline
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if you want to tie child support to seeing the child then the opposite should also be true. If a person cannot or will not pay support then they cannot see the child. If a good support paying parent runs into financial difficulties, they should no longer be allowed to see their kid(s)?
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Old 04-10-2020, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvalentines View Post
Please provide helpful feedback.
Pick one point that matters the most to you. A laundry list of changes lets them ignore you.

Quote:
Not seeing their kids for months at a time due to allegations, despite having to pay child-support.
Is the problem that you can't see the kids, or that you have to pay child support? These are two unrelated issues. Also, paying child support when you do not see the kids is not a contentious issue. Everyone knows that it is better for the kid if child support is paid.

Quote:
The amount of discretion (the freedom to decide what should be done in a particular situation) given to the Family Court Judges needs to end.
Judges are paid well and expected to exercise discretion. That is part of their mandate.

Quote:
Solve: A quick solve on this would be a presumption of shared parenting
There was a recent bill that failed that mandated a presumption of shared parenting. Perhaps before sending off letters, you should do some research? Figure out why that bill failed, and what could be done differently.

Quote:
I have spent nearly $50,000 in 6 months just to be able to see my kids once a week.
Referencing your personal situation is a disaster. If they actually decide to take you seriously, and then find out that you are still facing criminal charges, you will have set fathers back a decade. You are a terrible representative for father's rights. Honestly, it would be best if your letter was anonymous in some way.

Quote:
This fee is exuberant
The lawyers are exuberant, the fees are exorbitant.

Quote:
Child Support table amount needs to be revisited.
Why? Many support recipients are also poor. A panel of experts created the tables, the presumption is that they are correct. You need evidence that they are not. "Some support payors are poor" is not evidence.

Quote:
Improving the system is an economic benefit to Canada's future.
You pulled that one from thin air.

Quote:
I also understand that what I am asking for is not something that can be fixed quickly. That's not what we are asking.
who is "we"?
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Old 04-12-2020, 10:58 PM
LovingDad1234 LovingDad1234 is offline
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Show of hands out there for people who had to fend off allegations based on your ex’s emotions and ill perceptions towards you? Allegations in court briefs based on their personal opinions? Where your ex did their homework to try to find what they need to try to prove to have kids for themselves. Two words: Abuse and Mental Health. All of a sudden your ex is expert in both topics? Next thing you know you cannot believe you are spending legal fees on defending yourself because your ex ran wild in their briefs?

That section in law that speaks to abuse should be revised to say that it must be explicitly proven by a professional that their is proof of abuse towards the kids. Too many court briefs out there claim the spouse is “emotionally abusive”. The marriage failed and feelings got hurt between husband and wife. That does not mean the parents will be emotionally abusive towards the kids! Fix it so that the system isn’t based on parents going on rampage about claiming the other parent, (who they married and made kids with) shouldn’t equally be with the kids.

A parent who goes out of their way, goes to lengths, to try to exclude the other parent from being in the kids lives cannot be trusted to represent or value the kids best interests. A good parent would WANT their kids to have an equal relationship with the other parent and strive for that. Best for the kids right? Put kids interests above your own? Not “my” kids but rather “our kids”, who have 2 parents and sets of extended families.... The fact that 90% of high-conflict cases are full of emotional allegations and judges don’t reprimand mud slinging is a huge issue. Judges should come down hard on that. But don’t.
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Old 04-16-2020, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvalentines View Post
Please provide helpful feedback. I tried keeping my points small. I know there are a million other helpful ideas. Thanks

Dear Michael and Ali,

I hope both of you are keeping safe in these times.
I am a recently separated father going through the Family court system.

As a working professional in management, I was taken aback at what many father's are going through just to be able to see our children. While every case is different, the theme is the same:Not seeing their kids for months at a time due to allegations, despite having to pay child-support.
Solve: Child support payments should mean regular access to the children unless there is convincing and clear evidence the children's safety is at risk.
already by making this a "father" issue- you're setting up a 'He v. She' debate. You're going to lose on that. You may want to consider changing it to "what many parents are going through"...everyone knows you're really talking about fathers.

Also I pretty much stopped reading once you said"once you pay- you should get to see your kid". You just made kids commodities. My ex tried that and refused to pay CS for 10 months. And kept telling me that he would pay once he got to see our daughter more. Didn't work. Judges don't like that.
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Old 04-16-2020, 12:19 PM
Abba435 Abba435 is offline
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MPs are mostly lawyers
Justice is full of lawyers
Judges were all lawyers
So it is you (us) asking them (lawyers) to change a system that pays them (lawyers).
NOT HAPPENING
Better you spend you energy getting a fair agreement that can be enforced, pay what you are required to pay, stay out of court, love your kids.
THEN start the campaign if you have any energy left.
I for one would love nothing more than to wipe most of the current system away and get a modern and fair system in place.
NOT HAPPENING
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Old 04-16-2020, 02:51 PM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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Quote:
So it is you (us) asking them (lawyers) to change a system that pays them (lawyers).
NOT HAPPENING
I post merely to disagree with this. There are many reasons the system isn't better than it is - mostly because human conflict doesn't have easy solutions. However, a conspiracy of self-interested lawyers motivated only by $$$ isn't the main culprit.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:32 PM
Abba435 Abba435 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kinso View Post
I post merely to disagree with this. There are many reasons the system isn't better than it is - mostly because human conflict doesn't have easy solutions. However, a conspiracy of self-interested lawyers motivated only by $$$ isn't the main culprit.
No disrespect intended.
Asking people that have an economic interest to make changes that in a material way impacts those interests is folly. Tax lawyers have talked forever about revising the ITA and it never happens because there is not critical mass AND there is self interest.
If it was truly in the public interest to change this very badly broken system then why has the legal community not made fervent and earnest efforts to do so? You yourself have made some very compelling comments that would simplify the system and serve families. No disrespect intended. It os clear you are not one who would object, so my question remains. Why has the legal profession not made it a priority to overhaul this mess? I submit there is an underlying economic reason why not.
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Old 04-16-2020, 04:47 PM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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Quote:
Why has the legal profession not made it a priority to overhaul this mess?
The problem isn't the lack of motivation, it's the complexity and coming to agreement on what reform should look like. As such we end up with analysis paralysis.

There hasn't been an absence of attempts to propose or bring about reform, but rather an abundance. The same conversation every few years.

Here are some written examples:

Family Court Review routinely publishes articles on the necessity of reform https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/17441617 - there are literally hundreds from top down reform to small local changes that could make the process more accessible. From academics to lawyers to government, I've never seen a single article that referenced financial disincentive as a barrier to reform.

Toronto's Legal Innovation Zone - After a year of consultations with professionals submitted a report reform (http://legalinnovationzone.ca/wp-con...orm-Report.pdf). February 2016

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts has 21 different initiatives aimed at improving the field (https://www.afccnet.org/Resource-Cen...Court-Practice).

AFCC-O, the Ontario chapter of the AFCC has their own initiatives. (https://afccontario.ca/research-poli...t-initiatives/)

The Action Committee on Access to Justice in Civil and Family Matters published an article on Family Justice Reform in April 2012 (https://www.cfcj-fcjc.org/sites/defa...15%20Final.pdf


Technology is also often touted as a source of better accessibility. Here are some examples:

Family Law Portal: https://www.familylawportal.com/

Financial Disclosure: https://www.financialdisclosure.ca/


The above represents what I could find with 10 minutes of googling. I assure you there is more in the same vein.
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