Holiday access disputes

Red flag: access dispute coming

You can easily spot a high-conflict family law file through a Christmas or holiday access disputes.  A typical situation: one parent has the opportunity to go away (i.e. the grandparents have paid for a family cruise and want the kids to go) but it’s the other parent’s time with the Children. This time was hard fought in an acrimonious custody/access dispute. The answer, as everyone will guess, is no.

These are recurring themes. Mother thinks father is being totally unreasonable and trying to get back at her. Father is untrusting because mother has controlled and limited his contact with his own children. Both feel completely justified in taking the positions they are taking, and the conflict then escalates into high emotion confrontation where they both attempt to move the other party through emotional distress.

I need answers

What is the solution?

Well there isn’t really an easy fix here. It takes work and an ongoing commitment. Multiple mediation sessions. Ongoing counselling. Online software purchases. There are a multitude of things that separated couples try that are sometimes successful but often end in disheartening failure.

Unfortunately the court system is no different. The motions court is overrun at the holidays with motions on access. Each motion runs between $3,000 and $5,000, and if you are too late (ie. you haven’t booked by November) you likely won’t even get heard until January or February. The wheels of justice turn slowly. If you have an issue with that discuss the amount of funding that the Attorney General receives with your local MP.

My recommendation as a family law lawyer mirrors that of any judge of the Superior court. See the matter through the eyes of the child. Understand their perspective and their wants and needs. Make an effort to understand more deeply the other parents foundation and address it through clear communication and multiple offers. Put the work in stay calm and patient. Be the role model and teacher that your child is relying on you to be. These issues are not insurmountable by any stretch, they simply require time and effort to resolve.

Those words are easy advise to give, and sometimes hard to follow. I understand that. And if you fall, then pick yourself up and get right back at it. A good resource that I have recommended to clients is Dr. John Gottman’s research. Check it out on Amazon by clicking here.

We are here to help.

If you are unable to resolve your family law issues then consider booking a one-hour consultation with one of our family law lawyers.  Sometimes a second set of eyes and an objective opinion can go a long way in helping to improve things.  Call (613) 233-7000 or email today.