Ontario Family Law Podcast

19 - What To Do If A Child Won’t Visit With One Parent After Separation

Ontario Family Law Podcast - # 19 What to do if a child won't see a parent

19 - What To Do If A Child Won't See One Parent

One of the most difficult circumstances in Family Law is when a child refuses to see one parent.   The parent who is not seeing the child feels hurt, angry, and excluded from the child's life.  The other parent feels blamed, cornered and under attack.  In these difficult situations it is very important to do the right things.  Doing the wrong thing can really hurt the children.  It can also get you into some serious trouble in Family Court.  Unfortunately, what many parents to instinctively in these situations is often the worst choice.


In this podcast, Certified Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, explains the situation from both parents perspective  - the perspective of the parent with the kids, and the parent who is not seeing them.  He then explains what Family Court Judges expect each parent to do in these circumstances and the best strategy for each parent to adopt.  Those strategies not only protect the kids in a difficult situation in divorce, but also keep the parents on the right side of the Family Law Judges so they do not lose everything, including the kids, in Family Court.  


Access orders state or imply that a parent does everything in his or her power to support the child having a relationship with the other parent
Involves telling a child that they have to go
Arranging for counselling or programs to assist child with feelings toward other parent
Judges will be skeptical that the child is not acting on cues (even unintentional) from the parent that are not supportive of the relationship
Judges view the ability of one parent to support the children’s relationship with the other parent as showing that parent’s ability to act as a parent (CLRA s. 24(2)(g) )
Not doing everything can lead to enforcement orders, contempt or even losing custody.
If you represent the estranged parent, bringing a contempt or custody motion right away can make that parent seem like part of the problem
Focus on motions that resolve the problem first, instead of punishing the other parent.
Let the other parent breach more orders to establish your case.

This podcast is a recording of a lecture that Certified Specialist in Family Law, top Toronto Divorce Lawyer, John Schuman, gave to legal professionals on how to hear the voice of the child.  That lecture also featured slides, which provided additional information, including the citations for may of the authorities mentioned in this podcast.  Those slides will appear on screen on the version of the podcast that can be downloaded from iTunes. Those same slides are on the left of this page on desktop computers and tablets or below for mobile devices users for listeners who are not using the iTunes version.


The Ontario Family Law Podcast is a companion to the book, Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law, which is available as an e-book for Amazon Kindle or Kobo, and as an iBook for iPad, iPhone and Mac, or as a paperback from Amazon and other fine book sellers.  Anyone who has to deal with issues related to child custody, child access or parenting after separation should rely on them for  give easy-to-understand information and advice about how the law applies to their case and what are the best ways to address their concerns.   It gives specific tips about how to deal with difficult situations in separation and divorce, and also explains how to get into, and keep out of, trouble in family court. The book also covers all the other related family law issues, such as child support, spousal support (or alimony), division of property, the Family Court Process and the alternatives to family court, that may really benefit your kids.  To get your copy of the   click on the picture of it to the left.

Guide to the Basics of Ontario Famly Law - an easy to understand book to help with separation, divorce, family court, mediation, arbitration and child welfare

An easy-to-understand guide to Ontario Family Law for non-lawyers. Click on the cover above to purchase on Amazon.


Thousands of people tune into the Ontario Family Law Podcast every month to get valuable pointers on family law, divorce and separation issues.  Please feel free to share this podcast with your social network using the sharing buttons below.  The host of the Ontario Family Law Podcast, John Schuman, is a top Family Law and Divorce Lawyer, practicing in Toronto.  If you would like to contact him, either call the number at the top of this page or fill out form below and click “send.”

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If you would like to comment on this podcast, please use the form below.  Your comments may help others in difficult family law or divorce situations.   You can also use the form below to suggest topics for future editions of the Ontario Family Law Podcast.

© John P. Schuman 2012-2017