Family Law Blog

How Do I Get a Family Court Order Out of My Child’s Ontario School Record?


Ontario Family Law Podcast

7 - Custody of the Children - what it means and how it is decided

17 - Sole Custody, Joint Custody, Shared Custody- How do Judges Decide?

22 - Children's Right's in Ontario Schools

This question is a good one because it touches on the intersection between schools, parents, kids and the law when parents separate.  Parents separating can cause a lot of stress and tension for other people as well.

First, it is critical to remember that the school, the principal, the teachers, and the school board do no want anything to do with parents' separations or divorces. If a parent thinks that any educator is going to “take sides”  and support one parent during a divorce, then that parent will be disappointed. Most school boards have policies that prevent them from becoming involved in disputes between parents.  This does not mean that Family Court Judges do not find the thoughts and observations of teachers useful when deciding which parent gets custody.  But, nobody wants them involved (There are ways to get useful information from educators before the court, which is set out below).

The most important reason why schools will not become involved in disputes between parents is that schools are the kids' "space."  School is more than just a child's "workplace."  It is the center of their social lives, it is where they develop an identity independent of their parents, it can be the center of their non-academic activities and, during times of parental conflict, it is often their sanctuary away from that. So, it is very important that fights between parents do not use the school as the battleground.    Section 305 of the Ontario Education Act and Ontario Regulation 474/00 give principals the authority to bar any parent from entering school premises because he or she has done anything to upset any pupil. If a principal does that, a Family Court Judge is sure to notice.  

With that said, it is very important for schools to know what the current custody order says.  This helps the school avoid making mistakes that can create tensions between parents or can even allow a parent to abduct a child.  It also avoids having the school hand off the child to the wrong parent - or to a parent who is not supposed to visit the child or go to the school.   While it is important for schools to get copies of court orders that relate to the school, it is important that parents do not use those orders as weapons.

If the school has a copy of a court order that it should not have, or that is no longer valid, parents can do something about it.  Section 266(4) of the Education Act allows parents to request in writing that the principal remove any inaccurate information from a student's record.  If the principal does not remove the information, than a School Board superintendent can hold a hearing to determine whether the information should be removed.   The Ontario School Record Guideline sets the test for whether a document or information should be removed from a child's OSR.  Any document that is "no longer conducive to the improvement of  the instruction of the student" should be removed from a student's school record.  Therefore, a principal should remove any expired, repealed, or irrelevant court order from a student's record.  That should get the court order out.

When deciding custody cases, judges need evidence, and they really like the evidence of  impartial professionals. The observations of those professionals of the behavior of the parties, and more importantly, how a child is doing, can really influence a judge when deciding custody cases.  But, judges do not want educators put in the middle.  Section 35 of the Ontario Evidence Act allows judges to admit into evidence any record that a teacher (or other professional) has made "in the ordinary course of business" without having the teacher testify.  Those are any records that someone does as part of their job and not for the purposes of any form of litigation (including disputes in Family Court.)  So, judges will look at report cards, school attendance records, school IPRC reports, individual education plans, school forms and school emails that are not directly about the custody/access dispute.  Those can give the judge a really clear picture of what is going on, how involved each parent is, and whether either parent is being a "problem."  

A parent who is being a "problem" or whose actions are having an adverse impact on a child can get into big trouble in family court. Not being supportive of the other parent, acting unilaterally with respect to the children (especially in contravention of a court order) and not putting the children’s needs first are some of the best ways for a parent to lose custody of children

It is often possible to get these helpful school records without involving any school personnel directly in the Family Court Fight and, most importantly, without bringing the fight to the child's school and sanctuary from the parent's fighting.

You can learn a bit more about the family court process by watching this video or listening to these podcasts (iTunes version here).  

You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including a further explanation of child custody issues and tips to help you and protection your child in and out of court, by downloading this $9.99 e-book for Kindle, Kobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac or ordering the paperback version.  But, to keep out of trouble, it is always best to speak with a good family law lawyer. 

Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law (book)

However, the best way to protect your kids, and your relationship with them, is to see a good family lawyer who has lot of experience in child custody and access cases.  Certified Specialist in Family Law, John Schuman, is known for his concern for children in separation and divorce and has won many child custody cases.  To contact John, call 416-446-5869, email him, or fill out the form below. You can use the same form to comment on this page.

On school issues, it can also be helpful to get speak to lawyer who knows about education law.

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Many thousands of people get family law assistance from this website everyday.  If you have found this page useful, please share it on your social network using the FacebookTwitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons at the bottom of the page.  Please comment on this page using the comments section at the bottom to share your thoughts on money issues in divorce or separation.

My parents purchased a condo under my name, is there a way for them to legally take the condo back?


The law does not help your parents at all if title to the condominium is registered in your name and they have nothing registered against the condominium - especially if there is no mortgage or anything else registered against tile.  At law, it is yours and they have no legal claim.

Ontario Family Law Podcast

29 - Common Law Separation and Property Division

8 - How your heart can get you into financial trouble - Step Children and Matrimonial Homes

However, Judges in Ontario can also apply the "Principals of Equity."    The Principals of Equity are more fully described in this podcast on Common Law Couples and Property Division.  This is not because you and your parents are considered "common law" but because common law have no right in law to each other's stuff, but they can make claims in equity.

Your parents would say that you are the legal owner, but they are the beneficial owners - or the owners in equity.  This means that nobody intended that you would be owner of the condo, but instead the intention was that you would hold the condo in "trust" for your parents and they would always be the "real owners" even though title is registered in your name.   To succeed, they have to prove that it is more likely than not that this was the case and that they did not intend to give you the condominium as a gift.  You will need some evidence that they did intend to make the condo a gift to you.

If your parents cannot show that the property is a gift, or there is some ambiguity, they can also try to make a claim for "unjust enrichment."   Essentially there is claim it is unfair that you should profit from getting the condominium because they have suffered a large, unjustifiable, loss.   This is explained more in that podcast.  To summarize they need to prove to the judge:

  1. you received a benefit
  2. your parents suffered a loss that corresponds to the benefit (i.e. they are out the money from buying the condo)
  3. there is no "juristic" reason (meaning a reason in law), for you to get the benefit and them to suffer a loss.

If you have been looking after the condominium, and paying the associated expenses without their help, it is hard for them to success because:

  1. it shows that they did not intend to be the owners
  2. you would suffer a loss and they would receive a benefit if they got the condo back and so they would be "unjustly enriched" - assuming you have paid more for those expense than you would to rent the condo from them.

The Principals of Equity are tricky.  Little things can have a big effect on those cases (again that is all explained in the podcast).  So, it would be best for you to speak about the specifics of your case with a lawyer who knows about these kind of cases.

Parents often want to help out their children with first home purchases, but they are also often concerned about a new daughter-in-law or son-in-law getting their hands on that property and getting it away from their child, and possibly the whole family, in a separation or divorce.  The second podcast above goes over the dangers in that situation and how to parents can protect any gift they make to their children - especially in the context marriage. 

Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law (book)

You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including property division, support, and most other common family law issues by downloading this $9.99 e-book for KindleKobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac or ordering the paperback version.  But, to keep out of trouble, it is always best to speak with a top family law lawyer

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Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law Available on Kindle

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Obviously, there can be a lot of money involved in when there is real estate involved and that means there can be a lot at stake financially.   Get the help of a lawyer immediately to avoid financial hardship.  Contact Certified Specialist in Family Law (and author of the book above), John Schuman, by emailing him, calling 416-446-5869, or using the contact form below.  We answer all inquiries promptly and we can arrange for you to come in quickly for a consultation (charged at a reduced hourly rate).

Many thousands of people get family law assistance from this website everyday.  If you have found this page useful, please share it on your social network using the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons at the bottom of the page.  Please comment on this page using the comments section at the bottom to share your thoughts on money issues in divorce or separation.

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