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Answers to pressing questions on Family Law Family Matters by John Syrtash bedtime stories and if its you, what are the child's favourite stories? Who tickles the child so that she/he laughs? What is the Best and Worst Evidence for Custody & Access Hearings? Question: I am currently in a custody dispute with my wife concern- ing our two sons. My wife lied to the court about me abusing her and the children in order to gain temporary custody of the children. I have more than enough evidence to prove that she intentionally lied. How likely is the court to find her in contempt? What is the best approach to force the court to hold her accountable for her lies? If the matter is sufficiently serious with conflicting evidence then Senior Counsel may recommend that the Children's Lawyer may rep- resent or assess a child and the parents respective parenting skills. Judges have recently also asked the Children's Lawyer to interview John Syrtash B. A (Hon), LL.B. Associate Garfin Zeidenberg LLP Family Lawyer & Mediator for 38 years the child and simply present his or her views after an interview. However, staff of the Office of the Children's lawyer is overburdened and underfunded since if your case is selected the service is free. They will interview you, the child if old enough and anyone you wish. But because of their limitations parents will often agree to hire a private assessor, such as a skilled social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist under section 30 of Ontario's Children Law Reform Act. Howevert, the costs to investigate and prepare a report to the Court by a private assessors is usually at least $10,000-15,000, and it is not unusual to cost more than this amount plus the cost of your lawyer. These costs are often split between the parties in accordance with the parties respective incomes. Nonetheless, this is the most effective method of putting evidence before the Court and a good way to settle disputes, even if a Children's Aid Society has intervened in the case and takes a different or non-committal positon. Answer: No question that perjury is a criminal offence, but parents are very rarely prosecuted. Under Ontario's Family Law Rules her conduct may be considered a "contempt of Court if she has disobeyed a court order, which could lead to fines and even jail. Moreover, the more she lies, the more she loses credibility. But disproving her lies doesn't necessarily prove you are the superior parent. You must now demonstrate your intimate understanding, skill and acquaintance of the children's needs. Warring parents often lose sight of what judges look for. What is your evidence of the chil- dren's needs, not just merely of mom's faults and lies? What are the children's favourite games and TV shows? Are you helping them with homework? Who bathes them if they are small? Who reads them Mr. Syrtash is Senior Family Law Associate to Garfin Zeidenberg LLP celebrating 38 years as a Family Law lawyer this year. Suite 800, 5255 Yonge Street (at Norton) just north of Mel Lastman Square, Civic Centre Subway station Toronto, ON M5G 1E6 John Syrtash can be reached at (416) 642-5410, Cell (416) 886-0359. Visit www.freemychild.com; www.spousalsupport.com; www.garfinzeidenberg.com. Neither Garfin Zeidenberg LLP nor John Syrtash is liable for any consequences arising from anyone's reliance on this material, which is presented as general information and not as a legal opinion Sponsored by the Community for Jewish Culture of B'Nai Brith Canada. Answers to pressing questions on Family Law Family Matters by John Syrtash bedtime stories and if its you, what are the child's favourite stories? Who tickles the child so that she/he laughs? What is the Best and Worst Evidence for Custody & Access Hearings? Question: I am currently in a custody dispute with my wife concern- ing our two sons. My wife lied to the court about me abusing her and the children in order to gain temporary custody of the children. I have more than enough evidence to prove that she intentionally lied. How likely is the court to find her in contempt? What is the best approach to force the court to hold her accountable for her lies? If the matter is sufficiently serious with conflicting evidence then Senior Counsel may recommend that the Children's Lawyer may rep- resent or assess a child and the parents respective parenting skills. Judges have recently also asked the Children's Lawyer to interview John Syrtash B. A (Hon), LL.B. Associate Garfin Zeidenberg LLP Family Lawyer & Mediator for 38 years the child and simply present his or her views after an interview. However, staff of the Office of the Children's lawyer is overburdened and underfunded since if your case is selected the service is free. They will interview you, the child if old enough and anyone you wish. But because of their limitations parents will often agree to hire a private assessor, such as a skilled social worker, psychologist or psychiatrist under section 30 of Ontario's Children Law Reform Act. Howevert, the costs to investigate and prepare a report to the Court by a private assessors is usually at least $10,000-15,000, and it is not unusual to cost more than this amount plus the cost of your lawyer. These costs are often split between the parties in accordance with the parties respective incomes. Nonetheless, this is the most effective method of putting evidence before the Court and a good way to settle disputes, even if a Children's Aid Society has intervened in the case and takes a different or non-committal positon. Answer: No question that perjury is a criminal offence, but parents are very rarely prosecuted. Under Ontario's Family Law Rules her conduct may be considered a "contempt of Court if she has disobeyed a court order, which could lead to fines and even jail. Moreover, the more she lies, the more she loses credibility. But disproving her lies doesn't necessarily prove you are the superior parent. You must now demonstrate your intimate understanding, skill and acquaintance of the children's needs. Warring parents often lose sight of what judges look for. What is your evidence of the chil- dren's needs, not just merely of mom's faults and lies? What are the children's favourite games and TV shows? Are you helping them with homework? Who bathes them if they are small? Who reads them Mr. Syrtash is Senior Family Law Associate to Garfin Zeidenberg LLP celebrating 38 years as a Family Law lawyer this year. Suite 800, 5255 Yonge Street (at Norton) just north of Mel Lastman Square, Civic Centre Subway station Toronto, ON M5G 1E6 John Syrtash can be reached at (416) 642-5410, Cell (416) 886-0359. Visit www.freemychild.com; www.spousalsupport.com; www.garfinzeidenberg.com. Neither Garfin Zeidenberg LLP nor John Syrtash is liable for any consequences arising from anyone's reliance on this material, which is presented as general information and not as a legal opinion Sponsored by the Community for Jewish Culture of B'Nai Brith Canada.