Are you unhappy with how things are going with your custody and access arrangement? Would you like to see your children more often? If so, you are not alone. Every day people seek to change their existing parenting plan arrangement.
Before a family dispute goes to trial, many parents are eager to vary an interim custody order. Unfortunately, if a current parenting arrangement is working well for your child, the courts are reluctant to make any substantial changes to it. Therefore, if you are looking to change the status quo, you should be aware of when the court will change an interim custody order. Section 29 of the Children’s Law Reform Act (Ontario) specifies that a court shall not make an order that varies another order in respect of custody or access unless there has been a material change in circumstances that affects the best interests of the child.
In the case of J.S.G. v E.M.G., 2016 ONSC 2233 (“JSG”), the parents of a 10 year old child were in dispute over an interim parenting arrangement.The child was happy in both homes, and both parents demonstrated that they were good parents. However, about a year after the order was made, a doctor provided an assessment whereby she recommended sole custody in favour of the father. The assessment contained allegations of substance abuse against the mother. In light of the new evidence, the father proposed a change in the status quo and requested interim sole custody of their child. After much deliberation, the court dismissed the proposed parenting arrangement by the father in favour of maintaining the status quo until trial.
This case demonstrates how difficult it is to change the status quo of a custody arrangement before trial. In the decision, the judge noted that interim orders should only be varied on an interim basis if the evidence establishes that the present arrangement is not in a child’s best interest and that the proposed arrangement would be.
Going through a separation, divorce or custody battle is a complicated matter and
the lawyers at Grinhaus Law Firm will navigate you through this difficult process in order to protect your rights and help you claim what is yours. For more information on this topic, feel free to call or email Grinhaus Law Firm for a consultation.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT INTENDED TO BE LEGAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT BE RELIED ON AS SUCH. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU CONSULT WITH A LICENSED PROFESSIONAL.