Enforcing a Parent/Child Relationship at All Cost? Supervised Access Orders in the Canadian Courts
(2012) 49:2 Osgoode Hall Law Journal 277-309
33 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2012 Last revised: 9 May 2016
Date Written: 2012
Supervised access has become a key component of Canadian custody and access decision making in recent years, in large part due to a shift in attitudes towards post-separation contact between non-custodial parents, typically fathers, and their children. While the sole criterion upon which an access decision can be made is the "best interests of the child," the increased emphasis on ensuring that children have "maximum contact" with each of their parents post-separation, and the particular focus on maintaining parental contact, has meant that orders for "no access" have almost disappeared. In an effort to unpack the themes underlying supervised access decision making in Canada, this article analyzes two years of family law judgments from British Columbia and Ontario in which supervised access was ordered. It provides an overview of the types of families and factual situations that attract supervised access orders and analyzes the three themes that emerge from the cases.
Keywords: Family law, Supervised access
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