Click here for our sites that offer help and do-it-youself uncontested divorce information. But if you are in a contest situation, read below.
This part of our Web site is dedicated to helping parents without lawyers do better in obtaining equal time shared parenting in court. We deal with the present legal system as we find it – still biased against fathers and with all its faults. We leave it to others to carry on the very important task of winning legal and political reforms.
What this page contains:
This page will try and contain as much as possible to help a parent who cannot afford a lawyer or is not eligible for Legal Aid to understand the Rules of the Game. No one should regard what they read here as “legal advice”, but rather, our way of giving you pointers on how to think, behave, react and carry out your case. This is a very long page…..
How to Win in Court
The way to win in Court is to have the facts of your case fit as closely as possible to the current or advancing state of the law as found in already decided and reported cases. We have assembled the relevant case law on “joint custody vs sole custody” and most of the recent court judgments awarding equal time shared parenting under many different sets of facts.
Check out this case to see how a father can succeed on his own in court. David v David
There are two types of judgment reported here: Interim and Final. “Interim” orders are those first obtained on early court or chambers hearings, and are meant to be temporary, although they can last for years. “Final” orders come only after a trial. Equal time shared parenting is being ordered more often than ever in “Final” orders. More importantly, it is occurring in “Interim” orders as well. We have written a long article on the law including the leading cases on shared parenting for any father needing to act on his own.. Click here for the article.
Which Court Should You Be In?
In British Columbia there are two different court systems that have jurisdiction over family law matters: The Provincial Court of British Columbia, Family Division, and the Supreme Court of British Columbia. There are many important advantages to being in the Supreme Court and nothing but problems with being in Provincial Court.
Both Courts can deal with custody and guardianship, parenting plans and both spousal and child support. Only the Supreme Court can order a divorce and divide up property. Provincial Courts are found in most commiunities while Supreme Courts are found only in the larger cities.
Once a matter is started in Provicial Family Court it is almost impossible to get it moved up to the Supreme Court. Therefore, if you have chance to determine into which court your own case will go, put it in Supreme Court. This means you may have to make the first move in Supreme Court before the other parent gets into Provincial Family Court.
Pros and Cons of Each Court
DISCOVERY: One of the most valuabe and useful proceedures available to a party in any action commenced in the Supreme Court is the Discovery process. Both sides are entiled to know about and have copies of any and all documents in the pocession of the other side that might relate to the case. As well, each side can make the other party go before a Court Reporter to be sworn to tell the truth and answer any questions the relate to the matter. A transcript may then be typed up of that persons evidence and used in later court applications or at trial. This discovery process is a major contribution to settling cases and for determining the true issues that divide the parties. It is an invaluable tool. It is NOT available in Provincial Family Court. The result in Provincial Court is that you really never know the other sides case until you are actually in court, and then one or both sides usually get ambushed by surprises. It is ineffeciant, you can’t really prepare properly, time consuming and totally unfair.
CONTEMPT: If a person disobeys a Supreme Court order – such as denying parenting time to the other parent – the offending party can be held in contempt and various punishments are available to the court. There is no such power or proceedure in Provincial Family Court.