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legal resource

"The system needs more education into family violence, specifically coercive control and it's relevance to best interest determinations"

lawyers

 

Consultations

When you need psychological insight into conflictual family law files or a consultation about potential interventions.

litigation support

As your retained expert I can help refine your understanding of the psychological issues in the file, create compelling language to use in argument or questioning, assist with development of direct and cross examination questions for parenting experts, and provide you with social science research and knowledge.

PN8 Work product Reviews

As a neutral expert, I can provide a work product review (critique) on an evaluation completed by a Court-appointed expert.

Training

When you are looking for thoughtful information on psychological issues in family law matters in a straightforward, pragmatic way. From lunch and learns to conference presentations, webinars and online courses, please give me a call to discuss. I have a special interest in helping you understand coercive control and its relevance to best interest determinations. Lux, G. and Gill, S. (2021) "Identifying Coercive Control in Canadian Family Law: A Required Analysis in Determining the Best Interests of the Child". Family Court Review (accepted for publication, in press).

Expert Testimony (Subject Matter)

As a neutral expert, I can provide credible testimony to educate decision makers about important psychological issues such as coercive control, mobility risk, and parent-child contact issues including alienation and why it matters in best interest determinations.

THERAPUTICALLY FACILITATED ACCESS

Sometimes parents and children need support to help connect in healthy ways. Therapeutically facilitated access is one way to support and strengthen fragile or developing bonds.

 

Forensic Assessments and Interventions

parenting coordination

Some co-parents need extra support. Parenting Coordination helps parents implement their parenting plan, resolve disputes, communicate, consider children’s needs and provide recommendations to resolve impasses. This process generally requires a court or consent order and is non-confidential and with prejudice.

Practice Note 8 Assessments

Comprehensive assessments of the family are sometimes necessary to help understand the needs of the children, the parent’s ability to meet those needs and the dynamics of the co-parenting relationship. Practice Note 8 assessments provide to the court, an analysis of these factors and their implications in relation to parenting time and parenting responsibility.

Voice of the Child Assessments

Children's voices are important to best interest determinations. Voice of the child assessments are helpful to understand the specific needs and/or wishes of a child and their experience of the current parenting arrangements. Provides to the court, an analysis of the factors influencing the child’s articulations and experiences and the implications of the findings.

Risk Assessments

Risk assessments are useful to help identify risk factors related to parenting as well as to provide recommendations for addressing any identified risk, including specific treatment or supports. Some issues that might be considered include, alcohol and substance abuse, gambling or pornography addiction, anger management, etc.

Mobility Assessments

When one parent is contemplating a move, these comprehensive assessments of the family are designed to increase the understanding of a child’s best psychological interest when a relocation away from one parent is considered.

Reunification Therapy

When a parent loses contact with a child during the challenges of a separation and divorce, reunification therapy can assist. This therapy is complex and often supported by court order. It involves the family as a system and requires the therapist to understand and work with the specific dynamics of the parent child contact problem.

coercive control

 

Identifying Coercive control in family law

Amendments to the Divorce Act require that family violence, including coercive controlling behaviours, be considered when making best-interest determinations regarding children. Let me help you understand coercive control and how it can manifest in the day-to-day practice of family law and why coercive control is an essential consideration for best interest of the child determinations. Please call for a consultation and resources. See: Lux, G. and Gill, S. (2021) "Identifying Coercive Control in Canadian Family Law: A Required Analysis in Determining the Best Interests of the Child". Family Court Review (accepted for publication, in press).

Screening for Coercive Control

Research has shown that the practice of family law and allied professionals relying on their subjective views or instincts to determine whether domestic violence has occurred is widespread and overarchingly inaccurate. Screening for family violence is a recommended practice in family law and some would argue an obligation, to the extent they are able to. Legal interventions can become another opportunity for abusers to impose demands in a way apparently legitimized by the family justice system. Certain interventions introduce further risk in matters involving coercive control, especially those which pair party autonomy with a presumption of equality of bargaining power. I can provide screening and tell you what adaptations might be necessary to make interventions including mediation and arbitration workable when there are indicators of coercive control or family violence. Contact me to discuss.