Addressing Family Violence in Chambers

Ken Proudman - view Arbitrator profile
BARR LLP (Alberta)

Hosted by LESA in Edmonton from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm on November 25, 2022


The presence of family violence is an important consideration in determining the best interests of children in parenting applications. Commonly, where one party alleges family violence, the other party denies it occurred. Even when it is accepted that it has occurred, the nature and severity of the family violence will affect the specific outcome (i.e. the terms of the parenting order). Ideally, a court would make a determination about family violence following a trial where both parties present their best evidence, including expert evidence pursuant to a Family Law Practice Note 7 or 8.

However, most family law application are dealt with in Regular or Special Family Chambers, because an interim order is required and/or because the parties cannot afford a full trial or expert evidence. How then, can a family lawyer best make their client’s case regarding the presence of family violence in Chambers? What procedural steps must a lawyer be aware of in Alberta? What legal principles apply? What is the most recent caselaw on this issue? Join experienced faculty to answer these questions and engage in thoughtful discussions about how to address family violence in chambers.

Topics include:

– Obtaining and providing evidence
– Relevant legal tests and principles
– Issues related to parent-child contact resistance
– Appropriate parenting outcomes in cases of family violence

Note: Participants should have a general understanding of family violence including how to identify it and talk about it with their clients. This program focuses on the legal aspects of family violence, not the “soft skills” necessary to work with clients who have experienced or been accused of family violence. Participants should have a general understanding of how parenting decisions are made and the law that applies (best interests).


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