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Victory for Westside Family Law: Varying Parenting Arrangements

Mark Perry recently acted for the father in T.L.M. v J.K.B, 2018 BCSC 2237. The case concerned a high-conflict dispute over parenting arrangements for the couple's young, autistic son.

The father represented himself at trial in 2012. It did not go well. He was given limited parenting time and did not have an equal say in major decisions such as healthcare or schooling. At the hearing in 2018, he wanted to change the previous court order.

In order to vary parenting arrangements, a person has to show there has been a "material change in circumstances" since the last court order was made. While this is usually a difficult threshold to reach, Mark Perry was able to convince Justice Weatherill that it had been met by highlighting how the difference in the father's work schedule and son's age created new circumstances. The court ordered equal parenting time for the father and the mother:

...for substantially the reasons articulated by Mr. Perry, I am persuaded that a 50/50 one‑week‑on/one‑week‑off parenting schedule ought to be implemented. Though the decision I am making has not been easy, I find that it is in J.L.'s best interests. It is a simple and straightforward plan that will be easy to manage, will minimize disruption and will provide J.L. with easy transitions. He will know each and every week that he will be at his father's one week and at his mother's the next.

This judgment was a big win for the father, who now has equal parenting and more decision-making power in his son's life.

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