What happens in cases of domestic violence?
Where the Children’s Lawyer is brought into a case involving domestic violence between the parents, the top priority is to ensure the child’s safety. The Children’s Lawyer undertakes to build rapport and trust with the child in order to ascertain the child’s feelings and preferences in the context of parental violence. This is generally done through interviewing the child, the child’s parents and authority figures—police, doctors, school or day-care staff, shelter workers, etc. Once adequate information is obtained, the Children’s Lawyer reports on whether current custody and access arrangements create or increase risk of harm to the child.