When going through a divorce or separation, your children may wonder how their lives will change now that they will be spending time with both parents. Depending on their age, they may want to have a say in how much time they spend with each parent and when. The Canadian legal system allows courts to consider the views of children when making decisions about parenting time and decision-making responsibility. If you believe that your children's perspectives should be considered and heard, you can request a Voice of the Child (VOC) report from the court. Even judges may order a VOC report if they think it could inform them of the child's best interests.
You may wonder what a VOC report is. It is a report written by a qualified professional, such as a clinician, lawyer, social worker, or psychiatrist. They will meet with your child twice to conduct interviews, allowing them to express their views and opinions about the matter. One interview will occur while the child is in each parent's care. The professional then drafts a report presenting the child's views and submits it to the court and parents. The report will only present the child's opinions and views, not those of the professional.
VOC reports are gaining popularity in the Canadian legal system as they give children autonomy and the chance to express themselves freely to a third-party professional without their parents being present. It can also shield children from the negative emotions that come with witnessing their parents' legal matters. VOC reports can ensure that courts get the full picture of a child's best interests.
If you need guidance on VOC reports, decision-making responsibility, or parenting time, feel free to reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-215-1905 to book a consultation.