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Family law dispute: Sidestepping consent for child counseling

Children may have a difficult time processing the divorce of their parents. It may be helpful for kids to speak with a professional counselor in Alberta when they're having trouble dealing with their parents' breakup. But in the event of a family law dispute in which one parent doesn't agree with having a child speak to a therapist, the other parent may petition the court for permission,regardless of the dissension of the other parent.

The parent who believes his or her child would benefit from counseling has a couple of options to forgo the other parent's consent. He or she could obtain an order as part of a parenting or custody and access order or via a Queen's Bench Protection Order. If there is violence present in the family dynamic, the perpetrator may not wish the child to see a therapist because they don't want anyone to find out about any abuse that is occurring or has happened.

As with all decisions made by a family court judge, he or she will rule based on what he or she believes is in the best interests of the child or children concerned. In any case, a judge will want to know why it may be necessary to dispense with one parent's consent to have the child see a therapist. The more evidence provided by the parent who wishes to have a former partner's consent dispensed with, the easier it will be for a judge to make an informed decision.

An Alberta parent in such a family law dispute may benefit from getting the advice of a lawyer. A lawyer may be able to advise on the kind of application that might be wise in a particular situation. A lawyer can also help his or her client in presenting a proposed order in court.



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