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Child Custody and Access Assessments
Cases where child custody assessment refusedThere are many such cases, as it is more common to refuse a child custody assessment than to order one.
One case normally cited in refusing a child custody assessment is Glance v Glance,  O.J. No. 3244 (S.C.J.) by Ottawa Judge Madam Justice Blishen. The father wanted an assessment on the ground that the child was having behavioural problems. Madam Justice Blishen found that there was no evidence to suggest the need for an assessment as the evidence of the daughter’s daycare provider indicated that the behavioural problems the child was having had ceased. Madam Justice Blishen had this to say about assessments:
Assessments by their very nature are intrusive. They are also expensive and time consuming. There must be evidence sufficient to satisfy the court that the reasons for requiring the assessment more than offset any harm that might be incurred by ordering the assessment. The paramount concern must be the best interests of the child.....Another decision by Madam Justice Blishen refusing a child custody assessment is Vanier v Vanier,  O.J. No. 5244 (S.C.J.). In this case, the father requested an assessment on the ground that the mother had alienated him from their younger son, age 11. He provided plenty of evidence of difficulties surrounding his access. Madam Justice Blishen found that there was insufficient evidence to justify an assessment. The father was exercising regular access, and once the son left his mother and was with his father, the son enjoyed his time with his father.
Ultimately, the court has the discretion as to whether or not to order a custody/access assessment. If such an assessment would be materially helpful on clinical issues relating to the best interests of the child and such an assessment itself, is in the best interests of the child, then it may be ordered.