Parenting Made Better?


Do more parents make better parents?


Hilary Clinton, yes that Hilary, said “it takes a village to raise a child”. And here in BC, under BC’s new Family Law Act, it means any number of the villagers can obtain the legal status of parent on the child’s birth certificate.


But as I recently talked about this subject on the Roy Green talk show on the Corus Radio Network on 980 am, with family lawyer barbara findlay, I’m not yet convinced it’s a good thing.


Here’s why.


To be registered as a child’s legal parent in BC all it takes is for the involved parties, prior to the child’s conception, to negotiate a written agreement regarding each “parents” role and responsibility in raising the child. As Barbara explained, under the law, there is really no upper limit to the number of parents a child can have.


But I don’t know how any child, (I’ll call her Suzie), actually benefits from having more so-called legal parents in her life? Or does this just make the parents feel better?


After all, there is no way to ensure that any of Suzie’s parents will actually perform according to their agreement. Simply adding a parent because you want them involved in the life of a child guarantees nothing. I would like to think that Suzie would receive the love and attention of many adults in her life without the need of classifying them as legal parents.


Just not sure because Suzie has four or more of her parents attending her parent teacher conference that she will feel better off, or just incredibly confused?


In addition, what happens when these parenting relationships, like any other, fail as they inevitably will? I foresee multiple parties commencing multiple legal proceedings to establish their parenting rights, with Suzie, in the middle.


Family courts in BC will then be forced to make decisions involving Suzie’s parenting, based solely on what is in Suzie’s best interests.


Seems to me the framers of BC’s Family Law Act should have taken more time to consider Suzie’s best interests before they changed it!





















No.1 Question – FEAR NO DIVORCE!

Here it is after much fanfare- the number 1 question I am asked by separating or divorcing spouses, “Do I really need a lawyer? My spouse says that we should just work it out ourselves and save on lawyer’s fees.”

What this really means is that your spouse has probably already received legal advice and likely been advised that you have significant legal rights. All the more compelling reason to attempt to convince you that you should just settle for what is being offered. After all when was the last time that your spouse was genuinely motivated by your best interests?

In fact to prove that the only interests being considered are those of the spouse trying to talk you of getting good legal advice is the fact in over twenty years of reviewing such agreements, I have yet to find one which was actually fair!! Sadly, for many who believed their spouse and simply signed an Agreement, the damage is extremely difficult to undo.

So just what should your reaction be if your spouse makes such a statement? I suggest telling your spouse that you are capable and competent enough handle your own affairs, including finding out about your legal rights and protecting them.

Now that you’ve heard that taking legal advice from your ex is not such a good idea what next?

Arrange a consultation with an experienced family lawyer such as myself. Bring copies of whatever documents you can in order to calculate both child and spousal support.

The best advice of all, join my client support group for both men and women, which meets every two weeks. If you do you will eventually learn to FEAR NO DIVORCE-especially your own!

For those who missed the fascinating evening with Dr. Elterman explaining the subject of the best interests of children I will be uploading the video sometime next week.

In the meantime if you need to contact Dr. Elterman or need any legal information or advice about  any dispute involving children or grandchildren call me.

Also don’t forget our client support group meeting, for men and women, every two weeks! – ANNOUNCEMENT
Family Lawyer / Mediator / Collaborative Divorce Lawyer

Are pleased to present an evening with
April 21, 2010
7:00 to 9:00 pm

Dr. Elterman is one of the most experienced, and respected psychologists, in BC dealing with disputes involving child custody, guardianship, access, shared custody, etc,  He has prepared countless Section 15 Reports, and Views of the Child Reports, and is widely acknowledged and recognized, at all court levels in British Columbia, as one of the leading “experts” in this area. 

If you are a divorcing or separating parent, needing helpful advice, or legal information about your parenting situation, don’t miss this unique event.

RSVP required by noon April 19, 2010
For location details and reservations, call 604-534-6361.
$10.00 at the door
Refreshments provided

Visit: for more information on this and other upcoming events.