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Family Law

Family Law News 2015, Issue 2, Volume 37, No. 2

Moving Beyond the Limits of Family Law Court

Gary Direnfeld

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW, is a social worker from Ontario, Canada with more than 33 years of diverse experience working with parents, teens, and young children. Gary is a Family Relationship Professional in the Hamilton/Halton Collaborative Family Law Group. Gary conducts workshops throughout North America; is the author of Raising Kids Without Raising Cane and Marriage Rescue; hosted 65 episodes of a reality TV series, Newlywed, Nearly Dead; and is the parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator newspaper. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider Gary an expert on child development, parent-child relations, marital and family therapy, custody and access recommendations, social work and an expert for the purpose of giving a critique on a Section 112 (social work) report.

Let’s start by remembering the story of Solomon. King Solomon was faced with the dilemma of sorting out the parentage of two women who each laid claim to an infant. Upon hearing both women’s points of view and still undecided, King Solomon withdrew his sword from its scabbard and asked that the infant be brought forward. His intention was to cut the infant in two equal pieces to satisfy both claimants. He would provide a fair and equitable outcome. They would each have half. However, one of the would-be mothers stepped forward to renounce her claim uttering, "But to cut the child in two, he would surely die." With that parental sacrifice King Solomon recognized her as the rightful mother, placing the well-being of the child above her own, and she was rewarded with the care of the child.

This biblical story holds so much weight when we consider the limits of family law and family court in particular for the settling of parenting disputes. It’s long been said that the court is a blunt instrument, but how blunt?

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