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Parents urged to avoid court
Judge’s orders. Family court Justice Harvey Brownstone, author of “Tug of War,” spoke to more than 100 social workers and legal officials this evening in north Mississauga. File photo
Parents who are facing separation or a custody battle over children should stay as far away from the courthouse as possible, a Toronto family judge and author told a crowd of social workers and legal officials this evening.
Justice Harvey Brownstone, author of the recently-released book Tug of War: A judge’s verdict on separation, custody battles and the bitter realities of family court, said parents in conflict should instead look to social organizations such as Peel Family Mediation Services (PFMS), to find a resolution to their problems.
“I’m here to tell people what really goes on in family court and how damaging litigation is for parents and children,” said Brownstone in an interview prior to his keynote address.
The event, held at the Versailles Convention Centre in north Mississauga, was hosted by PFMS.
Brownstone said parents whose marriage is on thin ice should seek out PFMS “who try to work with parents to make peace, not war.”
Otherwise, Brownstone said, “a total stranger, who doesn’t know them and doesn’t know their children, will be making decisions for them, because that’s what we as judges do.”
The toughest part of a separation is converting from ex-partners to co-parents, he added, “but there are social workers out there who want to help you.”
Brownstone said his book, described as being written in layman’s language to demystify complex family law concepts and procedures while explaining how family court works, is the only book in Canada written by a sitting judge that is for sale to the public.
Proceeds from book sales at tonight’s event went to PFMS.