Post-Separation Visitation Disputes: Differential Interventions

BACKGROUND PAPER

(2001-FCY-6)

SUBJECTS

The sample was comprised of families that were disputing access arrangements before the court. Specifically, the families were recruited from Toronto, Ottawa, the Regional Municipalities of Peel and Durham, and Simcoe County in the province of Ontario. A random sample of 110 pairs of separated and/or divorced biological parents who met the inclusion/exclusion criteria between January 1999 and December 1999, and who had at least one child between the age of five and sixteen years of age were selected. Where there was more than one child in the family, only the eldest child was chosen to ensure independence of observations. Of the 110 pairs of biological parents who agreed to participate in the study, 16 withdrew for the following reasons:

  • five families settled the dispute before the intervention began;
  • five families had issues that required further investigation by child welfare authorities, which violated theinclusion criteria;
  • three families withdrew their dispute before the court;
  • the father in one family moved to another province;
  • the father in another family was unable to understand the questionnaires; and
  • the mother's lawyer refused to have her client participate and the father, who had no independent legal representation, agreed with the mother.
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