What is the Role of the Office of the Children's Lawyer?
Fortunately, most married parents manage to divorce their spouses without ever having to get the provincial Office of the Children’s Lawyer (OCL) involved. However, in a relatively small proportion of family law custody matters, the OCL does play an important role.
Although the OCL can be involved in several different areas, in connection with custody matters specifically its role is to make independent clinical investigations as to the best interests of any children of the marriage, and to report back to the court with its determination.
Essentially the involvement of the OCL – which is a law office within the Ministry of the Attorney General – is to ensure that in the custody disputes that involve them, children get independent legal representation. For custody matters, this entails having a representative from the OCL attend in court proceedings between the child’s mother and father, in order to convey information about the custody arrangement that will optimally foster and serve the child’s best interests. Such involvement usually arises because the court has specifically made a request for the OCL to provide its input in this way.
Shulman Law Firm is a Toronto-area firm of experienced Family Lawyers who can provide practical advice and effective representation relating to the steps and processes involved in separating and getting divorced in Ontario, including information as to the potential involvement of the Office of the Children’s Lawyer. Contact us to set up a free consultation.