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Representing fathers in family law

By Deepa Tailor and Alex Walsh

What legal rights do fathers in Ontario have with regard to their child? There do not exist any actual “rights to a child” for mothers or fathers. The job of a judge or collaborative law team is to determine the issues of custody, access, and support based on the best interests of the child.

That being said, courts of the past operated on the assumption that children of young ages were better off living with their mothers. This assumption was referred to legally as the “Tender Years Doctrine,” and has now been abandoned in order for the legal system to align with the reality of contemporary child-rearing.

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