17th April 2014
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WHAT IS A POLICE ENFORCEMENT CLAUSE. SHOULD IT BE INCLUDED IN A CUSTODY ORDER?

By Lethbridge & Fort McMurray Family Law Lawyer, Mark R. Baril

Divorcing and separating parents lack trust with respect to their prior spouse. In some cases this may be the result of years of living in a challenging relationship, or perhaps it comes from more recent behavior induced by anger and spite towards each other.

In many cases, this lack of trust leads people to seek a Police Enforcement Clause in custody Orders granted by the Court.  A Police Enforcement Clause instructs a peace (police) officer to assist in the enforcement of the terms of the Order in the event that either party refuses to comply with the Order. In most cases, the offending parent may be arrested if, after being given an opportunity to comply with the Order, they continue to disobey the terms thereafter.  The risk of being arrested generally helps people become compliant with the Order.

There are times that this may be necessary, but in many cases it might not be appropriate.  For example, where there is a history of breaching Orders, or refusing to return the child or children to the custodial parent, the Court will me more willing to grant such an Order.  However, in other cases, where there is no such history, the Court will often refuse such a request as they do not want police becoming involved needlessly.

If you are currently facing, or considering a divorce, common law separation, or custody matter in the province of Alberta or would like a second opinion regarding your situation I am happy to speak with you.  Contact Mark Baril at 403-328-5577 or 780-790-2022, or e-mail at mrbaril@stringam.ca.

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Written by Mark Baril