Trudi Brown was asked to do several interviews in early January 2018 about high conflict cases after a tragic family law matter was in the news which devastated the family and broader community. The news items focused on how to best support children and families involved in family law cases considering the stress involved.
CBC News asked Trudi several questions including what good dispute resolution is and how children are best protected in high conflict situations. She says,
A good dispute resolution process actually doesn’t involve the court system at all.
Certainly, people are getting much better results with less animosity if they can go through either a process of mediation or a process that we’ll call collaborative law where people agree not to go to court.
Quite often we involve people like divorce coaches who can be counsellors but help people through the process, and custody specialists, who will in fact give advice about what’s good for the child in question.
There is a need for people to have support,
I personally say to all my clients, you shouldn’t go through a separation without getting some kind of counselling because it really is one of the worst things that people can do in terms of high stressors.
At the same time, you’ve got kids who are going through a complete re-evaluation of their life, and they’re confused and upset. And financial issues play a big role in this.… When you separate you now have two homes on the same income.
Trudi also highlights the financial stress families face as,
Legal aid is woefully underfunded in this province, particularly for family matters. And so people end up in court [without a lawyer] not knowing the process, and they quite often don’t do that well for themselves.
You also have to remember that there are two kinds of people that go to court without lawyers: one are the people that can’t afford lawyers and can’t qualify for legal aid; and then there are those people who don’t necessarily like what their lawyers might have told them.
Legal aid is virtually non-existent if you have an asset or a job.
You can watch the CBC interview here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/high-conflict-custody-trial-oak-bay-trudi-brown-1.4470759.
You can read the Times Colonist article here: http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/father-going-downhill-in-months-before-daughters-deaths-lawyer-says-1.23134414
You can see the interview on Global News here: https://globalnews.ca/search/oak%20bay/