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Voice of the Child (VOC) Reports

  • Child's Voice: VOC reports allow children to express their views on parenting time and decision-making during divorce or separation.
  • Qualified Professionals: Reports are created by professionals like clinicians or social workers, ensuring unbiased representation of the child's opinions.
  • Court Consideration: VOC reports help courts make informed decisions by presenting the child's best interests and shielding them from negative emotions.
A Child Laying with their Pet

Giving Children a Voice in Divorce and Separation Proceedings

When going through a divorce or separation, your children may wonder how their lives will change now that they will be spending time with both parents. Depending on their age, they may want to have a say in how much time they spend with each parent and when. The Canadian legal system allows courts to consider the views of children when making decisions about parenting time and decision-making responsibility. If you believe that your children's perspectives should be considered and heard, you can request a Voice of the Child (VOC) report from the court. Even judges may order a VOC report if they think it could inform them of the child's best interests.

What Is a VOC Report?

A VOC report is written by a qualified professional such as a clinician, lawyer, social worker, or psychiatrist. They will meet with your child twice to conduct interviews, allowing them to express their views and opinions about the matter. One interview will occur while the child is in each parent's care. The professional then drafts a report presenting the child's views and submits it to the court and parents. The report will only present the child's opinions and views, not those of the professional.

Benefits of VOC Reports

VOC reports are gaining popularity in the Canadian legal system as they give children autonomy and the chance to express themselves freely to a third-party professional without their parents being present. It can also shield children from the negative emotions that come with witnessing their parents' legal matters. VOC reports can ensure that courts get the full picture of a child's best interests.

Seeking Guidance on VOC Reports

If you need guidance on VOC reports, decision-making responsibility, or parenting time, feel free to contact us to book a consultation.