Researchers at UNBC’s Northern Women’s Centre will be conducting a study on the roles of gender and legal aid in child custody cases.
Centre coordinator Sarah Boyd-Noel and research assistant Vienna Bouillon are seeking 10 people to share their experiences with the legal aid system and child custody cases. The goal of the study is to create a report which can help other parents navigate the complexities of the legal system.
“Given that the courts are such an adversarial system, sometimes what is lost is the best interest of the children,” Boyd-Noel said. “We wouldn’t be providing legal advice, per say, but what we can do is point people in the right direction.”
Boyd-Noel said she was inspired to conduct the study after working with women in need of legal aid to fight for the custody of their children.
“I really got stuck. There was not much more I could do to help them. There is some women I took to see our MLAs to see what we could do, and there wasn’t much,” she said. “Some women we were able to help, but it took a lot of time and patience. It just points to the need for timely information.”
Using mediation or other methods to resolve custody issues out of court is the best option, she said. Bouillon is planning to conduct the interviews by the end of the month and have the report available by early September.
Anyone interested in participating in the study can contact Bouillon and Boyd-Noel at 250-960-5632 or e-mail email@example.com.