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Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court [Paperback]

Harvey Brownstone
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 19.95
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2009

Explaining complex family law concepts and procedures in a jargon-free style, this resource includes detailed information on how family court works, offers easily understandable case examples, and describes alternatives to litigation that are designed to help prevent families with children from entering the legal system to resolve disputes. Exploring subjects that apply to all parties involved in resolving separation, divorce, and custody conflicts—judges, lawyers, mediators, parenting coaches, psychologists, family counselors, and social workers—this reference demystifies the role of lawyers and judges, debunks the myth that parents can represent themselves in court, and examines each parent’s responsibility to ensure that post-separation conflicts are resolved with minimal emotional stress to children. 

Frequently Bought Together

Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court + The Best Interests of Children: An Evidence-Based Approach + The Equal Parent Presumption: Social Justice in the Legal Determination of Parenting after Divorce
Price For All Three: CDN$ 53.93

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Product Details

Product Description


"Provides a rare glimpse of what a sitting judge thinks about the good, the bad and the ugly realities of the family law court system . . . [and] provide[s] better guidance to clients, especially the final chapter that is full of heartfelt and wise advice."  —The Lawyers Weekly

"Every lawyer should provide clients with a copy of Tug of War and encourage them to read it before proceeding with their case."  —Anu Osborne, The Canadian Bar Association

About the Author

Harvey Brownstone has been a judge for more than 12 years and presides over family court in North Toronto. He lives in Toronto.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must-read Nov. 28 2008
This is the first and only book ever written by a family court judge, specifically for the general public. It is not a legal textbook or self-help manual. Rather, it provides much-needed information for every separated couple contemplating going to family court to resolve parental disputes. The book explains what family court is, and equally importantly, what it isn't. The author uses many real-life anecdotes to show the reader how harmful family court is for families, and how bad litigation is for children. Family court litigation is not like the court cases we see on TV, and the judge gives strong reasons why people need legal representation from a lawyer who specializes in family law. There is a strong desire on the part of the author to convince people to use family court as a last resort, and consider dispute resolution alternatives such as mediation or collaborative law. Never before has the public been given an "inside scoop" on what family court is really like, and I found this book to be fascinating in every way. This book should be a "must-read" for every separated and divorced parent!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In a Custody Battle? This book is a MUST!!!! Jan. 4 2010
By D. Hope
Judge Brownstone presents an open and very honest reality check, dispelling the myths about Family Court.
For anyone in this situation..I wish judges would make it mandatory reading.Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brownstone was our judge! Oct. 20 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was incredibly fortunate. Not only did I get to read the book, but I also had Judge Brownstone preside over our family court case. It is unfortunate for any family to have to resort to the court room - and in most cases I am certain that it doesn't have to get that far. In ours, it did. With incredible common sense (not so common these days), and some straight talking, Brownstone spoke some honest truth into the court room, and ultimately stood for the good of the children. His wisdom is sage, and worth listening too. If you find yourself reading it and thinking 'what a load of crap', I'd recommend you take a humility pill and look again, for perhaps there is something you too can do to make that tug of war a little easier on the child for ultimately, they are the one in formation.

Let it be your guide!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for lawyer and litigants Dec 8 2011
"Breaking up is hard to do" are the lyrics to a song recorded by Neil Sedaka in 1962. Justice Harvey Brownstone talks about the problems of breaking up in his book published in 2009, which is described as the first of its kind. It explains what happens in Canada when a family unit disintegrates, especially when there are children involved.

Justice Brownstone is quite unique in that he also is the host of a t.v. talk show entitled Family Matters. He is more than willing to express his views, which he certainly has, having inquired a law degree in 1980, and in 1995, being appointed as a Provincial Court Judge, presiding mostly in North Toronto Family Court.

Justice Brownstone¡'s theory is that when people break up, they must adopt a mature approach of dealing with their former partners, especially when children are involved. However, he also addresses the topics of finances in a number of chapters, which describe how you can try to resolve your conflicts without going to court. He has a chapter on alternatives to litigation. He describes when going to court is necessary. There are also details about lawyers, what you should look for, and why they are very important in their role.

Especially close to his heart is the chapter on custody and access disputes. He talks about the importance of joint custody as a concept.
This book is not a fast read, but can be broken down into its chapters and approached in that manner.

Many senior judges in Canada have commented on this book and support his idea of public education in these areas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars tug of war June 12 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
excellent book great for a parent going through custody battle passed the book on to two other people whom found it very helpful
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