Lindsay Lohan's Broken Family Just Won't Fix

Lindsay Lohan's Broken Family Just Won't Fix: Who is to Blame for Michael Lohan and Kate Majors Losing Custody?

The Lohan's can't seem to keep themselves out of trouble and out of the news. Michael Lohan and Kate Majors recently lost custody of their two-year-old and ten-month-old children when the kids were temporarily placed in foster care until Lohan's mother took over care of the children. The children were removed from their parents' care after Lohan and Majors were caught on video having one of their epic battles.

Majors has been in and out of alcohol treatment facilities and jail and she is only allowed supervised visits with the children. She has a reputation for committing offences such as assault and driving while under the influence of alcohol and she was reportedly intoxicated at the time of the fight that lead to the children's removal.

Authorities felt that Lohan should not have let Majors have access to the children while intoxicated and the couple should not have been fighting in front of the kids.

This situation leads to the question: What can a parent do to ensure the best interests of the children when the children's other parent is entitled to access despite being a risk to the health and/or safety of the children?

In Ontario, family law does not provide a clear answer. We know that custody and access decisions are to be made in accordance with what is in the child's best interests, however, is not always easy to determine what is in a child's best interest. Ontario's Family Law Act ("FLA") addresses many considerations with respect to the best interests of children including the maximum contact principle, which recognizes the fundamental role that both parents play children's lives.

The maximum contact principle essentially means that the child of the marriage should have as much contact with each parent because contact with each parent is valuable to the child. As such, neither a judge nor the other parent should unreasonably deprive the child of the benefit of having maximum contact with both parents.

The maximum contact principle remains an important consideration even where a court has found that one parent must be limited to supervised visits with the children for safety reasons as was the case for Kate Majors. It is, however, always both parents' responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of their children and, for parents like Michael Lohan, this means refraining from engaging the other parent in fights in front of the children and even taking action to ensure that the children are not exposed to the other parent while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

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