A PARENT’S PARTY LIFESTYLE INHERENTLY AFFECTS PARENTING, EVEN IF THE CHILD IS NOT PRESENT
In Bujold v. Laderoute, 2013 ONCJ 332 the Honourable Mr. Justice Peter T. Bishop considered the Father’s motion to change a prior court order from joint custody and equal access to sole custody of the child. Justice Bishop granted the Father’s motion.
One reason for the decision was the Mother’s disregard for the Father’s wishes. She moved frequently without giving the Father forewarning. She would pick up the child from the daycare even though she was not scheduled to have access.
Justice Bishop also decided that the Father and the Father’s spouse spent more time with the child than the Mother.
The Mother moved between 6 to 10 times in the last year. She would often meet men in bars and move away to live with that person. Justice Bishop held that this lifestyle, in of itself, was harmful. At the time of the trial, the child’s maternal grandfather arranged permanent housing for the Mother. Justice Bishop held, however, that the Mother’s prior lifestyle pattern suggests that this new residence would be temporary.
Justice Bishop also reasoned: “She uses marijuana on a regular basis and minimizes the use that that may be and justifies it by stating that “never in front of the kids” and “always in the evening when they are asleep or go outside. She appears to have no understanding of the consequences of protracted use of non-prescription drugs and the fact that it is a criminal offence;”
This case suggests that a parent’s party lifestyle can be an influence in deciding child custody even if the behaviour is not in the child’s presence.