FAILURE TO OBEY COURT ORDERS CAN SEPARATE YOU FROM A CHILD
There is an extraordinary case called Lahey v. Gauthier, 2015 ONCJ 393. You can read the full text here. In that decision, Justice Sheilagh O’Connell, of the Ontario Court of Justice, dealt with a case that was heading for trial. The Mother and Father hotly contested the issues of custody and access to their child. Both parties made approximately $94 000.00 per year. At the time of this motion, the child resided with the Mother and the Father had weekend and some weekday access.
The Mother brought a motion to have the Father’s pleadings struck. In essence, the Mother wanted to go to trial without the Father’s involvement. The Father argued that the court would be deprived evidence regarding the child’s best interest if he was prohibited from attending.
The Mother had two arguments. First, the Father flagrantly disregarded several previous court Orders. Second, that the Father’s argument at trial had very little merit.
The Father’s past breach of court orders included the following:
Justice O’Connell ordered that the Father must pay $45 000 into court to ensure that the Mother would be compensated for her court costs if the trial judge felt that the Father was wasting everyone’s time.
Apart from one payment, the Father failed to pay any child support ordered in January 2015.
The second argument was about the merits of the Father’s claim. The Father wanted joint custody of child and for the child to reside with him approximately half the time. Justice O’Connor agreed with the Mother that this was a very unlikely result at trial. Joint custody was unlikely because the parties showed their inability to cooperate throughout these proceedings. Increased access was also unlikely Parenting Assessment stated that the Mother should have sole custody and the Father’s access should not increase.
The Justice O’Connel held that the Father’s pleadings be struck except for the issue of his access to the child. The Father could bring a motion to restore his pleadings, however. He would have to bring himself into full compliance, however, with all past court orders.