PARENTAL ALIENATION GROUNDS FOR LOSING CUSTODY
In R.G. v. L.G. 2013 the Honourable Mr. Justice Conlan dealt with a high-conflict custody dispute.
Conlan J. held in 24 May, 2012 that the Mother should have sole custody of the 5-year-old daughter. The Father would have telephone access and visitation rights. The arrangement was to be reviewed one year after the Father’s first access visit. The parenting co-ordinator would present an assessment on this arrangement.
When the matter returned to court, it was clear that the mother was trying to alienate the Father from the daughter. The Mother contacted the C.A.S. and falsely accused the Father of abuse The Mother’s excuse for denying court-ordered telephone access was that the daughter did not want it. The most shocking, however, was that on the same day the Father was to pick up the child for his access, the Mother took the daughter to the doctor regarding an ear infection. The doctor advised the Mother that the daughter should not travel. The Mother not only failed to inform the Father of any problems, but she drove the daughter a great distance towards the Canada-U.S. border.
Conlan J. considered all of the factors in deciding the daughter’s best interests. Even though the Mother had custody for over a year, and that the Father was unemployed and remarrying, Conlan J. held that the Mother’s efforts to separate the Father and daughter was sufficient reason for her to loose custody. Conlan J. held that the Mother was in contempt of court and the punishment, apart from losing custody, would be reflected in the court costs awarded.
Some more notable quotes from the decision:
“This is yet another instance where a party has determined that she will decide whether she will obey a Court Order or not. L.C. must be held accountable for that.”
“Those who deliberately and repeatedly flout Court Orders regarding custody and access shall be held to account for their contempt. And by “account”, I am not referring to a shake of the finger and a gentle reminder that an Order is an Order is an Order.”
“L.C. admitted in her testimony that the telephone access did not occur as ordered. Her excuse that she left it up to the very young child to determine whether she wanted to contact her father is no excuse at all – it is absurd.”