SECURITY FOR COSTS IN CHILD CUSTODY CASES
This is a summary of the case of Kaiser v. Wein, 2014 ONSC 752. In this case, the Father had engaged in blameworthy conduct for the last 4 years, including:
- Failing to pay court-ordered child support;
- Failing to pay previous cost orders;
- Failing to obey court-ordered deadlines to produce documents.
On consent, the Mother had interim sole custody of the two children for the last two years.
The trial of the matter was approaching. The Father now wanted joint custody stated previously that he wanted to call 24 witnesses. The Father obtained a lawyer through Legal Aid Ontario funding. The Father’s lawyer denied that he would call so many witnesses.
The Father argued that judges should decide custody and access based on the children’s best interests. Ordering security for costs mean that the children’s custody would not be decided on the parents’ respective merits but by the Father’s lack of wealth.
The Honourable Madam Justice Mesbur held that the amount of time the Father devotes to witness testimony shall be the same as the Mother’s amount of time. The Father is required to pay security for costs of $1500.00 if he exceeds this time limit.
Generally, people should not be excluded as parents just because their poor. Also, parties should have the freedom to present his or her case has he or she wishes. Some parents abuse child custody/access proceedings to gain advantage against the parent receiving support, however. Sometimes justice delayed is justice denied. This decision recognizes this abuse and, to my mind, very welcome.