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Mother Tries to Alienate Child from Father – Court Cuts Off her Access Entirely

Mom with kid

Mother Tries to Alienate Child from Father – Court Cuts Off her Access Entirely

Recently I wrote about a case titled “Kids Live with Mom Their Whole Lives – But Her Alienation Efforts Prompts Court to Transfer Sole Custody to Dad” in which the mother of three children lost sole custody of them primarily because she was trying to alienate them from their father, even though the children had lived with her their entire lives.

In a similar case called A.P.V. v. J.L.R., the Ontario court imposed an even more drastic remedy: The mother was prevented from even have access to her daughter (never mind custody), because she was obviously attempting to cut the father out of both their lives entirely.

In that case, the 10-year old child had been the subject of an intense custody battle between the parents since she was only five months old. Both custody and access had shifted back and forth between the parents throughout that time, sometimes by their agreement, but often by way of contested court proceedings. The father had recently been granted temporary sole custody, with supervised access to the mother; however, the mother’s access had been gradually increased to the point where she spent about 40 percent of her time with the mother.

Then, in violation of a court order, the child ran away from the father’s home altogether, and had been living with the mother ever since. The girl refused to see the father, and the court was asked to resolve the matter of custody and access.

The court summarized its dilemma this way:

At trial, both parties were seeking sole custody. And while each party had a plan for some access to the other; it was clear that the choice before the court was much starker: Whichever parent [the daughter] resided with, she could not, for very different reasons, have access to the other.

The evidence showed that the daughter may have adopted as her own various misimpressions and unfounded conclusions about her father that had actually been fed to her by her mother. This included a story that he had allegedly killed a pet cat that she had, that he was “not a nice person”, and that the father refused to pay child support and that he was taking the mother to court because of it. During access visits the mother also routinely spent her time com-plaining at length about the father’s deficiencies as both a person and a parent.

In light of these kinds of incidents (among many, many others) the court reasoned that to give the mother any form of access to the child would undermine the stability of the father’s relationship with her; indeed it might even rupture entirely as it had in the past, during the episode where the girl had precipitously run away from the father’s home, for example. The court also noted that allowing the mother to have supervised visits while attending counselling had clearly not worked in the past: there had been unfavourable assessment of the mother’s parenting skills by various professionals, as well as complaint-prompted investigations by the Children’s Aid Society and police.

Equally important was that despite claiming to support the child’s relationship with her father, the mother clearly preferred for the child to have no relationship with him at all. This did not bode well for the child’s future well-being and spoke poorly for the mother’s parenting ability as well. As the court put it: “The ability of a person to act as a parent includes their ability to support the child’s relationship with the other parent.”

While noting that the court will not automatically order a change custody if the custodial parent refuses access or otherwise interferes with the development of the other’s parent’s normal relationship with the child, it was within the court’s authority to do so in the right case. The court was also entitled to go further where appropriate and deprive the former custodial parent of access as part of the order. As always, the decision depended on what was in the best interests of the child.

In this case, the child deserved stability, permanence and emotional security and she was most likely to obtain that in the father’s full-time care, since he had proven himself better equipped to meet the child’s emotional needs. The court allowed the father’s application for sole custody, and then went on to forbid the mother from having access to the child whatsoever.

For the full text of the decision, see:

A.P.V. v. J.L.R., 2012 ONCJ 658 (CanLII)

At Russell Alexander, Family Lawyers our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. For more information, visit us at RussellAlexander.com

8 Comments
  1. James Bacon #

    This is happening to me with my daughter, I have joint custody and have been denied my visitationschedule for 3 years help me I pay 620.00 a month in child support on minimum pay, and can’t afford a court battle.

    August 9, 2016
  2. The Canadian Family Court System simply “Does Not Work”. Its turtle pace resolution under minds the idea of family structure and the immediate needs of children…that can prolong 10 years or more. The Family Court system is a reflection of its injustice: much to the extent of destroying: The Canadian Idea of Family Social Structure.

    A better resolution is in desperate need, perhaps new Arbitration System could resolve these Family issues faster? However parents may be: it should be understood that Children need both parents in their lives with 50/50 shared custody. This ide model of common sense is not part of the Family Court System, but bureaucratic resolution with no mercy for children nor parents…left in the hungry $$ hands of family lawyers with no overseers of their judicial injustice.
    Please take my comment serious: I am well versed in Family court experience for the past 12 years, with no resolution…I’m also the founder of Save Our Children.org since 2007.

    Revisions of Judicial accountability is a must…w/respect Mark Jagg

    August 10, 2016
  3. john adams #

    My son was a toy to his mothers games, The courts came out and said I made twice as much child support as I did in construction. And she did everything to keep me from seeing him, such as making sure she was not around with my son after 5 hr. drives. Taking him to movies that we were into ourselves, so she would take him before I could. Told all the lies, and even when I got a lawyer after yrs.’ of cussing at everyone said in court under oath she never said a curse word, and was ashamed when it was spoken, of coarse I’ve letters where sailors would blush. This is nothing I’ve so much to say about the hurt she did, even tried to take out her eyes with her car keys to make me have my daughter call the police during a flood, when she went to a phone she used that time to say I hit her. During the depo,when nothing was working for her, all of a sudden she comes up and says o yes by the way he raped me. They about flipped out with that one. I tried fathers don’t ever quit. Hes a man now and a good one and one day I will show him proof of everything I have

    August 10, 2016
  4. Karen #

    Although I realize the relationship was not a healthy one for the child should the courts not have assisted this woman with counselling to help her learn how parent in a mature manner. If only this Mom could realize her trying to lash out at the Dad could only result in emotional harm to their child. Now this child has to struggle with not being with her Mom. Shame on the courts for using this child as a lesson to the Mother. This little one deserves stability and from my point of view her life has now been turned upside down again. And what message has she learned by the courts decision? That her Mother is now the *bad* parent. My oh my…. the court system that is supposed to protect has now contributed to the child’s instability in her life..

    August 10, 2016
  5. Barbara Hoff-Morin #

    It’s astounding to me the courts let it get to this point. I’m watching this very thing happen in Alberta at this moment. And the courts tell us they have the children’s best interests at heart. The costs to parents is crazy and out of this world, but the children are the ones who pay, and the lawyers get rich.

    August 11, 2016
  6. Barb Anderson #

    I wish this was more common as well as the same for all provinces. My husband is fighting with his ex and she made him give up rights to his child. Then when her sugar daddy kicked her out she went on welfare instead of getting a job. Now the government wants him to pay for child support. He’s gotten no contact from his son for 12 years. He paid child support for several of those years and even sent gifts. She couldn’t even send a photo. Now we’re going to be out money because she’s too lazy to get a job. She’s with someone new and I know she doesn’t need support anymore as the new boyfriend is supporting her. I just wish my husband’s hands weren’t so tied. The ex is in New Brunswick and we’re paying for two lawyers. I would love to fight for him but of course I can’t. If i had extra money I would launch my own lawsuit against her for emotional distress.

    August 12, 2016
  7. Fabio Campo #

    Catholic childrens aid monitored mother and her parents for up to 8 months for physical abuse on my daughter. ..the childrenshlutter lawyers office had all great things to say about me to the cuts but cut it off 2 days before the court date they said they had to follow protocol much more to this story…I can prove ailianation I’ve gotten farther myself then any lawyer ever has I’m looking for a bulldog of a lawyer that sees right through this bullshit and can prove everything I’m saying and sue every organization that sided for mom due to some inside connection

    August 18, 2016
  8. Edward MacDonald #

    For some of us with children in the process of being alienated from us, this may appear as a ‘victory’…however in not knowing all the facts and tending to the belief that children need both parents…this decision appears somewhat harsh. As per usual…it is the poor child who will ultimately suffer from all this turmoil. However… It is too bad that all alienating parents could not be made aware of this ruling so as to possibly encourage co-parenting that is more nurturing for the child long term.

    August 22, 2016

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