Child custody battles can bring out the worst in parents

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in Family Law on Tuesday, April 4, 2017.

While parenting can sometimes bring out the very best in people, that can all go by the wayside upon entering a court of law. Civility and human decency are often forgotten in the struggle to come out on top in a family law matter. Child custody battles are among the most heated struggles seen in an Alberta courtroom. A perfect example comes from a case heard in another province. 

Two parents were in court fighting over custody of their daughter, who was nearly 6 years old at the time. The parents had never been married, or even lived together. The mother was requesting custody, support and payment for legal costs from the father. The father sought either joint custody or overnight access.

In an effort to undermine the father’s case, the mother produced letters from the management of her housing co-op showing the man was banned from the premises under threat of arrest by local police. The woman alleged the father was psychologically abusive and that she was afraid of him. She further alleged he had personality disorders and was not capable of forming a meaningful bond with their daughter.

There was, however, a lack of evidence to support her claims. Upon questioning, the property management representatives realized they had been tricked into issuing the ban, and had taken the woman’s word for the particulars of the situation. It was also noted the father had been consistently working and paying support throughout the child’s life, whereas the mother had worked very little, despite holding two university degrees. Joint custody was awarded, and the father was ordered to continue paying support.

Although desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures, there is never a need to make false accusations in court. Sadly, when some parents are faced with relinquishing total control over their children, they can make irrational decisions. Any man or woman facing a child custody battle in Alberta should consider preparing for court by consulting with an experienced and determined family law practitioner.

Source: National Post, “Even in family court, this litigant stood out as “callously conniving”“, Christie Blatchford, March 24, 2017

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