Update On Case About Parental Alienation

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A few weeks ago we wrote about a case of parental alienation where a mother was found to have wrongfully withheld access between the father and the parties’ daughter. The matter arose after a physical altercation that involved both parents as well as the child. The court was critical of how the mother had been handling the issue, as well as her moves to alienate the child from the father.

Original hearing leads to order to work with a mediator

The original hearing resulted in an order that the parents immediately engage in co-parenting sessions with a professional and follow whatever advice that person provided.

During the trial, it was found that the mother had been a “major obstacle to the reunification of (the child) with her father” and that she had been saying all the right things when needed, but go on to model different behaviour.

The father’s request for mandatory parenting sessions arose after the child demonstrated anxiety through physical action, including punching holes in the father’s wall, and unbuckling while they were driving together.

Finally, in the original decision, the court found that the mother had been responsible for costly delays, including firing her lawyer in order to represent herself, which led to materials being filed improperly.

Parents find themselves back in court

On March 29, 2021, the parties were back in front of the judge who had already issued seven decisions involving the parties.

Since the last hearing, the parents retained a mediator who had been working with the family since May 2020 along with the child’s therapist. The reports from the mediator found that while the father “has to improve,” the mother has been a major obstacle to the reunification between the daughter and the father.

The major issue involved the mediator’s recommendation that the parties take part in parenting sessions with a psychotherapist. The mother told the mediator that she would really like to start working with the therapist, though her behaviour says something different.

The court found that the mother had taken several actions to delay and obstruct the therapist’s involvement. She initially raised an objection to how the fees for therapy would be paid, and then delayed in executing an intake and consent form. Finally, the mother declined to follow the therapist’s recommendation that the father and daughter have a three-hour visit in March. She said that her refusal to follow the recommendation came as a result of the child’s therapist suggesting it was not a good idea. However, the court saw no evidence of such a suggestion. The mother then went on to say that the court had recommended no visits should occur, though that was also shown to be untrue.

Court orders parents to follow the direction of the therapist

The court was critical of the mother’s behaviour, stating she “has set out to undermine and defeat a successful resumption of access. I have also concluded that further interim direction from the court on this issue will be fruitless.”

The court ordered the parents to continue to attend parent sessions with the therapist and that all of his recommendations be followed. The mother was also restricted from involving any other mental health professionals on the matter. The mother was also ordered to pay $7,500 in costs.

To discuss your legal needs with one of our experienced Windsor divorce lawyers, call 519.973.1500 or contact us online. We serve clients in Windsor, Essex County and throughout the region.

 

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