In family law matters, we are met frequently with the commonly held assumption that fathers have no chance of obtaining custody of their children, particularly those under the age of 5. Dale Streiman Law LLP has extensive experience in this area and is home to highly qualified family law lawyers.
The January 5th, 2012 Ontario Superior Court of Justice case of Hong v. Rooney, a decision of Justice McGee is an illustration of the opposite.At the time of separation, the parties had one daughter 20 months old and at the time of trial, 4 Â½ years old. The child lived with the mother up until the time of trial.The father presented evidence as to the inadequacy and indeed the irrationality of the mother. The only parties who gave evidence at the Trial were the parents themselves and the husband’s brother.
The court made its decision based upon the particular facts of that family dynamic and interpreting the appropriate sections of the Family Law Act and the Children’s Law Reform Act. The court based upon the individual facts of that case found the mother not acting in the child’s best interest and that she would not foster a relationship between father and child, and that indeed she was dismissive of the father’s role as a parent. The court went on to say that this was not a matter for which joint custody was appropriate, as the mother clearly in the court’s view would not collaborate in decision making or consult with father.
The mother was a terrible witness. The Judge found her to be completely unreliable and non-believable. The mother made extreme allegations against the father, including child sexual abuse and spousal violence. The court held that none of this was true and it was part of the mother’s attempt to manipulate the situation.
Family law Trials are relatively rare. However, when met with a psychologically unstable opposing spouse, there rarely is an alternative. The father was granted sole custody and was permitted to enroll the child at a school of his choosing. The mother was granted access on alternate weekends supplemented by other times throughout the year. The father was to retain the child’s passport. This case is an illustration of the court deciding what is in the best interest of the child and turning a blind eye to the gender of the parent that can best provide it.
By: Fred Streiman