I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

That toxic tug-of-war

My comments sent to the G&M site. Justice Brownstone seems to have all the relevant facts with respect to Parental Alienation, understands how children are manipulated by a scheming, conniving, often mentally imbalanced parent but why do I have this instinctive feel he is not ready to deal with such an abusive person properly by removing them as the hostile influence. He speaks for other judges as though they have the same level of knowledge and acumen. They do not. Many are lazy, status quo, and conservative to a fault and that is why most custody goes to mothers and there is little true equal and shared parenting. 

It is nothing more than gender apartheid on men. Some are stealth feminists who craftily design the process to favour the mother but hide behind egalitarian notions while quietly ensuring the mother gets interim custody pretty much ensuring she will keep it permanently. These judges buy into the gender feminist mythology that a woman who takes a run to the DV shelter, falsely alleges abuse, gets restraining orders as they have "fear of their safety" are all scripted out in the DV industry and by unscrupulous lawyers. If Brownstone wants whats best for the children he will lobby relentlessly within his vocation and to his political peers for presumptive equal and shared parenting. 

Some day I will also write my book of travels through this dysfunctional and seemingly corrupt system from a stay-at-home dad to a non-parental entity only good as a wallet. I will name names of some of the lazy feminized judges I have had to deal with and describe the terrible burden it puts on children as the players in this divorce industry act as child abuse enablers. That is clearly not in the best interest of children.  

At least Justice Brownstone has the courage to get a public dialogue going and for that he has my thanks. As we used to say on Brioux Ave., where I grew up, you've got "family jewels" although we were a tad cruder and spoke in the vernacular.  

You (Mike Murphy, from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada) wrote: @ M B from Calgary, Canada writes: 

I know you are trying to be reasonable but you are also being naive. Parental Alienation, one of the main thrusts of the article and the lead off, is perpetrated by a parent who hates their partner more than they love their children. You cannot reason with such a person unless the sanctions are such they will lose custody. That is not the case currently and only those with deep pockets can litigate it. That is not the case in Belgium. In 2006, Belgium introduced laws that make parenting time equal after separation. 

Withholding a child from the other parent in their shared parenting system in Belgium is viewed as abduction and the withholding parent of either gender goes to jail. That is what will reduce hostility. The incentives are removed. 

Our judges continue to incentivize, in particular females, with their 9-1 custody ratio. This is the basis for the hostile environment children are place in. Support is not involved unless there is a wide disparity in income when time is 50-50. If time is different than 50-50 then the parties work on the payment arrangement and present it to the judge. 

The child support administration moved on to do other work and does not care about the changes. A feminist Justice Minister was involved who was divorced. She wanted her ex husband to share parenting. It was interfering with her career and so it was selfish on her part but had a positive outcome for all affected. The lobbying with the right government in place, in this case, a centre right party, was a catalyst, particularly given the feminist Minister's stance. 

Yelling victim, victim, victim was not productive. All of the above including some serendipity came together. In Belgium parents have a constitutional right as parents. The state only gets involved if the parents cannot come to a decision but judges want it to be close to 50-50.
MJM.

Globe essay

In a custody battle, making peace is more important than being right. Indeed, the very notion of 'parental alienation' glosses over whose rights are at issue — namely, the child's

From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Several recent court cases have focused on the serious problem of parental alienation. Although many are hearing about it for the first time, it has always been a prevalent concern in high-conflict custody litigation.

Mental-health professionals debate the definition of parental alienation, and whether it is a clinical "syndrome," but few would disagree that the problem exists. In simple terms, "parental alienation" refers to a parent's persistent campaign of denigrating the other parent to their child (sometimes called "brainwashing" or "poisoning" the child against the other parent), which causes the child to unjustifiably reject the other parent.

Alienating conduct can take many forms: badmouthing the other parent's personality and conduct; portraying the other parent as dangerous, abusive or as having abandoned or not loving the child; withdrawing love and affection from a child who expresses positive feelings about the other parent; and denying the other parent contact with the child. While some mean by "parental alienation" only the misconduct of custodial parents, we judges often see high-conflict cases where both parents badmouth each other to the children, cruelly placing them in conflicts of loyalty. Moreover, such conduct is not in the exclusive domain of mothers or fathers; both engage in it.

In my view, the term "parental alienation" incorrectly identifies the target parent as the victim. The true victims are the children, who are innocent in parental break-ups. Every child has a right to enjoy a loving relationship with both parents. Since it is the child's right that is being violated by a parent's alienating behaviour, it is the child who is being alienated from the other parent. However you name it, there is no doubt that children are at risk of emotional harm when they become weapons, pawns and spies for bitter, angry, vengeance-seeking parents who turn custody disputes into battles for power and control — battles that often focus entirely on the parents' needs and not at all on the children's.
There is widespread dissatisfaction among parents with the family justice system. Among the most angry are non-custodial parents desperately seeking to enforce access to their children. Judges hear daily from heartbroken parents who say that the legal system vigorously enforces child support but does not care about enforcing access. I see their point, but it troubles me when people liken the enforcement of a parent-child relationship to the collection of a debt. Children are not pieces of property that can be "seized" or "garnisheed"; they are vulnerable human beings. Decisions affecting a child's emotional well-being must be carefully made, always with a view to making a child's life better, not worse.

Non-custodial parents routinely allege parental alienation when access is denied. The court must first decide if the allegation is valid. Family dynamics are layered and complex, and it is no simple task to find out why a child is refusing to see a non-custodial parent. What is the child's age and stage of development? Does the child have independent reasons stemming from memories of events before the break-up, or relating to the way access is occurring? Has the child been coached, bribed, threatened or manipulated to express negative views about the access parent? Family courts often require the assistance of assessments from psychologists or social workers. This can take time, which intensifies the problem if alienation is occurring.

If the court finds that alienation is causing a denial of access, what are its options? Sometimes supervised access will take place at an access centre, where trained staff observe the quality of parent-child interactions. Or a court could order police to enforce access. While this can be effective, the police exercise discretion in enforcement, and are understandably reluctant to "arrest" children and drag them kicking and screaming to visits with parents they are adamantly refusing to see. As difficult as this may be for some parents to accept, a child's negative feelings about a parent are real and true for the child, however unjustified these feelings may be.

WON THE BATTLE, LOST THE WAR
A second possibility is to find an alienating parent in contempt of court and impose a fine or jail sentence. This can be effective, but there is a serious risk of backfire. When a custodial parent conveys to an alienated child that the other parent has caused financial hardship because of the fine, the child's negative feelings toward the non-custodial parent can intensify. Even worse, a child whose custodial parent says, "Your mom/dad sent me to jail," may see the custodial parent as a martyr, and become even angrier at the non-custodial parent. Moreover, when a custodial parent goes to jail, the other parent does not automatically get custody; the children's aid society may have to intervene to determine a proper placement for the child during the parent's absence. Some children end up in foster care during this period, and are unforgiving toward the parent they believe put them there. I have seen more than my share of non-custodial parents who "won the battle but lost the war."

Court proceedings are not conducive to peacemaking; they tend to increase acrimony between parents, which is bad for children. Many non-custodial parents simply walk away from an impossible situation, devastated to lose contact with their children, but consoled to know that their children's exposure to a toxic tug-of-war is over. If this happens, custodial parents should know that their "victory" may be short-lived. Adult children often seek out estranged parents and assess the situation for themselves, with an independent mind and open heart. A custodial parent who has selfishly cut the other parent out of their child's life may end up being the excluded one when the child grows up and learns the truth.

Another option is to suspend or terminate child support. After all, if a non-custodial parent is being deprived of the right to see the child, why should he or she have to pay support? Proponents of this argument forget that access is the child's right, as is the right to be financially supported. If the child is being victimized by not getting to see a parent, it does not help the child to also be deprived of the right to be supported by that parent. The law must be child-focused. Children must be fed, clothed and housed even if they are being deprived of a relationship with an alienated parent. Two wrongs do not make a right. The only cases I am aware of where a court suspended or terminated child support for a minor child because of parental alienation, are cases where the custodial parent's financial circumstances guaranteed no reduction in the child's standard of living even without child support.

Different considerations might apply for adult children seeking continued support from alienated and blameless parents, but for minor children it is highly unlikely that a child's financial lifeline will be compromised as a remedy for parental alienation.

In some alienation cases, the children's aid society intervenes to protect children from emotional harm. If the children are lucky, the parents may be amenable to counselling to overcome their emotional baggage, so they can reinvent themselves from ex-partners to co-parents. In some cases a relative will offer a suitable parenting plan that insulates the children from the toxic parental conflict. Sadly, in other cases, children end up in foster care, as this is the only way they can have peace and neutrality in their lives.

In severe cases, can the court simply change custody from the alienating to the alienated parent? Yes, but only if, in all the circumstances, it would be in the child's best interests. The alienated parent must establish that he or she can best meet all of the child's needs. This can be a very difficult hurdle for an alienated parent who has had little or no contact with the child for some time. If custody is to change, intensive counselling and therapy are almost always ordered. Some therapy programs are more intrusive, lengthy and costly than others — and there is no guarantee of success. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the emotional health and well-being of parents and children.

RESPECT, FOR THE CHILD'S SAKE
Could parental alienation be avoided by ordering joint custody with 50-50 shared parenting in every case? Should courts divide up the elements of custody to create parallel parenting regimes? Many say yes. Judges say it depends on the individual circumstances of each case. Experts tell us that many alienating parents are suffering from personality disorders, and would not be amenable to a co-parenting arrangement. After 14 years on the bench, I seriously doubt a court order can make immature non-communicative parents become child-focused and treat each other with mutual respect, for their child's sake. But I have seen it happen. Judges try their best to do what is right for children, given the often incomplete and conflicting evidence we get.

I believe that family counselling and therapy are the most important resources that separated parents need to overcome their pain and anger. Parents must carefully consider the impact of their behaviour on their children — and become aware of the potentially devastating consequences to themselves and their children of high-conflict litigation. Reaching compromise and making peace for the sake of your children are more important than being right. Having healthy, well-adjusted and happy children is more important than getting revenge. Parents can have new partners, but no child gets a second childhood. Children learn about relationships and parenting from observing their own parents. No one should forget this.

Harvey Brownstone is a family court judge in Toronto and the author of Tug of War: A Judge's Verdict on Separation, Custody Battles, and the Bitter Realities of Family Court.
  1. RB Rattey from NYC, United States writes: my exwife abducted my children in 2002 and has used and abused the court system in canada and ontario to systematically destroy and alienate myself and my children from myself, my family, friends, everyone. i have not seen my children since 2003, some 6 years now, and i have no chance in hell of ever getting custody. there is no abuse, no sexual abuse, no physical abuse; our separation is about money and money alone. her family protects her from being extradicted by harassing me, stalking me, financially attempting to ruin me, she has evaded taxes in the usa for over ten years, has violated court order after court order without reprisal, she falsifies income and asset statements, tax returns, launders funds through family accounts, everything she can to avoid responsibility. and yet, i have no control, no access, no power, for constant fear of her lying and manipulating the courts in ontario to prevent her prosecution, and to persecute me. i am not paranoid, not mentally ill, not proven so. i am a father who loves his children, who has been literally destroyed by the family courts in ontario, and who has no chance of ever having access to my sons. six years i have not seen them, heard their voices, sent them birthday cards, nothing. two and a half years she's alienated them from their grandparents, uncles, cousins, friends. it is a nightmare that cannot be fixed. it is disgusting and degrading to be canadian born, and as a result, i have renounced my canadian citizenship and will never return to canada, not even if the courts gave me clemency from unreasonable prosecution. i destest canada. it deserves citizens like my exwife, for it created her and allows her to prostitute everything the country is supposed to stand for by allowing her to remain a free person, and my sons, her prisoners. god save her soul. and boys, your daddy still loves you. rb.
  2. You (Mike Murphy, from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada) wrote: Justice Brownstone seems to have all the relevant facts with respect to Parental Alienation, understands how children are manipulated by a scheming, conniving, often mentally imbalanced parent but why do I have this instinctive feel he is not ready to deal with such an abusive person properly by removing them as the hostile influence. He speaks for other judges as though they have the same level of knowledge and acumen. They do not. Many are lazy, status quo, and conservative to a fault and that is why most custody goes to mothers and their is little true equal and shared parenting. It is nothing more than gender apartheid on men. Some are stealth feminists who craftily design the process to favour the mother but hide behind egalitarian notions while quietly ensuring the mother gets interim custody pretty much ensuring she will keep it permanently. These judges buy into the gender feminist mythology that a woman who takes a run to the DV shelter, falsely alleges abuse, gets restraining orders as they have "fear of their safety" are all scripted out in the DV industry and by unscrupulous lawyers. If Brownstone wants whats best for the children he will lobby relentlessly within his vocation and to his political peers for presumptive equal and shared parenting. Some day I will also write my book of travels through this dysfunctional and seemingly corrupt system from a stay-at-home dad to a non-parental entity only good as a wallet. I will name names of some of the lazy feminized judges I have had to deal with and describe the terrible burden it puts on children as the players in this divorce industry act as child abuse enablers. That is clearly not in the best interest of children. At least Justice Brownstone has the courage to get a public dialogue going and for that he has my thanks. As we used to say on Brioux Ave., where I grew up, you've got "family jewels" although we were a tad cruder and spoke in the vernacular.
  3. Patrick The Christian Warrior from Canada writes: Justice Harvey Brownstone, I think you intentionally lay out a very complex scenario of "parental alienation" to give yourself and others on the bench the excuse to pass judgements on family court cases that are wrongly focused. For one, the paramount focus on the "Child's right" is off and will always lead to frustration, anger, alienation, helplessness, despair, and hopelessness. All of these scenarios can be very simple if you are rightly focused. The focus should be on God, His words in the Bible, and His righteousness. Righteousness means, break-up of family should always be fault based. Infidelity or the cheating partner that caused the break-up of family should never get custody of children. Marriage break-up due to other reasons, like neglecting husband/wife duties, being irresponsible, unloving, falling out of love, and etc, a fault percentage should be assign to each partner accordingly, like 30-70. The partner with less fault should get custody. For 50-50 faults, then equal custody. In the case of extremes like 2 people fell out of love and full of hate toward one another, a 50-50 with extreme prejudice, both parents are too immature to be mother/father and would create more harm to the child than good. Therefore, both should not get custody, the child should be turn-over to the state for search of good adopting parents, both bio-parents should pay part of child support to the adopting parents through the state. Justice Harvey Brownstone, I plead with you on re-examining your paramount position on "Child's right" focus. It will create a lot of desperate lives because it simply is not righteous. Please be strong as you have demonstrated here, speak the truth, speak for God, may God be with you.
  4. james mcintyre from halifax, Canada writes: The comments posted demonstrate, by length alone, the sadness and pain, endured by divorce. The bitterness is terminal. I speak from experience. Even with protection from the law, the pain is too severe to sometimes followup on conditions laid out. I am no legal expert, but a person, man judge or woman judge, cannot know what has happened, is happening, and might happen. Yes, the children are the biggest victims and one judge should not have the power to decide a child's future. Other family also, as indicated by some of these comments, should butt out also, it just adds to all the confusion. Children do grow up and when looking back they are the wise ones and know what has happened.
  5. N Dawg from Canada writes: The divorce courts hate men. There are a billion examples of this. Men have become walking ATMs, paying for children they never get to see. I hope the next generation of men have learned from their fathers grief.
  6. Baad Daddy from small town somewhere, Canada writes: Stay single, stay happy!
  7. Peter North from van, Canada writes: Brownstone and the other judges in this country deserve a lot of respect for the care and consideration they put into their decisions.
  8. Georgie Rocolas from Village of Father Absences Because of Family Court Bias, Canada writes: Is this Judge a fool or he is simply trying to protect his "turf"? Except in cases of abuse or neglect, Family Court and its officers should be mandated to assume "shared parenting". In prior Globe articles, this Judge has refused to be honest and has denied the reality: 1) in 90% of cases, Mothers obtain primary custody (thankfully there is a trend to "joint legal custody") 2) children in homes where their parents' marriage has broken down, need protection from the stone-age rule that the first parent to leave the home loses 3) the greatest source of damage in Family Court is always THE LAWYERS, only judges can force the lawyers to follow the rules and refrain from tactics that hurt the children and the parents Harvey the Lawyer is not telling the truth and he probably never will.
  9. Leslie-George Knibbs from Canada writes: Twenty some years ago my wife and I divorced. I gave up an interest in the house for $10,000. and paid court ordered support for our three children. The house was sold one year later for $150,000., there was a $14,000. mortgage on it when it sold. I was surprised to see it being sold but accepted this. I suffered with crohns disease at this time and was hospitalized and missed nearly two years of work before and after major surgery. I went to family court to get the high amount of support adjusted because of my decreased income (disability). My ex-wife fought this in court but the judge changed the order with a more reasonable amount of support because of my circumstances. Prior to this decrease I had court ordered access to our three children. When the reduction came into effect, access ended abruptly. After some time and when I had somewhat recovered, I went back to court to address the denied access. She fought this. The court ordered a lawyer for the children and interviews etc took place with everyone involved and recomendations were made to the court. These recomendations were in support of continued and ongoing access to the children on a regular basis. This came in the form of a court order. Once again my ex-wife refused to honour this court ordered access. This process lasted nearly two years, in and out of court etc. etc. I still had no access. At that time I decided to give up the battle but perhaps in the end I would see the children as they got older and saw what was going on. This did not happen. I do not see them or talk to them by their choice. They are grown up now and have careers in teaching and occupational therapy. The way I see it is this, if I had of persisted in having the second court order enforced, I am sure the children would have been under pressure at home from their mother. Guess I lost the battle but the kids are alright and hopefully happy. So I won the war. Still miss them though.
  10. A. Nonymous from Canada writes: Some sad stories on this forum... While I tend to disagree somewhat with Justice Brownstone's views on parental alienation, he really is a fantastic speaker and he always gives one piece of really good advice to all listeners. Do whatever you can to reach an agreement outside of the courts, why would you want a stranger (the judge) deciding the day-to-day 'rules' that your family is going to have to live under? Working it out through mediation, negotiation, whatever is always preferable to hashing it out in court. With regard to the legal system in general and some of the comments made, I'm not sure there should be a presumption of automatic 50/50 custody, but I think we definitely need to move closer to that ideal. (Don't forget that living in two different households is really hard on kids period, even if there's no bitterness or acrimony between the parents.) In terms of child support being "the right of the child," I definitely don't agree with "Patrick the Christian warrior" who seems to have forgotten the separation of church and state in Canada, but I don't agree with the legal system's current position either. Why shouldn't a child's standard of living go down relative to the parents' new incomes post-divorce? I'm not advocating kids go hungry, or live in poverty, but if they're very young, it's not like they're accustomed to a particular standard of living, and if they're older, they can learn that things change and that's life. If your parents aren't together any more, realistically each has less money individually and consumption must go down to reflect that. This notion of support being the 'right of the child' is a little frustrating. Because it's junior's right to continue to have ski lessons and live in a big house when Mom & Dad were together, Dad must now reside in a hovel and live on baked beans and cereal? No way. I can see SOME support, but very often child support is just used as spousal support disguised. Needs to change.
  11. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: Anon...great post.
  12. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: If living in 2 housholds prevents junior from being a dysfunctional clusterbomb, then so be it...the parents and junior (who usually loves both parents equally) should sacrifice the small amount of duplication and travel time. Big deal if your kids are well rounded in the end. All custody disputes should start out 50-50, this should be enshrined in the automatic pre-nup the couple signs on their wedding day, or upon birth of a child. This will eliminate a lot of the lawyering and dysfinctional family law work that is done. Women, in particular, going into a relationship should know that they will not automatically gain sole custody and the child support gravy train.
  13. Orest Zarowsky from Toronto, Canada writes: Parents do use children as weapons against each other - divorced or not. This is a very serious form of child abuse. With lots of long-term negative consequences. I speak from direct experience. On many levels, the situation where the parents aren't divorced is actually much worse, because, too often, there is no third-party intervention - legal or otherwise. And when organizations like CAS get involved, they tend to mess up even worse than the parents. The laws and regulations need to be reviewed and revised. It's worth noting how many of the "deadbeat" fathers who aren't paying child support are being denied court-ordered access to their children. While you are going after them, you should also be going after the mothers who are denying access. And if the mothers are denying access, while being paid support, they should also be jailed. At the very least, the support payment levels should be significantly reduced.
  14. Roger Townsend from Ottawa Where Fathers's have no legal rights, Canada writes: Readers need to know that lawyers and judges like Brownstone are charismatic, highly intelligent, gifted speakers and able to convince almost anyone of anything if they need to. We also need to remember that judges are just former lawyers who had 10 years experience and received approval from the feminist judicial appointment process. We also need to remember that our society if filled with a large percentage of people with personality disorders and or mental health problems that can be extremely difficult to recognize, in fact, the more intelligent and gifted they are, the easier it is for them to zoom all the way through law school and after ten years, land a judicial appointment. We also need to remember that the Judicial council is a an organization that sanitizes complaints, every profession has a small percentage who are terminated every year for improper conduct however, even the most obvious, the most well known, notorious flagrant abusers of judicial power, get away with absolute immunity and impunity. There is just one problem, people even judges with personality disorders often, let their own hatreds could their thinking and write in their articles or judgments which are overloaded with impartial sounding expressions that allude "god is talking" and if you go into court with blind faith in god, you are most probably going to be in a living hell of total destruction. Harvey P Brownstone shows his true colours by; (a) his failure to support a legal presumption of equal parenting after separation, (b) by his failure to acknowledge that child support orders in Ontario do not reflect the non custodial parents costs which often exceed the custodial parents. (c) his failure to support enforcement of access that he hides behind "drag them kicking and screaming" . (d) failure to support the waiving of child support to an alienating parent. READ Brownstone's comments - SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY.
  15. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: For reasons I don't quite understand, my previous post that outlined substantial documented proof that family courts are biased against men was deleted. Not sure why... But rather than digging up all that information and sources again, let's just say that Judge Brownstone works within a system that has been heavily misogynistic for a long, long time, and it's getting worse. "In the best interests of the child" has come to mean, "In the best interests of the child's mother." It's very sad, and it's even sadder that it's not recognized by those who work within the system.
  16. Winni Pegger from Canada writes: Are there any comments on the Globe and Mail site that are posted by women?
  17. Canadian Citizen from to, Canada writes: Like usual, it is the courts/lawyers/govt that somehow seem to think they know what's 'best' for the child. Yet these groups are complete failures when it comes to protecting children and history shows this to be true. In addition, the 'what's best for the child' euphemism that is so often repeated is narrow minded and overly simplistic as is obvious to almost anyone. There is no question that our goal should be to do what's good for a child, but this does not mean a parent deserves to become destitute so a child can wear the latest fashions. The very idea that courts actually deliver what is 'best' for a child is laughable and the idea that money==better is also silly (and this even the govt agrees with when it is the one being pressured to pay restitution). Another issue that seems to be completely ignored is the effect the system has on would-be parents, on the institution of marriage and on people's trust in the system. I do agree with the author's emphasis on counseling.
  18. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: Winni....not on topics like this because women are beneficiaries of a dysfunctional justice system. The majority of divorced women can sit back and watch men "whine", label them bitter while robbing their children of fathers, and their fathers of their standard of living, all of it promoted by guys like Brownstone. Of course Brownstone wouldn't want a presumption of 50-50 custody, especially my version of automatic pre-nups upon marriage or childbirth...he'd be bored.
  19. Canadian Citizen from to, Canada writes: Sometimes, women complain about the same thing, as in this tragic case: http://www.thestar.com/article/620838
  20. Theo Zivo from Canada writes: To correct an error: I wrote, "...Judge Brownstone works within a system that has been heavily misogynistic for a long, long time..." My mistake. I meant to write, "... Judge Brownstone works within a system that has been heavily misandrystic for a long, long time..." See what happens when one works without an editor? :)
  21. Man of La Mancha from Canada writes: Interesting article. In fact, no one cares about the children, contrary to claims. If people did in fact care about the children, they'd try harder to make the marriage work and failing that, try to make the co-parenting arrangement work. The Me generation can't be bothered. It's about about You baby! I learned that as my Ex dragged me through court - needlessly, expensively and highly damaging to all involved. My sympathies to all who have been there.
  22. Jeremy Swanson from Ottawa, Canada writes: With this comment by Peter North from van, Canada "Brownstone and the other judges in this country deserve a lot of respect for the care and consideration they put into their decisions" it is clear that the population at large really don't have a clue as to the reality of family law. North also clearly demonstrates that he he is not in the tragedy himself either. He couldn't be. If he was he wouldn't have made such a hopelessly incorrect and erroneous statement. I know many men who are and who have been caught up in the family law system and each of them almost without fail would like to see Justice Brownstone arrested and charged for crimes against the family. There are others who wish worse than that again. I can not blame or fault them for thinking this way even while not wishing the worst for him myself. Brownstone tries hard to make out that he is the voice of reason in this ongoing horror but in fact he is a major part of the problem.
  23. Dale Blackwell from Toronto, Canada writes: Ah - there's a reason we don't have a presumption of 50/50 time between parents - and that's because it doesn't generally work very well for the children. Like everyone else, children need a "home base" - where their things are, where they do their homework, where they go to school. Shared parenting can work well when there is substantial cooperation between the parents - but not when there isn't.
  24. raine turner from snowplace, Canada writes: Okay here a comment from a woman! My son's father and I worked very hard to not have this happen. He has not ever paid one cent of child support ( at the time I did not need it and was better off financially then him) I have had male friends suggest to me that I should not let him see his son because he did not pay. My son's father has always (when he has not lived with us- which he did at two different time to help with finances on both of our parts) lived within a 5 minute drive from us. His father has paid for sports, driven him to many pratices and games- and been at almost every pratice and games. His father spends almost every holiday meal with us- Christmas eve etc.. is often at my Sunday dinner table (this even happened while I was married to another man) I had the opportunity to move for a career advancement to another city when my son was young- and choose not to as I though it was more important for my son to have an actively involved father and a relationship with him. In closing I was raised with battling parents, being 'kidnapped' from one province to another when custody was only provincal---been a child of this sort of parental exploitation and it is *ell for children- so I choose not to engage in it. Having said that it takes two adults to choose to behave for the best interest of the children.... also glad to say I have no female friends that have treated their children or the ex like this. Should I have had a friend that behaved in this matter I would of lost her number!
  25. You (Mike Murphy, from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada) wrote: Dale Blackwell from Toronto, Canada writes: Ah - there's a reason we don't have a presumption of 50/50 time between parents - and that's because it doesn't generally work very well for the children. Like everyone else, children need a "home base" - __________________________________________________________________ You clearly don't speak from experience and sound just like an ill informed lazy judge. Do your research before you post drivel like this. You will then learn the truth about how resilient children really are when they know both their parents love them, want them and they get guidance from both. It is important the parents live close to each other, the children attend the same school, have the same friends and even better if they can drop by either house whenever they want. Lack of cooperation can be overcome by very rigid and enforceable parenting plans. Children should not be deprived of two loving parents because one of them is an idiot and never grew up or has mental health problems the court doesn't want to deal with.
  26. Canadian Citizen from to, Canada writes: good for you raine turner!
  27. Dale Blackwell from Toronto, Canada writes: Mike Murphy - I certainly agree that children should not be deprived of two loving parents, and that this ideal may be enforced with "rigid and enforceable parenting plans". I don't agree that living in two households is best when the parents do not cooperate with each other. A child is not "deprived" of a parent s/he sees regularly on access visits. As for the situation where one of the parents "is an idiot and never grew up or has mental health problems" - if it's that bad, then the other parent should have primary custody; (b) if it's not that bad, then hey buddy, you're the one who married her; don't blame the court for that. Of course, your perception of how things are may not be shared by the court - in which case, as a defied alpha male, you can call anyone who disagrees with you names, such as "lazy" and "ill-informed".
  28. Patrick The Christian Warrior from Canada writes: A. Nonymous wrote: "I definitely don't agree with "Patrick the Christian warrior" who seems to have forgotten the separation of church and state in Canada, but I don't agree with the legal system's current position either." >>> You are the typical of many in this secular generation, thinking "separation of church and state" is to turn away from God's Laws and His wisdom, thinking we are in a post-modern era and are lot more civil than God's laws and decrees in the Bible. Well, this is what God said, when a people turn away from Him; anger, frustration, helplessness, despair, and hopelessness will surely follow. Just observe the fallout of broken families further by an unjust judicial system, the anger/bitterness/resentment/hate/helplessness have been well expressed in some of the posts here. If a home-maker wife is being unfaithful to her husband of many years, then one day, her husband found out and demanded a divorce. Our court system would automatically grand the cheating wife custody of children in the name of "Child's best interest" and the ex-husband would automatically have to pay child support regardless whether he is the bio-father to her children or not. This ruling is very convenient for the state because the state don't have to worry about the home-maker wife going on welfare and become a long-term burden to tax payers. The husband just have to keep paying and everyone is relatively happy in a bad situation, except for the ex-husband of course. From a societal perspective, the ex-husband has been forsaken for his own wrong doing, for not choosing the right woman in the first place. Think about the above scenario, what is God's righteousness? The damages caused by this type of court cases will reach far and wide. Men are not stupid, they would do drastic measures to protect their turf, and it speaks volumes into the family problems we experience in Canada. People living in common laws, gay marriages, and children are being born out of wedlock.
  29. Dale Blackwell from Toronto, Canada writes: Patrick the Christian Warrior - all I can say Patrick - I much prefer what we have now - with all its imperfections - to the system you espouse. The "drastic measures" some men would do "to protect their turf" is no argument for giving them more turf. Indeed, it is the very best argument for keeping the turf trimmed. The focus of the law is now on relationships, not contracts; mutual-support rather than domination; seeing people as individuals rather than as subordinated to a father-knows-best version of the family. And as for turning the clock back fifty years and re-introducing fault-based divorce? Ha! Hahahaha! Surely you jest!
  30. Jim Mohagan from Toronto, Canada writes: Justice Brownstone is being extremely disingenuous. Of course people should be reasonable and try to work things out, especially when children are involved. The same could be said for all disputes and criminal cases. But what if one party tries to be reasonable and the other one just ratchets up the conflict? These are real world problems with significant implications. A pollyanish attitude doesn't help. What people who haven't experienced the travesty of Canadian family courts don't realize is that there are two significant components to this that must be understood. Conflict between partners and the break up of marriage is and always will be a problem. It's easy to trot out specific anecdotes to support one side or another. But once these cases arrive in family court a whole other dynamic swings in to action - the systematic separation of children from their fathers. The family law industry throws gas on the fire. This is the real injustice and it's not a gender issue, it's a civil rights issue. In about 85% of contested cases, sole custody is awarded to the mother. Yet it's a telling fact that while all provinces and territories have a government agency dedicated to collecting child support, NONE have an agency to enforce custody and access orders. Is it because the withholding and denial of access is not a problem? No, it's because the only thing the government cares about is the money. Claims that they are acting 'in the best interests of the children' are a joke. According to StatsCanada, about one million children - one in five - live without their fathers. This social problem is not caused by conflict between spouses, it's caused by a legal and social system that facilitates the separation of fathers from their children. In his essay, Justice Brownstone has set up a straw man and then destroyed it. Congratulations. Now how about addressing the real issue?
  31. You (Mike Murphy, from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada) wrote: Dale Blackwell: A child is not "deprived" of a parent s/he sees regularly on access visits. __________________________________________________________ You are living in a bit of a twilight zone if you think 14% visitation is regular. That is the standard visitation in North America by your good friends the benevolent judges you don't think are lazy. Studies show a minimum of 40% is required to maintain a parental bond with your child. Did you go to the Gender Feminist indoctrination at your local DV shelter. You sure don't sound like a man impacted by the dysfunctional Family Law (Flaw) system. You also do not have any practical experience which is patently obvious from your uninformed commentary. Are you a judge or best buddies with one? You miss the point entirely that despite the 50% of the population (or more if they get remarried or otherwise) who made bad choices with an ex that presumptive shared parenting will reduce conflict because some of the incentives for alienation and financial are gone. No child support is paid by either party. 66-70% of divorces are initiated by the female looking for among other things "greener pastures" they never find. Few are the result of abuse.
  32. A. Nonymous from Canada writes: Patrick, Thanks for the hilarious response, I haven't laughed that much at Globe posting in a long time! I would attempt to address the dubious merits of your position, but it's quite clear nothing would alter your position. However, I do feel compelled to respond to your final comment that "people living in common laws, gay marriages, and children are being born out of wedlock." are properly characterized as "volumes of family problems we experience in Canada." You couldn't have come up with a more backward-thinking anachronistic position if you tried. The fact that people of the same or opposite sex can CHOOSE to get married or not, CHOOSE to have or adopt children and generally live their lives without interference from the state truly gives credence to the notion that in Canada we live in a free and democratic society. Everyone (even you) is entitled to their own beliefs and not to have the majority's version of "the right beliefs" imposed on them. Sorry man, but the 1950's are done and they're not coming back!
  33. A. S. from Canada writes: All right, let's look at it from the point of view of a child. My parents were estranged, and one (the one that got me) was definitely more bitter towards the ex-partner than the other one. They lived in different cities, but by mutual consent, I would spend a month each year with my non-custodial parent. I hated it; or, rather, in an immature fashion, I always looked forward to the month, thinking this time would be different, only to be bitterly disillusioned within a few days. By the time I was slightly older than my mid-teens, I was basically disillusioned enough to break off all contact with the non-custodial parent -- and keep it that way for a decade or so. Later, to be honest, it turned out that I really wanted to have as little as possible to do with both. So far, so very close to what the judge is writing. BUT. Was I actively poisoned? No. Was the person I spent a month with each year a good parent? .... Despite the fact I know think I understand their feelings, I have to say No. Did this situation leave a lasting effect on me? Yes; I have never wanted to have children, and was lucky enough to marry a woman who could not and had gotten over it. Am I proclaiming myself to have even been a victim of anything? Heavens, no, no, and no again. In the end, the judge's article really did make me reflect a little. I'm still not comfortable with everything he says about alienation --- I'm sorry, but his words just don't quite capture the complexity of what the child feels; and, as a judge, he of course focusses on judicial remedies for things that are both common and natural, and yet have no real remedy. At least he seems aware of that fact, and all in all, I thank him for his essay.
  34. George Haeh from Canada writes: Sadly the entire tenor of Justice Brownstone's article is that since conflict is bad for children, the best thing to do for them is to acquiesce to the prevalent maternal absolutism, be grateful for any trickles of access and accept relegation from father to wallet and, at best, alternate weekend entertainment director. Having begun with the horror of a child that was moved across the Continent so that I would never see my father alive again (he died early from smoking) and then revisting the same dread prospect for my own children when my ex took me to court a number of times, I have to at least complement Justice Brownstone's statement that "Every child has a right to enjoy a loving relationship with both parents". Well, the only realistic way to achieve that in a conflict situation is to mandate 50% time with each parent. Yes, the standard of living will suffer all around as taking on another landlord or mortgage (presuming unchanged total income of both parents) is about as expensive as having three or four more children. With both parents in their lives, children will eventually grow up knowing that each parent is an imperfect person who did what they thought best. Where an absolutist ex seems determined to exclude you from your children's lives and you are unable to prevent that, my advice is to let her or him know that you are keeping all the court records and lawyer bills, plus recording all contact attempts, gifts and cards (which you will be doing at every holiday and birthday) and that when the children grow up it will be made available to them. As Justice Brownstone has pointed out, the misery will continue.
  35. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: Dale Blackwell from Toronto....This is the system you espouse. Husband cheats, wife gets kids and child/spousal support. Wife cheats, wife STILL gets kids and child/spousal support. That is the system right now! You sound like either a lawyer fearing a loss of the family law gravy train, or a judge like Brownstone who''d lose his job if a politician grew a set of gonads/ovaries and ovehauled family law. Automatic pre-nups, FREE (no lawyers)...you sign the dotted line at your wedding (or even live common law), or upon having a child, this is what you gain, and this is what you stand to lose. Know going in, that everything will be split 50-50, spousal support capped at X number of years, child support equated to the child's needs, NOT the mothers (or "fathers"). No women (or man) should be getting more than $600 a month for a child, irrespective of his (or her) income. In fact, with equal parenting, no money need be exchanged at all...which gets right to the point. The reason 50-50 shared parenting is challenged, is because cupcake will lose the child support gravy train. This is the REAL problem. Chivalrous and feminist judges will never let dearie go without her vacations, new clothes, big house, etc.....it's not in the best interests of the "CHILD". LMAO!!!!!!!
  36. N Dawg from Canada writes: Pre-nups should be standard procedure. Both agree to be self-supporting; both agree to equally support their children and grant equal time to their children in the event of a divorce. If one fails to sign on the dotted line - walk away. You know you are about to get screwed.
  37. Dick Smith from Ottawa, Canada writes: Notice how from last night to this Sunday morning a very large number of posts critical of Brownstone were removed. Those posts are available at the ottawa mens centre site/ news.
  38. raine turner from snowplace, Canada writes: $600 does not cover the cost of full-time daycare...... Divorce is messy for everyone- money can sometimes become an unfair demotivation for men to see their children- hence the governements interference and aid in collecting it- women sometimes can use this against the kids and the ex. Try to use more than your hormones when you pick a mate to breed with.
  39. John Bennett from Ottawa, Canada writes: Justice Browstone is just another judge encouraging women to flout access orders. His message, flout orders, do what every you like and you will NOT go to jail or even loose child support. If mothers knew that they would go to jail for failing to comply with an access order, they would not flout the orders, if Mothers knew that child support payments would be lost if they flouted access orders than they would be more reluctant to flout access orders. Brownstone's logic is almost narcissistic, Brownstone KNOWS that child support payments are not just for the child but have what is called "a spousal support component" that is even if the father is a deserving case for spousal support from the mother, a judge will still let a mother collect these inequitable payments even when she flagrantly ignores orders for access. Its thanks to the double standards applied by judges like Brownstone that we have, a totally dysfunctional Family Court riddled in part at least, with Judges who apparently gain sadistic satisfaction from destroying childrens relationships with their father. Ontario is simply a very bad place for dads. If you a male, thinking of immigrating to Canada, give Ontario a wide berth. Check out the research by Peter Roscoe www.OttawaMensCentre.com
  40. John Bennett from Ottawa, Canada writes: Absolute Proof of Bias in Ontario Family Court is evidenced by that courts abysmal failure if not blatant refusal, to make Spousal Support orders in favour of men. Another example is court costs, Ontario Family Court will apply a double standard, if a woman has a lawyer, she creams out the father on costs, often the costs are deliberately incurred as part of a financial war of attrition, that generally she can survive and he cannot. The same Ontario Family Court will not give an unrepresented male litigant court costs so, the entire system is stacked, its guaranteed to end in failure. If judges were pilots, hardly a flight would ever get off the ground and any flight that got of the ground would crash. If the same deliberate negligence was practiced by the medical profession, no patient would survive an operation, let along get examined appropriately, there would just be assumption and if male, the patient would be given a fatal prescription. www.OttawaMensCentre.com
  41. james c from Canada writes: A. Nonymous from Canada writes: Patrick,Everyone (even you) is entitled to their own beliefs and not to have the majority's version of "the right beliefs" imposed on them. Sorry man, but the 1950's are done and they're not coming back! ---------- too bad in a way, family life sure seemed a lot more stable in the 50s (before i was born), 60s and even the 70s. today's "me-first, F*** U, throw away everything" society is an absolute mess.
  42. Ned Kelly from Ottawa Home of Father hating Family Court Judges, Canada writes: Justice Brownstone's gift for public speaking, his ability to portray himself as god, his legal abilities, are only exceeded by his arrogance and the typical Judicial pathological hatred towards fathers. Brownstone has been able to convince his superiors, that "he can do it", that Brownstone can be the Gobbels of the Judiciary, perhaps we could call him Justice Haw Haw, after that treasonous Englander who was the Third Reich's voice of propaganda. Anyhow, the judiciary email group will be probably be running hot with suggestions on how they can get the Globe and Mail to remove those articles that don't show Brownstone or the judiciary in a positive light. Brownstone, reveals, for Canadians to read, classic examples of what is called a legal term called "the process of justification" which of course is not a legal expression, its the same reasoning Criminals use to murder their opponents or simply engage in shop lifting. Our judiciary, are probably , the greatest criminals in Canada, they are entrusted, to apply the law, but they don't, they use "the process of justification" to make endless draconian feminist politically correct decisions that destroy children's relationships with their father. look at the research by Peter Roscoe at www.OttawaMensCentre.com Peter who is not a criminal, is presently incarcerated at the Ottawa Detention Centre based on fabricated order for unpaid support. Peter has been the victim of several draconian orders, the worst being by Justice Denis Power of Ottawa which Peter successfully appealed to the Court of Appeal of Ontario, who put in a poison pill of costs, as they usually do, that is, you can win an appeal on the issue but they do "indirectly what cannot be done directly" Many of the readers of this forum will know Peter Roscoe and will know that his health has taken a toll over the last year and your letters of support will be appreciated. ..
  43. D. Bell from Canada writes: Judge Brownstone elegantly presents diversions about parent alienation that further secure the role of family courts as a form of taxpayer funded labour union representing the interests of the divorce industry at large. Parent alienation is the best conflict escalation mechanism available, and thus contributes enormously to the economic foundation of an industry that derives over half of its revenues from high-conflict divorces. The special value of parent alienation is that it trumps the 'takes two to tango' rule of conflict - a non-combative partner can be quite reliably drawn to the industry dance floor when a former partner is abusing their children. The divorce industry's interest in poisoning clients with toxic parent alienation is similar to the tobacco industry's sale of toxic substances to customers. In each case, the resulting revenue is too significant to allow moral and ethical behaviour to prevail over the short-term economic interests of the industry. The negative sum attributes of parent alienation are apparent. Children and parents suffer lasting damage to support what is otherwise a zero-sum trade - the flow of fees from parents to the divorce industry. The usual mechanism for rectifying negative sum events - recourse to the courts - is, for all practical purposes, blocked. Lawyers of the family bar are the prime beneficiaries of divorce industry plunder, and are adept at avoiding blame for their culpable conduct. As the devil said in reply to God's threat of suit in that old joke - 'who are you going to get to represent you?" Hence, it will take government intervention to stop the negative sum steamroller of parent alienation from creating further destruction. One suggestion is that parent alienation be considered within the criminal definition of child abuse. More importantly, the divorce industry promoters of parent alienation, must be subject to prosecution as accessories to the crime.
  44. D. Bell from Canada writes: The notion of gender bias in family courts is a diversion. Family courts are disposed to 'pay the instigator.' This disposition defines a comfortable arrangement under which the sale of conflict escalating divorce poison can be promoted. Alpha lawyer sells the poison to a narcissistic or otherwise vulnerable parent. Beta lawyer steers the target towards court, but in a carefully compartmentalized fashion so as not to encourage the family court judge to feel obliged to hear evidence of Alpha lawyer's client's conduct with regard to parent alienation. Family court delivers the goods to Alpha's client. Alpha develops a track record that draws further clients, and also feeds ancillary members of the divorce industry with a healthy rainfall of referrals. Ancillary divorce industry participants keep their heads down regarding Alpha's conduct, because Alpha makes the rain fall. The coincidence that makes this outcome appear to be gender bias, is that Alpha's have more selling power with mothers. Militant feminism appears in posters on boardroom walls, and with Alpha's encouragement, produces a warrior mentality for which parent alienation is the most powerful and stealthy weapon. This complex dance is facilitated by the courts and lawyers following careful step sequences to the family court's 'pay the instigator' tune. That bias sets the template against which revenues are most reliably drawn from from the clients to serve divorce industry purposes. Family courts are not the first bureaucracy to devolve in the sad direction of placing the interest of employees ahead of the customer. They have pushed this devolution that extra step, where taxpayers actually get to pick up the tab for what is effectively an unlicensed labour union that promotes the interests of the family bar and the divorce industry at large. However, willful blindness to evident child abuse is a step too far. This is the residential schools fiasco of our time.
  45. D. Bell from Canada writes: Justice is available - on appeal. Presumably, that is the moral hook that willfully blind family court justices use to hang their hats. Parent alienation targets can obtain justice - they just have to pay the divorce industry twice! The evidence shows that appeals of family court cases involving parent alienation are almost universally reversed. How many more parent alienation travesties are smothered by local union hall hacks mascarading as judicial officials?
  46. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: raine.....600 dollars is more than enough for one child. Day care is an extra expense not included as a factor in child support, just like extra curricular activities. Parents usually split the extra costs in ADDITION to the non-custodial parent paying child support. The brutal fact is that the NON-CUSTODIAL parent cannot claim any of the child care expenses as a tax deducation. The custodial parent (almost always the mother) gets them all...even if they split child care expenses 50-50. Total inequality.
  47. Ned Kelly from Ottawa Where PETER ROSCOE IS INCARCERATED, Canada writes: Warning to all Fathers - Justice Brownstone does not speak about the increasing number of fathers who are incarcerated, not for any criminal offence but for simply going to Ontario Superior Court Family Division and asking for access. Fathers should read this post and take careful note because it is going to happen to a very large, an increasing number of Ontario Fathers. Ontario Family Court judges do not make legal decisions, many are vile, corrupt and have a pathological hatred of fathers. That typically translates into, a father losing his employment or business as a result of a mother's "allegations" a simple "she said" unproven, uncorroborated, un-cross examined and or course NO TRIAL. Just quickie motions heard by "arrangement", that is "judge shopping". The court will accept almost any financial demand she makes for division of net family property, and will "invent" property, "invent" income for the purposes of "calculating child support. In fact, Ontario judges don't even need to see a claim of imputed income to order support at what ever level the judges mood feels like. The same judge then orders "security for costs" and or "orders striking pleadings" and or "vexatious litigant orders" and restraining orders to further encumber the father in litigation that is virtually impossible to overcome. These orders called "Sheffield Orders" or "Power Orders" are effectively, "DEPORTATION ORDERS" of Canadian Citizens and if they don't leave Canada or at least Ontario, they will be arrested, and repeatedly incarcerated for six months at a time, INDEFINITELY till they die. This has happened to PETER ROSCOE, he is presently in jail in the Ottawa Regional Detention Centre. Contribute to his canteen fund with a Money Order made out to Peter Roscoe. Send LETTERS OF SUPPORT to Peter Karl Roscoe C/o Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre 2244 Innes Road Ottawa ON K1B 4C4
  48. Ned Kelly from Ottawa Where PETER ROSCOE IS INCARCERATED, Canada writes: Ontario Father's please take note of what has happened to Peter Roscoe. He is a classic example of how a loving father can be suddenly have his loving relationship with his son terminated by an Ontario Superior Court Family Division Judge who issues an order preventing him from having "any further litigation". Judges are increasingly flagrantly abusing the judicial discretion to make "draconian orders".. Now, if you think you know "thins are bad", odds are you have no idea of exactly how "bad" , "things" are. Peter Roscoe's pleadings detailed very carefully around 50 examples of fraudulent claims, generally put together by his ex wife's lawyer, outragious claims for which no supporting evidence was supplied or for which was contradicted by their own evidence. Peter Roscoe did a commendable job for a self represented litigant. He had the misfortune to end up in front of Justice Denis Power who issued a "vexatious litigant order". Peter SUCCESSFULLY appealed Power's order but the Court of Appeal put in a poison pill, to indirectly achieve the same "effect. Once that order is made, the lid in the father's coffin is nailed down with outrageous orders for child support that cannot be paid, even "retroactive" support orders going back more than 10 years even when the mother has a spousal support obligation to the father. Peter Roscoe efforts have been "heroic" , he is dire need of any sort of help from anyone who may wish to help. You can start by writing him letters of support, and a few bucks for his jail canteen fund will help him buy postage stamps to reply to you. Apparently he is not receiving phone messages. Money Orders can be made out to him directly and mailed to him with a letter to the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre, 2244 Innes Road Ottawa ON K1B 4C4 You can read the very detailed research by Peter Roscoe at www.OttawaMensCentre.com/roscoe
  49. D. Bell from Canada writes: Ned The family court is protecting divorce industry turf, responding with the the same kind of threats and thuggery typical of many labour unions facing threats to their economic domain. They love it when you pitch the gender bias line, because its a losing argument, and it distracts from the main event, being the sytematic looting of clients by the divorce industry. Family courts pay-the-instigator, male or female. That's the tune the lawyers dance to, and that the rest of the divorce industry turns a blind-eye to in order to put food on the table. It's big business Ned. I agree that Brownstone is a shill, but he's not doing it to persecute men or promote woman. He's pitching to distract attention from the fact that child abuse through parent alienation provides a lot of the grease that turns divorce industry wheels. Your anger, however justified by this heinous divorce industry conduct, also distracts attention from the meat of the issue. Brownstone speaks for a taxpayer funded, unlicensed labour union that promotes private divorce industry members' interests.
  50. Ned Kelly from Ottawa Where PETER ROSCOE IS INCARCERATED, Canada writes: KUDOS to D. BELL ! Wow, You have correctly identified "one of the causes" of the problem. With the greatest respect to those of the judiciary who are 'saints" , passionate, compassionate and objective judges of which there are many, there is, a very serious problem with a very large section of the Judiciary when it comes to their underlying motivations in decision making. Lawyers if given a choice, will prefer female rather than male clients because females win costs hands down. Many judges make decisions to force litigants to use a lawyer, if you don't use a lawyer, you are breaking their "unwritten code", at least thats a polite term for EXTORTION. Many judges loath any litigant who is not using a lawyer, part of that is because self-reps are unfamiliar with civil procedure and the rules of court. To give credit where credit is due, some judges, are in fact, extremely compassionate and understanding to self reps. They are not the problem, there are various sub groups of judges who create destruction, one group are feminist activist judges who simply make decisions, political decisions rather than legal decisions, then you have those who make decisions that suit the legal profession. A classic example is suing a lawyer, what judge in his right mind is going to find in favour of complaint about a lawyer? What judge is going to make any favourable decision for a father who has been critical of a previous judges decision? Very few. Only objective impartial judges would listen very carefully and find against a brother judge. Thats breaking a "code of silence" its a bit like asking a Hells Angel to rat against another Hells Angel. The criminal aspect appears when Judges make obviously corrupt decsions, in favour of a lawyer against a self represented litigant. Thats a almost, guaranteed loosing argument but, not impossible. Check out Roscoe's research at www.OttawaMensCentre.com / roscoe
  51. D. Bell from Canada writes: Ned, I'd suggest Alpha lawyers prefer clients who are willing to buy the poison, and Beta lawyers prefer targets, regardless of gender. The revenue maximizing combination is when the divorcing couple fall most clearly into the poison buyer / target alignment, and it doesn't hurt if the Form 13 submissions include evidence assets. I agree that there are many very decent judges, just not enough of them and especially not at the lower family court level. When judges do take a stand against the divorce industry, it is an exceptional event that makes the news. For example, here's a G&M story from November 3, 2008: "An Ontario judge has blasted the legal profession for running up excessive, unjustified bills that cause the ruination of ordinary people. Ruling on a long-running matrimonial case, Mr. Justice Donald S. Ferguson of the Ontario Superior Court said it illustrated much of what ails the court system - foolishly litigious clients and gouging lawyers and experts. "It is now commonplace for counsel to ask for what I consider to be excessive fees when costs are fixed at all stages of litigation," Judge Ferguson said." Hopefully, Judge Ferguson is not lonely at the bar!!
  52. Ned Kelly from Where JUDGES OPERATE THEIR ILLEGAL CARTEL, Canada writes: JUDGES - Pat 2. When it comes to anti-self rep judges, Two of the Most NOTORIOUS JUDGES IN ONTARIO are; Justice Allan Sheffield - and Justice Denis Power both of Ottawa. Their attitude to self reps, their decisions, have all the indicators of not just a flagrant abuse of judicial power but, other sinister very corrupt motivations. What we need, is EVIDENCE. These two judges named a just "examples", you can go anywhere in Ontario and in any large group of judges you will find some rotten apples. The problem is, victims don't speak to each other. At the Ottawa Mens Centre web site, you will see a Judges directory. If you have been the victim of a corrupt decision, please let us know, the name of the judge, and provide a copy of the decision. Not all judges operate as part of a criminal cartel, just because there are a few bad eggs does not mean they are all "rotten". They like fathers, deserve a presumption of innocence, however just as there are "Dead Beat Parents" there are "Dead Beat Judges" and it takes a Dead Beat Judge to create a Dead Beat Dad. Now, some ranting:- Society does not use the expression, "Dead Beat Mother", even though, family court litigation is full of examples of mothers with very obvious severe personality disorders and mental health problems refusing to let "Their child" have any relationship with their father. Once these children start to mature and think for themselves, that relationship, no matter how managed by the mother begins to unravel. Generally its only a matter of time. Check out the research by Peter Roscoe at www.OttawamensCentre.com / rosco
  53. Dick Smith from Ottawa, Canada writes: More posts disappearing ! I leave my computer come back an hour later and a large number of eloquent posts have disappeared. Some of them appear to be up at the www.OttawaMensCentre.com / news I've never seen any article in the Globe and Mail attract so much censorship. In the over 100 posts, on this thread, (probably around half appear to have been removed by the censor) I've yet see anything positive about Ontario Family Court or its voice of Propaganda Justice Brownstone.
  54. D. Bell from Canada writes: Let's try analogizing. If the form of child abuse known as parent alienation were, say, kiddie porn, then any meaningful solution to the problem would involve identifying pornography industry revenue sources and recipients. Blaming consumers of the product may be a legitimate point, but it is not going to do much to protect children from the heinous individuals who callously damage children to make kiddie porn. If instead parent alienation were prostitution, blaming the prostitutes and their customers may be legitimate, but if the pimps are ignored, the damaging impact of the industry on participants will continue. Pimps will do things to keep their revenues in place. Switching back to this story, Judge Brownstone is effectively protecting the pimps of the divorce industry by effectively blaming the parents in parent alienation cases. Parent alienation has serial characteristics that show up repeatedly in connection with the activities of certain individuals who abuse the shield of client-solicitor privilege to hide the peddling of divorce poison to vulnerable individuals. These are the pimps of the divorce industry, and it only takes a few of them to do a lot of damage. Other members of the divorce industry know who these people are, but they are motivated to remain silent. Who wants to take on a nasty piece of business who is willing to abuse children to amass wealth? Why not open your pocket when the poison peddlar spins another wacky family situation in your direction? Besides, it's easy to rationalize indifference - how does anyone really know what goes on behind the shield of client-solicitor privilege? Brownstone may be an innocent shill, genuinely interested in the welfare of families and children, but simply misguided about the fundamental economic drivers of the divorce industry. More likely, he's the lobbiest, promoting the spin that protects the divorce industry from meaningful legislative reform.
  55. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: D.Bell...correct, as well intentioned Brownstone appears to be, he should be simply by-passed and family law reformed. Automatic AND equitable prenups when you sign on to marry...don't like it? Don't marry...and as for the anti-marriage crowd, pro common law groups or the gay marriage lobby...same goes for you. Clear cut contractual rules when you engage in a live in relationship. Imagine, "I'm taking the kids and your money"...no you're not...WE signed this...remember?
  56. Ned Kelly from Ottawa, Canada writes: D. Bell, Thanks, nice analogy. Brownstone does the legal terrorist act, he fails to "accurately state the issue", diverts the reader from the substantive issues, and, continues to make inappropriate orders that are positive to his personal position or that of political correctness rather than "dealing with the issue". As D. Bell points out, Brownstone, blames the parents, the parents, are not to blame, no, not even that vindictive mother who gets every order she asks for. The blame, lies squarely on Parliament, who have failed to legislate a legal presumption of equal parenting after separation. The blame also lies with the judiciary who Encourage, flagrant contempt of access orders by, failing to impose any penalty. Its so rare that a mother gets penalized that it makes headlines. Remember Wayne Allen? Parliament is also responsible for the terrorizing child support guidelines which are regarded as draconian and biased by other more progressive jurisdictions. Judges know the law, they supposedly know legal reasoning but, fail to balance the probative value of children having relationships with both parents against the mother's loss of child support until she ceases the destructive behaviours. Ontario Judges are not just negligent, they deliberately fail to apply rules of evidence impartially, or objectively, every decision is viewed through either a gender lens to be politically feminist correct or, as a way of intimidating anyone who dares to come to court without a lawyer. Check out the research by Peter Roscoe at www.OttawaMensCentre.com
  57. raine turner from Canada writes: Okay, since I obviously do not live in this world- or maybe Alberta is different than Ontario- and/or the laws have changed in the last 20 years-----child support is not a monthy payment based on income and need? Child support- I thought- was to cover food, clothes, daycare, day to day living expenses for the child while with the custodial parent. While with the 'non-custodial' parent- the non-custodial parents pays those expenses. So, what you are telling me is the child support is not to pay for day-care, school supplies, clothes and assist in keeping the child in somewhat the same social class they were in prior to the divorce? (which I never understood that one- everyone suffers through a divorce). So, the non-custodail parents pays a set amount for child support--- then also pays for day-care, clothes, school, sports etc? Wow! Man was I stupid (that was a sarcastic bad joke)
  58. Ned Kelly from More Evidence of Brownstone's Bias, Canada writes: "We Judges"? "not in the exclusive domain of mothers or fathers". This typical of a passive aggressive judge lacing his comments to appear to favour both sides when he really has his own agenda. First he says "not in the exclusive domain of mothers - and adds, or fathers. That in his mind clears him of an impression of bias. Read further parental alienation "is not in the exclusive domain of mothers or fathers, both engage in it"... Well the truth is mothers do it a hell of a lot more than fathers, the reality is, 95% of mothers get sole custody and it is "the power" the absolute power of "sole custody' that enables a "custodial parent" to spend 24/7 brainwashing a child to destroy their relationship with their father. If they really believed in the best interests of their child, most would have or should have agreed to 50/50 parenting. With rare exceptions, any mother who only allows ever second weekend when dad was asking for 50/50 is engaging in parental alienation, thats it, .. For Brownstone to say parental alienation is a 50/50 gender problem, is not just disingenuous , its false, its deliberately misleading while "pretending" to be "objective" and speaks in the plural sense "WE judges"... Oh, really, just who is WE? Check out the Roscoe research at www.OttawaMensCentre.com roscoe
  59. Ned Kelly from More Evidence of Brownstone's Bias, Canada writes: Brownstone talks about "collection of a debt". As though, children really don't have a right to equal love and affection from both parents. Mind you, Brownstone would be just as quick to put a father in jail for not paying support, and odds are that the income was simply a wild claim or allegation, without corroborating evidence. Then he talks about "The court must decide if the allegation is valid". Brownstone does not state that 95% of cases NEVER get to examine those allegations, which can only happen at trial. Ontario Family Court Judges are collectively, corruptly, making arrangements to "get rid of cases'. Check out the Roscoe research at www.OttawaMensCentre.com roscoe
  60. dick brown from missy, Canada writes: raine..."So, the non-custodail parents pays a set amount for child support--- then also pays for day-care, clothes, school, sports etc?" Yes...exactly, but usually the 2 parents split the extra expenses...child care is one of them, as is soccer or ballet lessons, whatever. However, only the CUSTODIAL PARENT can claim any of these expenses on their taxes. Child support is supposed to pay for food and clothing, and I guess pencils....but worked in is a spousal support component that drives up child support payments to inequitable levels...especially if the non-custodial parent sees the child a lot. Think about the man paying spousal too! Double dipped! This is why men are angry. As well, the custodial parents income is never factored in. In this day and age where mothers are well educated and have great jobs, they also receive obscene child support payments because it is soley based on HIS income. It doesn't work this way in Austrailia....a lot of employed women would take a big hit if we did things equitably like in Austrailia.
  61. raine turner from Canada writes: HUH?! ( I understand that is not good English) Okay, I thought they (the courts) figured out how much each partner made-contributed to the family income- then divided that amount so post divorce the both sides were equaled out so the child lived in as close to possible the same standard of living as pre-divorce. Hence spousal support was to equalize (generally the womans lower income) and then money for the kids. My best friend ( a man) has an ex- had 50% physical custody and pays support - we have never really got into it-- but I remember now him saying extra payments etc. for school clothes and such and I 'assumed' it was due to the 50% custody issue...... Okay, I am now going back to my cloud shaking my head---
  62. A. S. from Canada writes: In my direct experience, the truest words H. Brownstone writes here are "As difficult as this may be for some parents to accept, a child's negative feelings about a parent are real and true for the child, however unjustified these feelings may be." My parents certainly did not humiliate each other in divorce court, they agreed on the custody arrangements, and they tried -- with uneven success -- to be civil in what they said to me about each other. And yet it was, without a doubt, an unpleasant and alienating experience. Fine, that's how things go -- but I shudder at what might happen if the breakup is more acrimonious, with one side or the other convinced of women's or men's rights to "custody". I have no doubt many children of divorced parents naturally come to the conclusion that their father, their mother, or both were more selfish than anything else.
  63. Tango Zulu from Canada writes: Justice Brownstone is nothing more than an apologist for a system that has proved him with a very comfortable income throughout his career. His comments on child support completely miss the mark about what is wrong with the child support system. Canada's system is all about discouraging shared custody/residency arrangements. The custodial parent who gets a nice montly bonus cheque (women) will do everything to discourage a shared arrangement in order to keep the money flowing. Also, in situations where the non-custodial parent sees their children regularly, but not quite the magic 40% threshold that defines a shared parenting arrangement, there is no deduction from the support they pay their ex - totally unfair, if a non-custodial parent sees their children 25% of the time, they should pay 25% less child support; the current system actually financially encourages 'deadbeat' parenting - it's cheaper to just send the ex her 'child support' cheque than send her the cheque and also be financially on the hook for time the children are with the other parent. As posted above, Australia saw through this scam and totally re-wrote their family law to discourage the acrimony over money that is seen in Canada.
  64. Ned Kelly from More Evidence of Brownstone's Bias, Canada writes: Thanks Tango Zulu for your post. You identified one motivating factor MONEY, So, lets "follow the money", firstly, the biggest winners in family court are ... "the legal profession".... thats a question everyone can answer. Who has the greatest motivation to throw fuel on the fire? "The Legal profession", who would loose the most if Equal Parenting Legislation occured... "the Legal Profession". So, who earns the most? Well, judges are way up there on that list, so are social workers, prisons, child protection workers, foster homes and of course "the government". Notice that local governments are "the applicant" quite frequently in family court? its to get child support from biological fathers to give to the government to save the government "social costs" such as welfare payments. Who has the greatest power to force people to use the legal profession? JUDGES.. Who in family law is the person most likely to abuse their absolute power? JUDGES Who can commit criminal offenses with total immunity and impunity? JUDGES.. Who in society are the greatest dangers to children? JUDGES Who have the least chance of receiving disciplinary action for a professional mistake? What profession has the least controls after "appointment? JUDGES What profession has the highest public duty responsibility with the least amount of accountability ? JUDGES... Would you have such a professional as your heart or brain surgeon? Check out the list of judicial bias by Peter Roscoe at www.OttawaMensCentre.com ...
  65. John Santos from Canada writes: When this happened to me with my two children in the early to mid 1980's my lawyer informed me that the legal system was 15 to 20 years behind the social norms. I initially fought for joint custody but many thousands of dollars later relented and accepted a meager visitation schedule. Over the next few years I spent many more thousand dollars just to fight for my legal right to court ordered visitation. During the process I was accused of everything from neglect to abuse all of which was false but at that time the mere mention of the word neglect was enough for a JP or Judge to step in. My children were turned against me in the end and I have not had any contact with them for 7 years. The sad fact is that the courts are powerless to stop a custodial parent from manipulating the situation and denying visitation. Those who have tried to counter act the situation by with-holding support payments usually wind up in court or jail. Denying visitation is a form of child abuse. Children are denied access to family, love and nurturing. The other less obvious consequence involves half of a child's genetic medical background. What if the non custodial parent's family has a genetic predisposition to a specific disease? The playing field is NOT level even now.
  66. Jim Mohagan from Toronto, Canada writes: Tango Zulu writes: Canada's system is all about discouraging shared custody/residency arrangements. The custodial parent who gets a nice montly bonus cheque (women) will do everything to discourage a shared arrangement in order to keep the money flowing. This is exactly how the system 'works'. The financial incentive to deny access is huge. After six years of routinely denying me access to our two young daughters ("they have important activities this weekend"), my ex finally moved with them to another city 500 km away. She never bothered to inform the court and when I finally got before a judge months later I was told it was too late because they were already enrolled in school in another province! I was literally told by the judge to get lost. Of course, now that she had them all the time, I was responsible to supply all of the money. This woman is no dummy - she has a masters degree in psychology. She was well advised and knew the court would facilitate this travesty. So two young girls lost their father, friends, school mates, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents (their grandmother, who they loved dearly, died without seeing them again). Make no mistake, it wasn't their mother's fault. It was possible due to a Canadian family law industry that considers fathers unnecessary for healthy children. If you're a dad, they will rip your babies away and then make you pay for the privilege. No wonder suicide is one of the leading causes of death for middle aged men in Canada.
  67. A. Nonymous from Canada writes: Dick brown writes in response to Raine Turner: "Yes...exactly, but usually the 2 parents split the extra expenses...child care is one of them, as is soccer or ballet lessons, whatever." Dick is 9/10 of the way correct on this one. In ADDITION to regular child support payments, the payor spouse (typically Dad) will often (almost always) be ordered to pay "special and extraordinary expenses" under s.7 of the Child Support Guidelines. This definitely includes childcare costs (it's the first thing on the enumerated list!) and basically whatever extracurricular sport/activity the custodial parent decides to enroll the kids in (unless it's something insanely expensive and ridiculous like private saxophone lessons from Kenny G) However, Dick is actually a little off the mark when he says the 2 parents "split" the expenses, as that implies the costs are shared equally or 50/50. This is not the case. Special and Extraordinary expenses are actually shared by the parties in proportion to their income. To illustrate with an example: Divorced couple, 2 kids, both in daycare at a cost of $600/mnth. (I would assume daycare is actually much costlier than this.) If Dad earns $100K and Mom earns $50K, (assume Mom has primary custody, kids reside with her - not a stretch) - This would lead to s.7 expenses being shared at a 2:1 ratio. Dad would pay about $1300/month in regular support payments plus $400 as his share of the childcare costs. This represents about $20K out of his NET income, none of which is deductible by Dad. That's the part I find irksome - if Mom's not paying the full cost of childcare, why should she get to claim the whole amount? Seems odd.
  68. Ralph Wilton from Canada writes: It is the courts that both start this process and then allow it to continue unabated. The solution is very simple equal shared parenting time and truly loving our children in an unselfish manner. It is time for equality across the board.
  69. Buck Russell from ELECT FAMILY COURT JUDGES NOW!, Canada writes: I know from personal experience that Ontario's Family Courts are nothing but insane asylums, where jurists practice krytocrisy (judge-made law) to a shameless degree. No rules, simply social engineering based on individual judges' personal views of what is "fair". Some of them are deeply disturbed people, enjoying their power when they think nobody is looking. We need to elect them, and remove the ones who are completely out of control.
  70. Cait Beattie from Montreal, Canada writes: According to the judge, "Experts tell us that many alienating parents are suffering from personality disorders, and would not be amenable to a co-parenting arrangement." Surely someone with a personality disorder who is unwilling to grant access to the other parent does not have the best interests of the child(ren) at heart. Whether male or female, a parent who flouts court rulings, denies access and alienates the other parent should risk losing custody. Regarding tax issues: It used to be the case that non-custodial parents could deduct support payments for tax purposes, while custodial parents didn't get any tax relief. Now the situation has been reversed, and it is the custodial parent who gets the entire deduction. What would be so complicated about permitting parents to share tax relief? This seems like a no-brainer.
  71. Fake Name from Canada writes: So basically, what all of this means to young men: 1) Don't get married / cohabitate. 2) If you're stupid enough not to follow Rule 1, for heaven's sake don't father children. When our society finds its birth rate plummeting over the next decade or so, the Family Court establishment is no doubt going to act completely blameless.
  72. M B from Calgary, Canada writes: I feel really badly for those that have suffered at the hands of their spouse - male and female - within the family law system. I've known both mothers and fathers that have lost out because of the demise of their marriages. But I also feel badly for those working within the family law system as well. These are just men and women trying to do their best for their clients and the litigants in front of them. They are flawed, as we all are, but they are certainly not the evil that people are making them out to be. If you are so concerned about facing the court system - then don't! Work it out with your ex. And yes, I understand that it is sometimes the spouse that forces the issue, but don't blame it on the system that can't make it work for you if you can't make it work for yourself. How can they possibly make decisions for you that are better than the ones you can make for yourself? This is one of the most brutal areas of law - there is so much emotion in every decision made. And no one can ever win - it is the end of a relationship, of a way of life, and your hope about what the future could hold. I have to say that I admire the people that work in the system. They deal with this amount of bitterness and nastiness and haven't yet lost their minds. I certainly couldn't do it!
  73. t t from Barrie, Canada writes: "Sorry man, but the 1950's are done and they're not coming back!" Sad. One look at the filth you see on MTV these days gives you a glimpse of values people will have in the future. Can't wait to see what's next after gay marriages and common law marriages: polygamy, incest or beastiality perhaps? LOL! How can you possibly come up with a counter-argument to incest when you support gay marriage? Anyway, back on topic. Fake name, I agree with you completely. The sad thing is the young men reading these articles will still walk down the altar thinking that this could not happen to them. No young man in their right mind living in Canada or the US should bring a child into this world. Unfortunately, this "looking out for number one" mentality is here to stay, and you'd be a fool not to follow it. Why not list the actual expenses of the child and award child support accordingly. You read stories on GandB and the star of how the father's payments increased because he started to earn a much bigger salary, doing what every person should be doing in a career (working harder, getting an increase of pay). This is not sustainable, and as far as society is concerned, the chicken will come home to roost.
  74. Patrick The Christian Warrior from Canada writes: Fake Name, your response is typical of today’s generation and that explains why so many whither their lives away; childless, alone, helpless, hopeless, broke, and living out their remaining lives in sad little old age homes. It’s so sad and it makes my heart bleed every time I think of how sad a state our country is in. It’s been quite evident that Satan has completely taken over our judicial system on family law, to ensure the bitter break-up of marriages and family, and to ensure our next generation growing up lost and fatherless. This is what God said in the Bible, in Ecclesiastes 7:26 “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a snare, whose heart is a trap and whose hands are chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare” >>> There is hope in this verse; Godly men can escape the woman snare. For all the good men out there, have hope, there are plenty of good women out there, and you just have to get to know God better. If you receive God into your heart, you will have God’s wisdom and be able to see with the Holy Spirit, you can see the women with their snare miles and miles away.
  75. You (Mike Murphy, from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada) wrote: @ M B from Calgary, Canada writes: ___________________________________________________________ I know you are trying to be reasonable but you are also being naive. Parental Alienation, one of the main thrusts of the article and the lead off, is perpetrated by a parent who hates their partner more than they love their children. You cannot reason with such a person unless the sanctions are such they will lose custody. That is not the case currently and only those with deep pockets can litigate it. That is not the case in Belgium. In 2006, Belgium introduced laws that make parenting time equal after separation. Withholding a child from the other parent in their shared parenting system in Belgium is viewed as abduction and the withholding parent of either gender goes to jail. That is what will reduce hostility. The incentives are removed. Our judges continue to incentivize, in particular females, with their 9-1 custody ratio. This is the basis for the hostile environment children are place in. Support is not involved unless there is a wide disparity in income when time is 50-50. If time is different than 50-50 then the parties work on the payment arrangement and present it to the judge. The child support administration moved on to do other work and does not care about the changes. A feminist Justice Minister was involved who was divorced. She wanted her ex husband to share parenting. It was interfering with her career and so it was selfish on her part but had a positive outcome for all affected. The lobbying with the right government in place, in this case, a centre right party, was a catalyst, particularly given the feminist Minister's stance. Yelling victim, victim, victim was not productive. All of the above including some serendipity came together. In Belgium parents have a constitutional right as parents. The state only gets involved if the parents cannot come to a decision but judges want it to be close to 50-50.
  76. You (Mike Murphy, from Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada) wrote: Patrick The Christian Warrior from Canada writes: _____________________________________________________________ I know you mean well but gee Patrick don't you think human adults are responsible for their own actions and that your God is just watching and scratching his head about why he even created these little earthly cretins. I'm a believer in free will and frankly there may not even be a God as you describe him/her. By the way Patrick is your God a man or a woman? You quote the bible but did you know it is the worlds most quoted book of fiction. Do you actually believe the God in the Old Testament, the greatest mass killer of all time, is the God you believe in. He/she "wasted" every human on earth but one family? Save your proselytizing for other forums. This one is about a dysfunctional system of family law created and administered by humans not Gods.

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