Judge rules mom is milking her parental rights with breastfeeding defence
If you refuse to wean, then get a machine, an Ontario Superior Court judge has told a mother who used her breastfeeding schedule as a technique to deny access to her baby's father.
Jennifer Johne and Carl Cavannah met at a wedding on Aug. 27, 2005. Their brief affair resulted in a baby girl being born on June 16, 2006.
After the child was born, Mr. Cavannah quit his job teaching special-needs children and moved to Collingwood, Ont., to be closer to his daughter. He started making voluntary child-support payments, took parenting courses and pored over baby books.
However, Mr. Cavannah's intensive efforts to become a fully involved parent were thwarted, in part, by a rigorous breast-feeding schedule imposed by Ms. Johne.
"The child is now more than 29 months of age and is still being breastfed," Mr. Justice Alan Ingram wrote in an eight-page ruling.
"Jen believed strongly - through medical advice - in the merits of breastfeeding. However, the breastfeeding has a secondary impact upon Carl in that it is used as an excuse to restrict his access."
Judge Ingram quoted from an e-mail that Ms. Johne, a 35-year-old artist, sent to Mr. Cavannah shortly after the baby was born.
"A baby belongs with its mother, and if you had an understanding of the needs of a fully breast-fed baby and truly had [her] interests at heart, you would not be bringing this subject up again," she stated in the e-mail.
Given her intransigence, Judge Ingram said that Mr. Cavannah, 42, had been remarkably patient.
"Jen has been unwilling to give a timetable as to when the breastfeeding will end," Judge Ingram said. "But now, the time has come for Jen to have greater consideration for the relationship between the child and Carl. If she used a breast pump and provided the milk to Carl, he would be willing to give it to [the child]."
The judge also praised the child's parents. "She has two parents who have made her the centre of their lives, unusual in that this was an unplanned pregnancy between two parents who had a brief relationship and had not committed to having children," he said.
Under the Children's Law Reform Act, a mother and father are equally entitled to custody of a child. When an access dispute breaks out, judges use a list of criteria to determine whether or not to depart from an equal-access regime.
Judge Ingram ruled that Ms. Johne and Mr. Cavannah's child would be best served by a 50/50 access arrangement.
"As soon as Jen realizes that she is one of two equal parents and the parties find a form of communication, they should be able to get on with their common goal of facilitating and encouraging [the child] to reach her full potential," he said.
Phil Epstein, a family lawyer expert, described the ruling as "one which will be of comfort to involved fathers who wish to be equal parents."
Mr. Cavannah declined to discuss the case, and Ms. Johne could not be reached for comment.
However, Ms. Johne's lawyer, Carol Allen, noted in an interview that it is very difficult to argue in favour of a continuation of breast-feeding after a child is two years old since pumping is a viable alternative.
Ms. Allen said that her client may soon be returning to court because she is dissatisfied with Judge Ingram's solution to the access issue.
"The schedule allowed the father to work four days a week, and then have the child from Thursday to Sunday or Monday night," Ms. Allen said. "That leaves the mom with no weekend time. It is probably going to have to be revisited. It's unfortunate."
Ms. Johne lives in a small town about 20 minutes from Collingwood, where she helps her mother operate a small daycare.
Mother used her breastfeeding schedule as a technique to deny access to baby's father ...Read the full article
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- Frank Madigan from Capreol, Canada writes: Judge: Well done. The mother should be happy she has a sperm donor who loves his child.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 7:43 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- tom g from upper ottawa valley, Canada writes: The story is a piece of news in the public interest. The story also seems perilously close to transgression on privacy. The story also is decently written. But who wrote the headline and why? I thought every first year journalism student learns that writing stupid cute puns in headlines is poor professional journalism. G&M writers and editors should just tell their stories and leave the cute behind with their adolescence years. Grow up! Otherwise, it is difficult to take the Globe as a serious national voice.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 7:49 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- A Smith from Toronto, Canada writes: @Ken Cowan from Paris. I agree with you about the decision - it's a good one. However, as someone who has been an interested follower of cases regarding men's custody rights, I could not disagree with you more about the gender of judge's and its impact on decisions. Far and away the worst, most tunnel-visioned and unfair (to men) custody decisions have been made by male judges throughout the years. Remember that female judges only came to the bench in any numbers very recently.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 7:54 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Conservatives Lie from Canada writes: Excellent ruling! Sexist women like this one who believe that 'children belong to their mother' need to be set straight. Parents, regardless of gender, have an equal right to be in their children's lives. After all, men must make equal, if not greater, financial contributions to their children if the couple were apart. Why then should they not have equal access. By the way, breastfeeding a 29 month old? Give it up! This kid is 2.5 years old! It's time to stop breastfeeding.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 7:58 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- rob womack from Canada writes: This judge's ruling was released back in December. Why is it news four months later?
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:03 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- David Beentheredonethat from Canada writes: That women is a selfish, controlling, self interested and self-serving person who really does not have the best interests of her child at heart, regardless of what she says or does. A good decision by a competent judge. I am frankly amazed (almost shocked). Could this be the start of a trend of fairness in the courts for disagreeing ex-spouses? We can only hope... but I doubt it.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:24 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Derek Holtom from Swan River, Canada writes: The kind of crap that people do and makes news in this country...
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:32 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Andrea Dufferin from Canada writes: 'However, Ms. Johne's lawyer, Carol Allen, noted in an interview that it is very difficult to argue in favour of a continuation of breast-feeding after a child is two years old since pumping is a viable alternative.' Did I read that right? TWO YEARS OLD AND STILL BREASTFEEDING?
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:42 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Susan Wilson from Canada writes: As a lactation consultant I fully appreciate the benefit of breastfeeding, however that does not discount the benefit of sharing a relationship with a committed father who will love and support her. Kudos to the judge for a fair decision. Indeed breast milk can be expressed, and fed to her by cup at this point in time without interfering with the ability to continue breastfeeding.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:47 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: Tiffany, i think you misunderstood what i meant. What i meant was that by having artifical insemination the father would not be present in the baby's life since he would not even know he had a baby. Of course there is father always, unless we start cloning babies. haha Anyway i think she is a terrible mother. Glad the father got visiting rights. Man this guy has been patient enough with her. Does she think a baby is private property. HOW SELFISH. HURRAH FOR THE FATHER.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:48 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: Second thought - Sounds like this mother would be breastfeeding this girl right up to graduation prom. hahahhah - JUST TO KEEP THE FATHER FROM SEEING HER. Smarten up lady -
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:50 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Give peace a chance from Canada writes: Tiffany, 'Sent off to Whose-gives-a-crapistan'...very cleaver! Ya gotta love it. The kind of woman i could spend some time with, one with a great wit and sense of humour. Oops...sorry, i should stick to the story here. The mother of this young daughter is a repulsive representative of the female gender. Young girls are often portrayed as lovely innocent kind thoughtful little princesses. And the are when they're 4. Then the realities of the real world slowly settle in and a woman's true character is revealed to the world. Damn! I hate it when that happens. Evil does as evil sees. This father is a gem, and should be appreciated and respected. Now who's this Tiffany princess? The beach eh?
- Posted 27/04/09 at 8:55 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Another Option canada from Canada writes: Sounds to me like this woman planned to have a fatherless child then was taken by suprise that the 'man' wanted to be involved. Oh dear a man how actualy wants to be with his child. This concept probably rocked her feminist world. This poor guy will be in and out of court for years with this selfish woman.. The Lush League is probably all over this one..
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:09 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Squish_a_p From BC from Canada writes: My children were alienated by a selfish father who was so angry with me for leaving him he used his children to try and punish me. He did not have custody, I did. He also did not pay child support. I could not afford to go back to court. Every hour I spent with a lawyer took a week or more groceries off our table. He has damaged the kids irreparably. Parental alienation is so damaging to the children. This father has a right to be part of the child's life and if the mother is smart and truly wants the best for her child, she will allow the child to have a wonderful relationship with her father.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:13 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Dave Leggit from Montreal, Canada, Canada writes: Holy cow! A judge with a brain and a woman too. Good to see a father get the respect he deserves concerning a child. Some women think that just because they bear a child it gives them more rights than a father. With this particular situation, we see that is not the case. Let's hope other judges understand this and that fathers will be treated as they should when it comes to child support.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:30 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Political Solutions from Kitchener, Canada writes: Some parents and they're childish temper tantrums towards their ex disgust me. People that keep their children from their other parent should face lawsuits.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:31 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: Haven't read the comments but my daughter was still occasionnally breastfeeding when she turned four and I've never seen a healthier human being in my life. And she's never had a vaccination. Work something out, but don't undercut the importance of breastfeeding. Another reason divorce isn't something to be taken lightly.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:34 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- rob womack from Canada writes: here is the ruling. you can read it yourself. http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2008/2008canlii65587/2008canlii65587.html
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:39 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: Andrea Dufferin from Canada writes: 'Did I read that right? TWO YEARS OLD AND STILL BREASTFEEDING? ' Yeah, you read right - you're just not thinking right. It didn't say 'exclusively breastfeeding'. Two years is a good minimum length. Solids are introduced between 6 months and a year, without eliminating breastfeeding, of course.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:40 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- G Finn from Canada writes: Breast-feeding children past 2 years of age does some serious damage to their self-esteem and social skills. Studies have been done, and I see it all the time in my line of work. This mother will do much more damage to this child past the early years though, by the sounds of it.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:43 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- John Ryan from Toronto, Canada writes: Wow. I have never seen a comment forum in the Globe, or anywhere really, where virtually everyone agrees (for the most part)! That everyone seems to agree is extremely encouraging to me as a separated father. Unfortunately justice doesn't come cheap. One day in court will typically cost thousands of dollars for each parent. And negotiations, done presumably to stay out of court, still cost thousands per day. To make matters worse, lawyers will take ridiculous positions when negotiating (positions they know a judge would laugh at) because it is all done 'without prejudice' so there are no consequences to being unrealistic. For example, my ex's lawyer, when negotiating financial matters, said her client may suffer from a mental illness that might prevent her from working the rest of her life so I could potentially be required to pay spousal support for life (after a 5 year marriage, which would typically see 2.5 years of spousal support). But the same lawyer argues that her client is the much more capable parent to the degree that I should only see my son every other weekend. How one can reconcile these two arguments is beyond comprehension. Fortunately I had a good lawyer (but $400 an hour!) and everything worked-out, for the most part. Unfortunately, not even a marriage contract (pre-nuptial) can help you avoid a custody battle. You cannot negotiate custody before it is actually necessary. This does make sense because circumstances can easily change and the child's best interests must be taken into consideration if and when the time comes. I would recommend, however, for anyone who knows they would want equal custody to their hypothetical children to marry a person that works about the same as you. Not only will there be a precedence set that both parents work and care for the child about equally but statistics show that relatively equal parents (income, intelligence etc.) are much more likely to agree on equal access without going to court.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 9:43 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Ocean Lover from Canada writes: I really support long term breastfeeding but agree that by 29 months, the BF relationship should not impact the father's time with the child. It's much different than when a child is younger and drinks only breastmilk. The comments about how breastfeeding past 2 does damage are just ignorant, though. We're mammals. Get over it. and do some research. G. Finn, why don't you cite your studies. I'd love to see them. Also see the WHO recommendation while you're at it.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:00 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Rick C from Calgary, Canada writes: It's nice to see every now and then the courts don't screw up a decision
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:11 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Interest from the West from Canada writes: Leon Russell: I would think hard about your decision to not vaccinate your child. She may be healthy now, but her Mom can't nurse her forever and you don't want to have to deal with the guilt and the consequences of forgoing immunization. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:14 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- B T from Everywhere man.., Canada writes: Political Solutions from Kitchener, Canada writes: Some parents and they're childish temper tantrums towards their ex disgust me. People that keep their children from their other parent should face lawsuits. Posted 27/04/09 at 9:31 AM EDT | Alert an Editor | Link to Comment I agree. We have a situation in our family where the mother kidnapped the child, got married, got knocked up, had her parent (paralegal with ethics lower than a harlot) falsely endorse waiver of custody to her only, then to search/find the child, pay for their stuff, have phone mesages deleted or not answered, thei kid lied too on a continous basis, see them and have the woman's new boyfriend (who she slept with during her brief marriage to the man who beat the child) no longer allow continuous visits. The new boyfriend used the mother in law and is not permitted to see his own child and is taking that jealousy out on our family. SURE call child welfare, get a lawyer.. but they call the parents prior to the 'drop in' and the system does not work anyhow. So, what are people left with?? a warped system that does not work on the worst of cases and children wondering why a parent doesn't love them when they do but are thwarted by selfishness.. and money. So this ruling - very good start. Breastfeeding at two years.. come on. Can one say separation issues and it is not the infant???
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:19 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Patricia Smith from Canada writes: hear hear Ocean Lover. I believe the world wide average age for breastfeeding is around 4. Which indicates that the only people for whom long-term breastfeeding does any damage are those of us stuck in an uptight, distorted society who dare to call this natural process obscene.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:20 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Amber E from Canada writes: Another Option canada from Canada writes: 'Sounds to me like this woman planned to have a fatherless child then was taken by suprise that the 'man' wanted to be involved.' I actually don't believe she planned to have a fatherless child. A woman who does that doesn't contact the father to let him know she is pregnant (how else would he know?). Likely just unplanned...nonetheless she appears selfish and he is a gem for wanting to be involved.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:23 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- R OBryan from Canada writes: True Patriot from Canada writes: LOL! The father actually needed to take a course on parenting. How sad. The idiots out there who reproduce are truly frightening. ****************************************************** It is sad how a naive person can believe one cannot learn from educating oneself. i wonder who the idiot really is?
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:26 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: Interest from the West from Canada writes: 'Leon Russell: I would think hard about your decision to not vaccinate your child. She may be healthy now, but her Mom can't nurse her forever and you don't want to have to deal with the guilt and the consequences of forgoing immunization. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. ' She's now eight. None of the things she would have been vaccinated for will bother her now. Here's how the decision was made: 1.) The child is breastfed exclusively for the first 8 months, will not be exposed to daycare/promiscuous situations till 3 or 4 at least, will not be stepping on rusty nails or exposed to open sewage for a while (tetanus and diptheria - diptheria not even a problem for the majority who have not had their boosters). 2.) Mercury compounds in all the vaccinations at that time. Controversial. When you have all that straightened out let me know. When all the factors were weighed and after at least 100 hours of research trying to understand the half-truths on both sides of the debate, whooping cough was the only real threat, for the first few months, since breastfeeding provides little benefit against it. We took our chances on that, but not nearly as many as if we'd exposed her to the chemical, monkey protein and heavy metal soup of a normal vaccination schedule.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:34 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- J J from Kelowna, Canada writes: Good decision by the court. I don't agree with the anti-woman tone of many messages. There are many good mothers and many women that are very concerned about justice for men and women. There are also men and women who are terribly hurt by a life that went far different from what they expected, and can't get over the pain of that to work cooperatively with their co-parent. I also disagree with True Patriot's insinuation that we all know how to parent by instinct. In the past we were surrounded by children and parents, and learned a lot by watching. Now most of us don't have that, and can really benefit by both taking parenting courses and making a point to be involved in the lives of children, even if they are not our own.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:40 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Nature Lover from Canada writes: By the time a child is 2.5 they don't NEED to breastfeed. They get and digest nutrition from many other sources. The mother can easily continue breastfeeding the child with interuptions in the sched if she expresses in the child's absence. Could be a win-win if the mother had some compassion for the father AND child. Sounds like a tug of war issue with the child at the centre of it. Nothing really to do with breastfeeding at all, if this woman had the intelligence to effectively manage the situation.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:46 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Master T from Burlington, Canada writes: What a relief to hear a court ruling in favour of a MAN for a change. This guy by all accounts in this article sounds like a stand-up guy (voluntary child support payments, quitting his job and moving to be close to his daughter, etc). What woman wouldn't want THAT? One looking for a sperm donor without the attached cost of insemintation. A friend of mine married a woman like this - only his judge did't rule in his favour because 'a baby belongs with its mother'. This is one uplifting story, but courts in these matters are still strongly anti men.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 10:54 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: Nature Lover from Canada writes: 'By the time a child is 2.5 they don't NEED to breastfeed. They get and digest nutrition from many other sources. ' It's not just about nutrition. Given your name, it's ironic that you don't know more about the psychological benefits and the transmission of antibodies from the mother.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:01 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- M j from Canada writes: True Patriot, we're all glad that you're not reproducing then. Our parenting courses taught us that it's not nice to randomly spew bilious comments. More factually, our society has largely abandoned the communal rearing strategy that successfully teaches parenting skills in other parts of the world. We leave our kids at daycare or school while we work, then pick them up and take them home alone. We don't have much opportunity to see other parents in action, except perhaps at the mall or playground. So while we have all the best intentions, many of us know nothing more about parenting than we've picked up from our own parents, or from media. North Americans, probably more than any other culture in the world right now, most definitely need parenting lessons. What can babies eat? How do you change a diaper? Which cleaning/care products are child safe? What is a baby's normal temperature? What should the baby's diaper waste look like? How should a baby be held for most comfort? What is the proper way to swaddle a baby? When should toilet training start? All questions that none of us can answer by instinct, and most people don't know before their first child. You have to respect the father in this story who wants to be the best he can for his child and is smart enough to realize that a class might help. From that alone, he's demonstrated that he's probably not the sort of parent that actually NEEDS a parenting class.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:02 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Nature Lover from Canada writes: Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: It's not just about nutrition. Given your name, it's ironic that you don't know more about the psychological benefits and the transmission of antibodies from the mother. ___________ Umm, a child of this age can take a weekend off from breastfeeding and not suffer any ill effects or STARVE. That is my point. The mother can resume her feeing sched after the kid gets home. She can send along expressed milk too, if she so desires. No biggy. Even tiny infants can do THAT. It;s not a debate about breastfeeding, only the management thereof.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:18 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Interest from the West from Canada writes: Leon Russell: Best of luck, so far you seem to have had good karma. You're exposing your family (and your precious little girl) to a potential world of hurt though, there are no take-backs when you decide you know better than your pediatrician. BTW, don't trust the internet to educate you. Everybody has an opinion and anybody can make sophist arguments that seem so right. Especially if you start your logic process with a bias.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:19 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Matthew Ottewell from Edmonton, Canada writes: First off: Parenting after separation classes are mandatory in many provinces. In provinces where it is not mandated, there are only exceptional circumstances where it is not required. Second: The father had a bad lawyer in the beginning to let it get that far out of hand. Third: The courts are not anti-men. It is ALWAYS judge specific. The courts are often anti-deadbeat dad...which is the scenario 90% of the time when child support or spousal support is not being paid.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:20 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- S Piercey from Orangeville, Canada writes: Excellent judgement. It is very nice to see the judicial system beginning to acknowlege the rights of BOTH parents. To quote Chris Rock ' You don't need a man to have a child........you can probably drive a car with your feet too........it doesn't mean it's necessarily a good idea' Now, as for the breastfeeding debate going on. Good god!! Yes the world average for breast feeding is 4. We are not the 3rd world. Evolution has seen fit for the child to have teeth with which to masticate their food, let them. I'm all for bonding with your child, but get real folks, there are lots of other ways to do that. My mom once said...'If the child can ask for it.......it's probably time to stop.'
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:30 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: As said before i live in Europe and a mother of two. Over here in the old continent, things like what babies eat, diapers, how to hold him, when to get him off milk, what diet to follow etc. All the common sense things that unless someone tells you make no sense - WELL ALL OF THESE THINGS ARE LEARNED AT YOUR LOCAL PEDIATRICIAN. ON each and every scheduled visit, the pediatrician will tell you starting from day one what to do and how to do it. They will counsel you as to when to start the baby on solids, what to feed him, what not to feed him to avoid allergies etc. Also each and every hospital has prenatal courses where a mother is taught these things as well. Wish canada had such a system. And i may add that all vaccinations are totally FREE. And i could go on and on and on as to how babies and children in general are well looked after over here. There is a pediatrician assigned to each baby as they are born and this doctor will follow him through to adolescence. AND ITS ALL FREE.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:31 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Patricia Smith from Canada writes: S Piercy, your opinion is just that. An opinion. Let the rest of us do what we feel is in the best interests of our own children without having to fend off your personal judgments. For crying out loud, there are so many horrible, abusive, neglectful things that parents can do to their children and you decide to pick on those of us who choose to breastfeed long-term because we think it makes our kids healthier physically and emotionally.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:39 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: Two and a half years is definitely too much to breastfeed. Look i breeast fed my youngest child up to almost 11/2 years and he go MENINGITIS and Pneumonia. The oldest child which i only breastfed for 3 months never had any of these almost deadly illnesses. ?????????
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:43 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Rain Couver from Canada writes: Wow, such absolutely ridiculous comments by people who are obviously not parents. Different children, even in the same family, develop in different ways. Some children stop breast feeding at 6 months, some at 1 year, some at two years, etc. So 2.5 years is not beyond the realm of bad parenting. We knew of a woman still breast feeding at the age of 6, but that was more a freaky mother issue than a child need issue, especially if the child has to be topped up before going to kindergarten with other consequences such as breast milk literally decaying the child's teeth. Basically, if the child can ask for milk in full sentences you might have let this go on for too long, about 2 years /- 6 months. However, to use breast feeding as an excuse to deny access to a father who is committed to his daughter should be criminal. There are pumps and silicone bottles that mimic the feel and feel of a real breast, if that is truly an issue. I hope this father continues to fight this flighty and selfish mother.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:46 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Denis Pakkala from St. Catharines, Canada writes: Although the Children's Law Reform Act states that the joint custody is the preferred outcome, this is not always the case and this is not the same as the Presumption of Equal Shared Parenting. A parent who is the primary caregiver (usually the Mother) can create additional arguments and conflict to scuttle any possibility of Joint Custody or Shared Parenting. Even if it is convincingly proven that the vindictive primary caregiver (usually the Mother) has engaged in an abusive campaign of parental conflict, Family Law Case Precedent will award full custody to the vindictive primary caregiver every time. In summary, the Ontario Family Law Courts (Judges) are responsible for enabling and encouraging further parental conflict, rather than helping parents who want to be fully involved with their children.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:46 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Sue W from Canada writes: geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: As said before i live in Europe and a mother of two.....Wish canada had such a system If you live in Europe why would you care about the systems in Canada?
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:46 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- S Piercey from Orangeville, Canada writes: Miss Smith. That is the whole purpose of a 'comments' section. To provide opinions / arguements, to promote discussion. If everyone agrees, then it's not a comments area, but a fan site. Your choices are your own. I was not abusive in my language, nor was I picking on any one person in the postings. As far as breastfeeding long term...go ahead. There are as many studies confiming that it's healthy, as there are indicating that your actions have less to do with the child, than your own issue. ( Again, not picking on you, or any other poster, just pointing out that the arguement exists). If you don't want to participate in a discussion with people who don't hold the same viewpoint as you, fine. There are lots of other sites with chat rooms and forums where you can nod your head to your hearts content.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:52 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: Interest from the West from Canada writes: 'Leon Russell: Best of luck, so far you seem to have had good karma. You're exposing your family (and your precious little girl) to a potential world of hurt though, there are no take-backs when you decide you know better than your pediatrician. BTW, don't trust the internet to educate you. Everybody has an opinion and anybody can make sophist arguments that seem so right. Especially if you start your logic process with a bias. ' Well, don't you take the cake for condescension? I would be exposing my precious little girl to a world of hurt that many have experienced by NOT asking questions and NOT doing the research. And my pediatrician agrees with me, by the way. He agrees that people should make up their own mind after looking at their own family's personal lifestyle and situation. The cookie-cutter dogma designed to scare us into line with our sleeves rolled up does not create the best outcomes for everyone. And my logic process was absolutely not begun with a bias. I naturally expected my child to be vaccinated until a chance comment piqued my curiosity and I looked into it. You do know that for someone with good research skills and a good deal of common sense, the Internet is a very good way to learn about up-to-date studies and be exposed to a diversity of opinion. But it was certainly not my only source. You can tell me the list of ingredients in each vaccine in the schedule? Well, eight years ago, I could.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:53 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- mike griffin from Ottawa, Canada writes: I don't know where to start with this none sense. This woman's irresponsible behavior has likely stigmatized the child beyond redress already. It is my view that the judge should review the circumstances leading to the birth of the child that will almost certainly reveal a disingenuous history that is rooted in the toxic tenants of the infants grandmother. The theme beneath this woman's spurious contention come to rest with the child firmly indoctrinated with the principle that a child is a possession of the mother and by extension, the grandmother. All mammals must learn to live among their own and the hope of that skill for this child is poisoned by the embedded mistrust cultivated by the mother and probably her mother. The only possible conclusion the child could grasp to warrant such an attitude is that her valiant mother was gruesomely violated by one of those evil males. Notwithstanding the purulent pleasure this coven of gender challenged Sapphos delight in, the father is unlikely to bring to judgment the woman's candidacy as a fit mother. Any person so determined to smash a reasonable man's dream of becoming a loving father, and props up this campaign by repeating an abject lie before a court, at the risk of a child's sanity is perpetrating moral turpitude. Children are very aware of themselves being used as an instrument born to inflict suffering and tend to develop that skill as a vocation...ask Jen. Mothers are entitled to nurse infants at public pools, libraries ect., provided they exercise some discretion with young boys present in the interests of proud nursing mothers' right to enjoy their lives while supporting an intense feeding regimen, but this act is harmful to just about anyone exposed to it. I sincerely hope the children in that daycare have not experienced any negative changes in the relationships with their fathers! There are multitudes of children that dream of having someone like Carl for a father but Carl loves this one.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:57 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Matthew Ottewell from Edmonton, Canada writes: Denis Pakkala: Case Precedent is overruled by new legislation. But I can sense you have some personal grudge against the court system.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:57 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- New World from Canada writes: Kudos to the father. Good man.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:57 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Matthew Ottewell from Edmonton, Canada writes: How did this move from a conversation about Family Law to one concerning vaccination? /If you don't vaccinate your child you are retarded.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 11:59 AM EDT | Link to Comment
- Kimberly Stevenson from Collingwood, Canada writes: As someone who knows the mother in this case, I have to say that I am very surprised by the bias of this article and the ignorance and apparent lack of intelligence expressed in many of the comments. You cannot believe everything that you read. This custody battle has not been the result of Ms. Johne's behaviour alone. The father in this case has done some very stupid and vidictive things since this all began and the fact that this did not come to light in this article makes me very upset. He is not a saint in all of this and to paint him as such, is ridiculous. Perhaps the reporter should have waited until Ms. Johne could be contacted before deciding to put this to print many weeks after the ruling. Then, there could have been fair representation of both sides of the custody dispute. The comments just further solidify in my mind that this world is filled with stupid and ignorant people. This is why you cannot believe most of what you read and you should seek out further information before pretending to know what it is that you are talking about. As for the breastfeeding comments, those are matters of personal opinion. Some people choose to breastfeed for different reasons and it is no one else's business. To target women who choose to continue past a period of what you may deem to be 'acceptable' is arrogant...like you have all of the answers for what is right in the world? Spare me! This article reminds me of why I have to judge very carefully what it is that I am reading.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:01 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Dennis sinneD from Calgary, Canada writes: The child is the important person in this story! Good for her. I'm glad the judge ruled sensibly.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:02 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: To sue - well i do care because i am a canadian citizen and my son lives in canada. I do care if my country does well or not whether i live there or not. It's like living away from your family, you still love them and want the best for them don't you.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:06 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Interest from the West from Canada writes: Leon Russell: Peace. I'm not trying to be condecending. I've seen the consequences of forgoing immunization however and that's why I sent you a worried missive. I know I shouldn't care because we're strangers, but I can't help myself. I would also worry if your pediatrician is unable to advise you of the best course of action. Yes, we are all free to decide for ourselves what we want to do, but your pediatrician should be capable of explaining what the better choices are. Agreeing with you that people should be able to make up their own minds is not the same as agreeing with you that immunizations are bad.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:12 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- D. Hall from Canada writes: True Patriot from Canada writes: People who need to take courses to be parents are idiots. They shouldn't reproduce. Case closed In my experience, the biggest idiots on earth are those who don't think they need to learn anything. They also tend to think that their statement on a topic is all anyone ever needs before 'case closed'.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:20 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Buck Russell from Canada writes: Case precedent in Ontario's Family Court wasn't followed in a case I know all too well- and it was a case from the Supreme Court of Canada. Neither was clear and unequivocal legislation. The judge even acknowledged this in her reasons, but did what she wanted anyway! Her approach was 'Go ahead and appeal if you want'. Looks like justice was served in this instance but usually it is a 'Wild West' of judge made law based on personal views of social and economic justice, not anything resembling actual law.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:20 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Dan Shortt from Toronto, Canada writes: .... And why are the comments closed for the other story about the guy paying the $1500/month spousal support?
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:22 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Matthew Ottewell from Edmonton, Canada writes: Kimberley Stevenson: Perhaps you should have read the court decision. If you are speaking of a lack of objectivity, perhaps you should realize you have a personal friendship with the mother and...shock...you are also siding with the mother. Isn't that convenient?
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:22 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Rob Bairos from Toronto, Canada writes: Wow. A family court case in which a father is treated as an equal citizen under the eyes of the law. Lets hope this trend continues, and the pervasive apartheid against fathers in this country comes to an end.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:23 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Leon Russell from Gatineau, Qc, Canada writes: Matthew Ottewell from Edmonton, Canada writes: 'How did this move from a conversation about Family Law to one concerning vaccination? ' I guess because the two subjects are related '/If you don't vaccinate your child you are retarded. ' An eighth-grader couldn't have said it better.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:28 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Andrew Dice Clay from Toronto, Canada writes: This women doesn't realize that when her daughter grows up she will be able to read / research all of this. I am sure she will see how much her father wanted to be part of her life and how much he loved her. She won't appreciate the fact her mother tried to keep him away. News flash............girl turns eighteen, moves in with Dad.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:38 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Eat Your Weedies from Canada writes: The 'baby' is 29 MONTHS! Haha! Puhlease. This woman is a piece of work. 29 MONTHS! I can't get over that. I can't believe this woman can be such a tool as to limit the child's access to a father for the sake of breastmilk. I think this kid is going to have larger problems with an over-bearing micro-managerial mother as the years pass. Good to the father for being so patient for his daughter's sake. He's going to need more.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:46 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: NEWS FLASH 2- graduating student cannot attend prom dance because she needs to go home and breastfeed. Our society is going to the dogs.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 12:59 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- J W from Canada writes: Well done! Good news for everyone here. Its so nice to see fathers so eager to spend time with their young children. This child is very lucky and I'm glad we are moving toward a judicial system that values the roles fathers play in families and society.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:00 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- John Ryan from Toronto, Canada writes: Kimberly Stevenson from Collingwood: If you know the mother I can understand why you might be upset with this article. Setting that aside, you have to admit that your opinion is biased in this case unlike (presumably and hopefully) the presiding judge. Stupid and vindictive behaviour do not necessarily have any bearing on a child custody case. On the contrary, courts are not allowed to consider the past conduct of any person unless the conduct is relevant to the ability of that person to act as a parent of the child. I haven’t read the ruling but if this father’s behaviour was relevant, the judge would have considered and mentioned it. The mother’s behaviour is most certainly relevant and that is what the judgement and this article are based-on. Custody decisions focus exclusively on what is in the child’s best-interests and unreasonably withholding access is definitely not in a child’s best-interests. In fact, every child has a fundamental right to have a relationship with both of his or her parents. And a child’s rights trump any parental rights, including, apparently, the right to choose how long to breast-feed. Even if you assume the right to breast feed is the child’s right, the breast milk does not have to come directly from a breast. The milk can be pumped-out and fed to the child by anyone. True Patriot from Canada writes: 'People who need to take courses to be parents are idiots. They shouldn't reproduce. Case closed' The people on this forum are right to point-out your ignorance but, setting that aside, from a legal perspective, it is definitely advisable for a non-custodial first-time father of a newborn to take a parenting course, whether he is inherently the best or worst parent in the world. Taking the course shows initiative and care. If this guy's lawyer recommended taking a parenting course and he didn't, it would be to his detriment.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:01 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Kimberly Stevenson from Collingwood, Canada writes: Matthew Ottewell...you didn't pay close enough attention to what I wrote OR...you are just putting your own spin on it. Nowhere in my comment did I take sides or suggest that the mother was all right and the father was all wrong. My entire point was that the article did not fairly discuss both parties and their concerns accurately. There is way more to this case than has been discussed here and that is misleading. My concern was about not having all the facts before judging and slandering one individual in a case. I think that THAT is objective.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:09 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Ocean Lover from Canada writes: geraldine veleti from MILAN, Italy writes: NEWS FLASH 2- graduating student cannot attend prom dance because she needs to go home and breastfeed. Our society is going to the dogs. ***************************************************** Your comments are ridiculous. The child is not yet 2.5. She's still a baby. But hey, as you said in a previous post, you get all your information from the doctor instead of researching yourself.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:09 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- John Smith from Ottawa home of corrupt family court judges, Canada writes: Epstien is usually seen representing mothers and lawyers, something that normally goes over very well with the judiciary who are all former lawyers in a position of absolute power to ensure that the Cartel gets its business. Its not the decision that has the story, its the facts that are omitted, which obviously, the Globe in a short article cannot include. When you see 'brief affair', that normally translates into, mother found sperm donor after, setting out on a search for 'the right donor'. These women are normally very successful in their mission. One wonders how Mr. Cavannah could afford his lawyer, who ever funded his litigation, probably his family, deserve Kudos. Ms. Allen crossed the line in breast feeding after two years of age, the medical data just fails to show any real benefit after about the first six months. Some women use the breast feeding excuse till the child is five. If you think that is bad, the same mothers frequently use more devious methods to maintain what they think is bonding, that often includes, sleeping with the child till 8 or 10 years old. And thats probably what Carl Cavannah will have to put up with. check out the research by Peter Roscoe at www.OttawaMensCentre.com on judicial bias Most telling, is the language of the mother, it uses specific language that is recognizable to those who have seen it before, its the language of a cult, a cult promoted by Parliament's failure to legislate a legal presumption of equal parenting.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:11 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- John Smith from Ottawa home of corrupt family court judges, Canada writes: Epstien is usually seen representing mothers and lawyers, something that normally goes over very well with the judiciary who are all former lawyers in a position of absolute power to ensure that the Cartel gets its business. Its not the decision that has the story, its the facts that are omitted, which obviously, the Globe in a short article cannot include. (Check out the research by Peter Roscoe on judicial bias at www.OttawaMensCentre.com / roscoe ) When you see 'brief affair', that normally translates into, mother found sperm donor after, setting out on a search for 'the right donor'. These women are normally very successful in their mission. One wonders how Mr. Cavannah could afford his lawyer, who ever funded his litigation, probably his family, deserve Kudos. Ms. Allen crossed the line in breast feeding after two years of age, the medical data just fails to show any real benefit after about the first six months. Some women use the breast feeding excuse till the child is five. If you think that is bad, the same mothers frequently use more devious methods to maintain what they think is bonding, that often includes, sleeping with the child till 8 or 10 years old. And thats probably what Carl Cavannah will have to put up with. Most telling, is the language of the mother, it uses specific language that is recognizable to those who have seen it before, its the language of a cult, a cult promoted by Parliament's failure to legislate a legal presumption of equal parenting.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:13 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Kimberly Stevenson from Collingwood, Canada writes: John Ryan...the vindictive and stupid behaviour to which I referred was with regard to the custody and care of the child. I should have made that clearer. AND...I didn't mean for anyone to interpret that this behaviour should mean that the father should not have access to the child. I think the article needed to reflect BOTH SIDES.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:14 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- ginny smith from Canada writes: John Smith is full of medical advice this afternoon. Contrary to his assertions, the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of life and longer if possible. This is not at all abnormal. However, Mr. Smith uses this as a diatribe against every woman/mother as though the defendant in this case is representative of them all. The misogyny is astonishing. This woman was obviously causing problems, yes and there's no denying it, but is she representative of all women who breastfeed longer than two years? Hardly. Mr. Smith also puts other bits and pieces into the narrative: by asserting that this woman intended to get pregnant. Maybe she did, maybe she didn't. We have no idea. We do know that both parties obviously intended to engage in sexual intercourse and that a child resulted from this. And in that sense, intent is the same on both sides. And that's ALL we know.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:17 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Ocean Lover from Canada writes: John Smith, your comment that medical data shows no benefit to breatfeeding after 6 months can be refuted by multiple studies. Spend 5 second googling the topic. That's not the point, though. The mother should be able to continue to breastfeed at this stage without impacting the father's time with the child. She may not be able to nurse her as often as either likes, but she should be able to continue at some level.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:17 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Ned Kelly from Ottawa home of corrupt family court judges, Canada writes: Major political parties should take very careful note of all the posts on the Globe's articles on Family Law. In Australia, they also had a feminist family law, until a groundswell of protest brought about major changes that eliminated most contested family law parenting issues. The Legal Cartel, judges and lawyers, are frightened by that prospect and use their absolute power, their voice of Propaganda, Lord Brownstone to promote their own agenda, that is so spectacularly successful, that they don't have enough judges to deal with cases, which runs up billable hours even more. Voters need to remember specifically, that the NDP is the most anti father political party in Canada. Check out the story about Peter Roscoe at www.OttawaMensCentre.com What has happened to him could happen to you next. If the Liberals, recognize this issues of Equal Parenting and the flagrant abuse of judicial power, then they may well win the next election.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:17 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Eric C from Canada writes: Wanna bet she gives up breastfeeding now that the Court gave equal custody to the father? Frankly, breastfeeding past the age of 2 is kind of creepy and a little perverse. What is the mother lacking in her life that she needs to do this to a child? Mothers that do this do it for themselves and not for the child.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:19 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- ginny smith from Canada writes: worth pointing out what most of the commentors neglect to mention - that the judge was complimentary of BOTH parents' care and concern for their child. nto just the dad, but also the mother.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:22 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- Midnight Madness from GTA, Canada writes: You think breastfeeding 24 months is ridiculous, how's about having known someone (no longer my friend obviously my choice) over 5 yrs. and then finding out they're still breast feeding their 5yr. old? The first thought which came to my mind was 'sexual abuse' the second...was placing an anonymous call to the appropriate authorities. I find something terribly wrong with those who refuse to 'wean' them off the breast early on, health testimonials set aside; it's not normal unless one is in a country where of course there are no resources such as formula or breast pumps.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:23 PM EDT | Link to Comment
- John Ryan from Toronto, Canada writes: Kimberly Stevenson from Collingwood, Canada writes: John Ryan...the vindictive and stupid behaviour to which I referred was with regard to the custody and care of the child. I should have made that clearer. AND...I didn't mean for anyone to interpret that this behaviour should mean that the father should not have access to the child. I think the article needed to reflect BOTH SIDES. Fair enough Kimberly. However, it would be hard for the behavior of a non-custodial father who isn't being permitted access to be relevant to his ability to parent; unless he was doing things like witholding support, putting the child in danger (perhaps by doing something like cutting the breaks of the mother's car), attempting to kidnap the child or abusing the mother (verbally or physically) in front of the child. Since the child is so young, the father would not have been able to tell the child untrue things about the mother. You are fundamentally correct though, in that every conflict has at least two sides. If the purpose of this article was to strictly point-out a family law decision that seems more equitable than most then I think the names of the people involved should have been ommitted. The fact that the names were published sort of expanded the article to an examination of the character of the actual people involved and perhaps should have included a broader exploration of the circumstances of both parties.
- Posted 27/04/09 at 1:27 PM EDT | Link to Comment