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.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Wealthy couple in custody dispute

The wealthy have similar problems with divorce as us average people but the amounts at stake are just obscene. The women involved with this man appear to be gold diggers of the highest order given what they have obtained because of the man's wealth. Perhaps I am jaded after ending up with all my savings gone after my divorce and having to keep the heat off in my house because I don't have enough cash flow to pay all the bills currently. I have 3 blankets and a sleeping bag to keep me warm even when it is 13 Deg. C in the AM. Its a little frosty in the shower but then after an average man goes through family law (FLAW) he either ends up with family jewels made of brass, an angry frustrated dude, in a padded cell or dead. Hopefully the cash flow problem will change before all the debtors break down the doors, metaphorically speaking, in a few months when I can get out from under my mortgage. 

In the meantime I shake my head in wonder at these women who were elevated way too far above their station in life and now demand they stay there cause they have new dreams to fulfill. Can you imagine the expenses they say exist when many of us live on less than $3,000.00 a month and child support comes off that. The disparities between me and their "wants" are a mathematical progression - no - a geometrical progression - in distance. Another world is an understatement. 

No man should get married with the current state of Family Law (FLAW) but wealthy men ought to be able to deal with this with far greater ease than any one else. For rich men hiring a surrogate to bear their children makes the most sense as they can afford it. When you can easily buy sexual favours why end up paying millions for it and then getting financially raped over and over and then even with a pre-nup, as appears to be the case here, the ex-wife still is not satisfied. Its hard to understand - but then they get to leverage control through the children if they have full physical custody.MJM



 

 

 

Potter’s wife wants daughter to remain in French school



OTTAWA-The estranged wife of prominent Ottawa entrepreneur Michael Potter is taking him to court over custody arrangements for their six-year-old daughter, in part because of a dispute over which private school the child will attend.

Potter’s second wife, Véronique Dhieux, 42, wants the child raised in a French culture and to continue attending Lycée Claudel on Riverside Drive.

She claims in court documents that Potter, 65, wants to move their daughter to an English-language school, Elmwood, where his two children from a previous marriage attend.

Dhieux is also seeking an unspecified amount of child support towards what she claims are her daughter’s $54,100 in monthly expenses.

The case launched in Family Court last month.

In 2001, Potter, the multi-millionaire founder of business software company Cognos, fought a public divorce against his first wife, former Citizen journalist Alana Kainz, with claims for support payments of $10 million and $100,000 monthly. Kainz had previously been married to sportscaster Brian Smith, who was killed by a mentally-ill man in the CTV Ottawa parking lot in 1995.

Dhieux says in court documents she and Potter began dating September 2001, after he separated from Kainz. They started living together in 2002 and married a year later.

The consequences of Potter’s first marriage strained their relationship, Dhieux says, and they began trial separations in 2008. Despite attempts to reconcile, they abandoned efforts to save the marriage in June, she says in court documents.

The couple has joint custody of their daughter, but Dhieux wants a court to alter their shared-parenting agreement. She says Potter is too busy with business and other duties to devote enough time to looking after their daughter.

Dhieux wants the girl to live with her full-time, with Potter given time on alternate weekends and half of vacations.

Much of Potter’s time is taken up with managing his investments, board and charity work and by his vintage airplanes and his $20-million yacht, Dhieux claims, and he is “consumed with the issues involving the divorce from his ex-wife.”

Though Potter and Kainz settled their dispute in 2002, they returned to court several times over custody issues and allegations of Kainz’s drinking.

“Our family life was very much occupied with the dispute,” Dhieux says in her court application.
Dhieux alleges the nanny Potter employs is the primary caregiver when the child stays at his home on Soper Place in Rockcliffe.

“Looking after her was to be his primary occupation, as it is mine when she is with me,” she claims. “She was not to be turned over to the care of paid employees, such as a nanny or other member of his staff. I would never have agreed to the arrangement on any other basis.” The nanny, Dhieux alleges, “is rude to me to the point of overt hostility,” which embarrasses and confuses the child.

Potter has not yet filed a response to Dhieux’s allegations. None of her allegations have been proved in court.
Through his lawyer, Potter released a statement on Monday: “A joint parenting agreement regarding our six-year-old daughter is in place and is being honoured by me. I intend to continue to focus my efforts on ensuring (our daughter) and her two sisters receive my full care and attention. I will be filing my response in the court proceedings.”

Dhieux says Potter had agreed they would reinforce the child’s French-language identity and foster her connection to French culture. They travelled to France for the birth so the girl would have dual French-Canadian citizenship. They also bought a $4-million Paris apartment they visited six times a year, Dhieux says.

Lycée Claudel has an excellent international reputation and, when the girl is older, she will be able to enrol in its international baccalaureate program, opening up opportunities to study in France or other francophone countries, Dhieux says.

However, with two English-speaking half-sisters and care-givers, Dhieux says she fears the girl is already so surrounded by English that her French is suffering.

She claims Potter wants the child to transfer to Elmwood so she’ll be on the same vacation schedule as her older sisters, aged 13 and 11.

Dhieux, born and raised in France, immigrated to Canada in 1994 and worked at the National Arts Centre before meeting Potter. Though she has not worked since 2002, she has assets and investments worth $6.7 million, according to a financial statement filed into the court record. She owns a 2009 Audi Q7 and has entered into an agreement to buy a home on Lansdowne Road North in Rockcliffe for $2.5 million.

She claims monthly expenses of $85,635, with $6,000 a month for clothing, $35,500 monthly for vacations with the child, another $3,200 for vacations without the child, and $6,357 in financial assistance to her parents. For the child, Dhieux also claims monthly expenses of $3,000 for clothing and $585 for pet costs. She claims total monthly child-care expenses of $54,100.

The spousal support Potter will pay was set in a marriage contract signed in 2004, Dhieux says, but they have not yet resolved the issue of child support.

Dhieux says the child should have a standard of living comparable to that she enjoyed before her parents split up.

Their lifestyle had included “a large amount of discretionary spending,” she says, with Potter flying the kids on vacations aboard a private jet.

She describes in detail a private yacht Potter purchased in 2008 for more than $20 million U.S. The 193-foot Seawolf sleeps 12 and has a crew of 15. It’s equipped with a swimming pool, jet skis, kayaks and other recreational equipment.

The yacht is chartered out at $183,000 U.S. per week, but is at Potter’s disposal, Dhieux says. He flies the children to wherever the yacht happens to be and plans to take the girls on trips to the Galapagos Islands and the South Pacific in coming months, she says.

At the same time, Dhieux claims she cannot use the apartment in Paris unless Potter agrees. She says she needs to be able to travel to Paris frequently to allow the child to visit her grandparents and aunt and to “foster awareness of her French roots and French culture.”

She does not request a specific amount of child support because Potter has yet to file a financial statement. Potter “is one of the wealthiest individuals in Canada,” she notes.

“Regardless of the exact amount, there is no question but that he has the ability to pay whatever child support is found to be appropriate in the circumstances.”

Wealthy couple in custody dispute

In the UK ~ BOB GELDOF CRITICISES FAMILY JUSTICE SYSTEM

By Emma Foster, Community Newswire

SHOWBIZ Geldof, 08 Dec 2009 - 12:00

  • [thumbnail]
Bob Geldof has launched an attack on the family justice system, accusing it of allowing "state sanctioned kidnap" and destroying the lives of children and their families.

The musician and anti-poverty campaigner made the comments in the foreword to a research report called Relocation and Leave to Remove, published by The Custody Minefield and supported by charity Families Need Fathers (FNF).

The report, published on Monday, highlights what The Custody Minefield describes as "significant flaws" in family law related child relocation cases, where one separated parent seeks to move, either elsewhere in the UK or abroad, and take the children with them.
It states that rather than protecting child welfare, the UK family courts routinely ignore what is in a child's best interests, due to a rigid adherence to outdated case law which ignores social and psychological research.

In the report, The Custody Minefield, an online project that provides free legal information for parents, step-parents and grandparents, says that the majority of court decisions in such cases are likely to cause children harm.

Mr Geldof said: "In the near future the family law under which we endure will be seen as barbaric, criminally damaging, abusive, neglectful, harmful to society, the family, the parents and the children in whose name it purports to act.

"Here is one more report that empirically nails the obvious fact that to remove a child from their father (in the hugely vast majority of cases), their grandparents and other family, their school and friends, is wholly destructive to a child and its family.

"How much longer must we put up with the state sanctioned kidnap of our most vulnerable? Because in effect that's what 'leave to remove' amounts to

"How much longer do we tolerate the vested interest intransigence of the appalling UK family justice system? How long before just one of them admit they have got it all wrong and apologise to their myriad victims?

"This report is important, timely and vital. To accept its findings, which could have and should have, been conducted at any time in the past 30 years, is to accept the awful conclusion that rather than Solomon-like, resolving our tragically human disputes with understanding, compassion and logical pragmatism, the courts have consistently acted against society's interest through the application of prejudice, gender bias and awful impartial cruelty."

Jon Davies, chief executive of FNF, said: "This campaign has highlighted one of the terrible consequences for children of separations where the interest of the parents, or one of the parents, is put ahead of that of the child.

"At a time when a child needs love and stability, moving from their school, their friends and their family to a different town, or even country, can be devastating."

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "The Custody Minefield report refers to a study conducted by Reunite and funded by the Ministry of Justice.

"We are grateful for the work Reunite has done to highlight the complexity of the issues in this area.

"We are creating a family court system that is transparent, accountable, and inspires public confidence in its good work, while still protecting the privacy of children and families involved.
"That is why we have allowed greater media access to family courts which will lead to greater trust.

"We have also increased access to out of court family mediation by putting information about divorce, relationship breakdown and the family courts, and a link to the Family Mediation Helpline website, on the DirectGov website.

"It is for the court to consider the evidence put before them in each individual case. However, the child's welfare will always be the court's paramount consideration."
For more information visit www.thecustodyminefield.com or www.fnf.org.uk.
end



Bob Geldof accuses 'barbaric' family courts of 'kidnapping children from their fathers'

By Steve Doughty
Last updated at 4:11 PM on 08th December 2009

Report: Bob Geldof has accused the secretive family courts of 'state-sanctioned kidnap'
Report: Bob Geldof has accused the secretive family courts of 'state-sanctioned kidnap'
Bob Geldof today accused the secretive family courts of 'state-sanctioned kidnap'.

The pop star turned campaigner said the 'barbaric' family law system wrecked the lives of children and their families.

He spoke as he launched a report that severely criticised the way family courts deal with cases - particularly in which one separated parent wants to move far away from where the other lives, taking the children with them.

It said that most decisions in such cases - which are conducted behind closed doors and never become known to the public - cause children harm.

Mr Geldof said: 'In the near future the family law under which we endure will be seen as barbaric, criminally damaging, abusive, neglectful; harmful to society, the family, the parents and the children in whose name it purports to act.

'Here is one more report that empirically nails the obvious fact that to remove a child from their father (in the hugely vast majority of cases), their grandparents and other family, their school and friends, is wholly destructive to a child and its family.

'How much longer must we put up with the state sanctioned kidnap of our most vulnerable? Because in effect that's what "leave to remove" amounts to.'

The singer's protest comes at a time of growing controversy over the workings of the family courts, which have been repeatedly blamed by fathers' groups in recent years for favouring mothers and shutting separated fathers out of their children's lives.


Justice Secretary Jack Straw has tried to lift the secrecy around family cases by ordering the courts to allow journalists to sit in cases. Judges, however, have responded by imposing orders that ban them from reporting what they hear.

A series of senior judges, including the President of the Family Division Sir Mark Potter, have delivered speeches in which they have tried to warn Mr Straw off further attempts at reform.
Sir Mark has drawn a contrast between the welfare of the child and the 'demands of the press in relation to so-called transparency'.

Sir Bob is the most high-profile figure to suggest that the courts are deficient and that the secrecy hides decisions that damage children.
Lifting the secrecy: Justice Secretary Jack Straw has ordered the courts to allow journalists to sit in on family cases
Lifting the secrecy: Justice Secretary Jack Straw has ordered the courts to allow journalists to sit in on family cases

'How much longer do we tolerate the vested interest intransigence of the appalling UK family justice system?,' he asked.

'How long before just one of them admit they have got it all wrong and apologise to their myriad victims?

'This report is important, timely and vital. To accept its findings, which could have and should have, been conducted at any time in the past 30 years, is to accept the awful conclusion that rather than Solomon-like, resolving our tragically human disputes with understanding, compassion and logical pragmatism, the courts have consistently acted against society's interest through the application of prejudice, gender bias and awful impartial cruelty.'
The report, Relocation and Leave to Remove, was published by The Custody Minefield, a legal information website. It said there were 'serious flaws' in the handling of child relocation cases where one separated parent wants to move a child away from the other, either within Britain or abroad.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: 'We are creating a family court system that is transparent, accountable, and inspires public confidence in its good work, while still protecting the privacy of children and families involved.
'That is why we have allowed greater media access to family courts which will lead to greater trust.'

Mr Geldof's intervention came three weeks after a landmark family case in the Appeal Court in which a mother was forced to hand over a son to his father despite claims that the switch would be 'almost cataclysmic' for the child.

In the case - which could be reported except for the names of those involved - Lord Justice Wall said that the 11-year-old boy had suffered emotional harm because of his separation from his father and should go to live with him.

The boy said that his father had 'ruined my life' and said he would 'punch and kick' rather than leave his mother's home.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1234186/Bob-Geldof-accuses-barbaric-family-courts-kidnapping-children-fathers.html#

In OZ ~ Stolen generation victim battles to see son

Peter Clarke in Ballarat, hoping for some good news.

Peter Clarke in Ballarat, hoping for some good news. Photo: Ken Irwin

By Paul Heinrichs February 19, 2006

ON MANY a Ballarat evening, in the grounds of Sebastopol's luxury Blythewood Grange conference centre and resort, you can find an Aboriginal father dreaming of his long-lost son.

To Peter Clarke, the place is the only home he recognises - he is a graduate of its former incarnation as a Poor Sisters of Nazareth orphanage.

Mr Clarke is regarded as part of the "stolen generations". He was two months old when Victorian welfare authorities took him and four siblings from his mother. He was raised in Ballarat orphanages.

Now, Mr Clarke, 38, is taking legal action to get access to his 10-year-old son, who he says was taken from Australia eight years ago by his estranged Irish wife.

He says she has refused to return with him because Australia is "too racist" to bring up a part-Aboriginal boy, and her husband does not provide sufficient intellectual stimulation for her.

The "tug-of-love" is over Elliot Browne-Clarke, the only child from Mr Clarke's marriage to former Monash University post-graduate student of Aboriginal anthropology, Pauline "Polly" Browne.

When a British newspaper contacted her at home in north-west Ireland, she would not discuss Elliot or the marriage split. "These are personal matters and I'm saying nothing," she was quoted as saying.

Although he knows the marriage is over, Mr Clarke despairs over his situation.

But after eight years, he is not seeking custody, just some contact. And he says he wants his Irish-raised boy to know that "he'll always have another camp fire burning here".

He longs to teach him some knockabout skills - such as how to whistle through an acorn shell, or leap safely from a pine tree - that he learned during 18 years in institutional care.

"I'd like to be able to go to Ireland and have some time with him. I'd like to have a barbecue with him, cook him some sausages," he says.

"He was a privilege. He completes me . . . I'd give him a big hug."

The life of Mr Clarke, a nephew of Aboriginal army officer Captain Reg Saunders, appeared to change for the better in 1992 when he spoke about Aboriginal child-care issues to law students at Monash University.

He met "Polly" Browne, a red-haired woman about 12 years older than he. She was deeply interested in Aboriginal cultural issues. They married in June 1992 and lived in Fairfield. After a number of casual jobs, Mr Clarke became a native title field officer.

He says the marriage seemed stable and he did not object when his wife said in 1998 that she needed to return to Ireland to see a seriously ill uncle.

"I said it was important that the baby meet the elders, that we needed to build those bridges. So out the door they went, with my blessing and encouragement, for four weeks' time.

"But four weeks became another month, and another, and the excuse became a sister-in-law, and three or four years down the track, she had pretty much given up on me. The phone calls wouldn't come in. She didn't come back."

Mr Clarke wonders whether his wife really only fell in love with Aboriginal culture, "not the man", or perhaps whether seven miscarriages affected her thinking.

"Seven miscarriages is quite a lot to endure, and she had endured that physical pain, but also the mental pain, and I think a part of her clammed up. I think a part of that threw a wall up around our baby, that she had said, 'This is just too precious in my life'. "

In April 1999, Mr Clarke went to Ireland and had brief contact with his wife and son.

But Irish police arrested him and he was charged with brutality.

He appeared in court and his wife and son, and her sister attended. He says his wife stood up after the charges were read and said they had fabricated the allegations.

Mr Clarke says he was released and received an apology from the judge, who reprimanded his wife.

It was the last time he saw Elliot. "I kissed him on the forehead and told him we were good mates, and then I came home."

Now his solicitor, Denis Barry, of the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, is attempting to have Ms Browne served with divorce papers and is seeking access for Mr Clarke under an international convention on child abduction.

Mr Clarke wants to visit Ireland for access once a year, make a phone call at least once a month and have the right to correspond with Elliot.

But Mr Clarke's latest contact attempts, with help from a British newspaper and an Irish men's rights groups, appear to have led Ms Browne to flee her home, thwarting attempts to serve legal papers.

Mr Barry says he is in the hands of Irish authorities, who he hopes will act to locate her. Ireland is a signatory to the convention.

http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/stolen-generation-victim-battles-to-see-son/2006/02/18/1140151850827.html

Ex-Etiquette: My son's mother won't stop calling him on my time

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 - 5:07 am

Q. Is it OK to put a limit of one 10-minute phone call on my 11-year-old son to his mother on my every other weekend visits? They call each other morning, noon, and night and stay on the phone for 20-60 minutes each time. When he gets off the phone with her his mood has soured.

A. Sometimes in situations like this, a parent will say it's because their child has told them they hate going to visit the other parent, so they're trying to make it easier by reminding him or her the time away will be over soon. In other cases, the parent is afraid their child will forget them or like it more with the other parent - so they call to remind the child how much they're loved, often talking about what the child left behind when he or she is away with comments like, "Don't worry, I fed your puppy," or, even more underhandedly, "Your puppy misses you when you are gone!" In yet other cases, constant phone calls are simply a tool to alienate the child from the other parent. Parents who use this tact must understand the lasting psychological impact this behavior has on their child. For more information, type in Parental Alienation Syndrome, in the Bonus Families Web site search engine.

While each case should be examined individually, it's not uncommon for a child to tell an anxious parent exactly what he or she thinks the parent wants to hear - even if it's untrue. "I hate going to Dad's! It's boring" even if the truth is that Dad just bought him a new X-box and he's dying to get over there. That's when the parents end up in a counselor's office looking for a custody change because they think they are doing exactly what their child wants. In actuality, neither knows the truth.

To eliminate this issue, phone calls should be limited to one a day - a "Hi ya son, good to hear your voice" phone call is all that's needed. Also, the parents must improve their communication with each other. The more the parents talk directly to each other, the less room there is for the child to interpret by himself. Help him to cope by supporting the other parent's visitation. It is in his best interest.

(East Jann Blackstone-Ford, Ph.D., and her husband's ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of "Ex-Etiquette for Parents," are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com). Reach them at ee@bonusfamilies.com.)

http://www.sacbee.com/848/story/2378952.html