Great column on a recent Canadian Parental Alienation case by Edmonton Sun columnist Mindelle (aka “Mindy”) Jacobs. From Bad mom really needed jail time (6/12/09):
Most fathers who’ve been denied access to their kids by demented ex-wives give up the fight rather than bankrupting themselves in lengthy court battles.
A Toronto surgeon had the money — and the persistence — to keep going. He won sole custody of his three daughters because his ex-wife spent more than a decade brainwashing the children to hate him.
She was subsequently fined $35,000 for contempt for ignoring repeated orders to get counseling. And on Tuesday, an Ontario judge imposed an even harsher punishment, ordering her to pay more than $250,000 of her ex-husband’s court costs.
The father’s expenses were “a litigant’s worst nightmare,” declared Ontario Superior Court Justice Faye McWatt. “She has acted deceitfully and in bad faith throughout the litigation.”
If the mother in this case had been jailed the first time she ignored court-ordered access, everyone would have been better off.
The mother would have learned the courts don’t take kindly to breaches of court orders, the father would have been able to bond with his children much earlier and court resources could have been used for more worthwhile purposes.
It’s a pleasant surprise that the mother was actually punished; better late than never. Still, the father likely faces a huge challenge winning over his kids. Reversing the damage done by a parent who spends years alienating the children from the other spouse is a long-term process.
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Also, send Ms. Jacobs a letter thanking her for her efforts at email@example.com.
Some of you may remember that we did an Action Alert/protest against one of Jacobs’ columns last year–to learn more, see my blog post Edmonton Sun Columnist: ‘From California to Massachusetts, American men flayed me’
Thanks to David, a reader, for the story.