Family Law Canada - Supreme Court of Canada

The Globe and Mail

Plastic surgeon loses appeal in Supreme Court

The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest national newspaper, OTTAWA, February 9, 2007

In a ruling that hands judges more power to pry money out of tight-fisted ex-spouses, the Supreme Court of Canada has upheld the jail time meted out to a well-heeled plastic surgeon accused of fleeing the country to avoid support payments. The 9-0 decision, handed down Friday, concluded that a lower-court judge had the authority to hold Dr. Kenneth Dickie in contempt and jail him for 45 days. The judgment will have ramifications far beyond the case at hand, said Harold Niman, the lawyer for the doctor's divorced wife, Leaka Dickie. Mr. Niman said the green light to use the contempt power provides a "potent new weapon" for the judiciary to force recalcitrant ex-spouses to pay up. "The Supreme Court has sent a very strong message to lower courts to go ahead and use that [weapon]"

Mr. Niman admitted it's uncertain how much money - if any - Leaka Dickie will actually see, since her former husband now lives in the Bahamas, where Canadian court orders normally can't be enforced. But he refused to give up on that point, saying there are "steps that we are considering taking against Dr. Dickie . . . which will hopefully persuade him to comply with the orders." Mr. Niman wouldn't elaborate on the measures he has in mind.

Rochelle Cantor, the lawyer for Dr. Dickie, said her client doesn't have the roughly $700,000 in backlogged child and spousal support for which he's currently on the hook. "If you don't have the money, you can't pay it," said Cantor.

She also noted that Dr. Dickie is now remarried, with two more children in addition to the three from his first marriage, and isn't as wealthy as his first wife claims. "This affects all men across this country who now are in second marriages," said Ms. Cantor. "When do men get to say 'enough is enough, I have a second family I've been in for 15 years that I owe an obligation to.' " Ms. Cantor said her next step will be to seek a hearing in Ontario Superior Court, where she will argue that past support orders in favour of Leaka Dickie must be modified in light of Kenneth's changing financial circumstances. Dr. Dickie, who used to practise in Sarnia, Ont., moved to the Bahamas in 2002 and stopped paying child and spousal support. His ex-wife says he left Canada to dodge the payments, while he insists it was a business decision that turned sour when his new practice in Freeport failed to produce the income he'd expected. Dr. Dickie returned briefly to Canada in 2004 and was promptly cited for contempt for failing to comply with a court order to provide his ex-wife with a $150,000 letter of credit and to put up another $100,000 to cover her potential legal costs. He served his 45 days, then went back to the Bahamas. His lawyer says that for the last two years he's resumed support payments, forking over between $2,500 and $3,000 a month - far short of the $12,000 he was ordered to pay, but all that he says he can afford.

The court file lists Dr. Dickie's income at approximately $1.5 million for the final two years he spent in Canada. He now operates the Bahamas Institute of Plastic Surgery, which offers a wide range of services including breast enhancement and tummy tucks. Patients from Canada and the United States can sign up for package deals that include post-operative stays at upscale hotels. Dr. Dickie is described in court documents as leading a lavish life in Freeport, driving a Porsche and Mercedes, and living in a luxury home. His lawyer says the Porsche has been replaced by a used Toyota, the Mercedes belongs to his second wife and was a gift from her father, and their home is a relatively modest row house. Justice John Laskin, one of three judges who reviewed the case at the Ontario Court of Appeal, concluded Dr. Dickie had shown an "appalling disregard" for his support obligations and had fled Canada to escape them. He said Dr. Dickie shouldn't even have been allowed to appeal the contempt finding against him. The Supreme Court, in a terse seven-paragraph judgment, endorsed Mr. Justice Laskin's findings.

Brainwashing Children - Divorce - Family Law

W5 TV Show on Parental Alienation

TV Show about Parental Alienation

W5 investigates: Children on the frontlines of divorce

November 7, 2009

The world of divorce is scary for any child. But when a divorce becomes especially toxic, children can become the target of an unrelenting crusade by one parent to destroy the child's relationship with the other. Experts call it parental alienation.

Parental Alienation

Divorced Parents Move, and Custody Gets Trickier

The New York Times, New York city, U.S.A. August 8, 2004

Not too long ago, Jacqueline Scott Sheid was a pretty typical Upper East Side mother. Divorced and with a young daughter, she had quickly remarried, borne a son, and interrupted her career to stay home with the children while her husband, Xavier Sheid, worked on Wall Street.

Early last year, Mr. Sheid lost his job and saw his only career opportunity in California. But Ms. Sheid's ex-husband, who shares joint legal custody of their daughter, refused to allow the girl to move away. So Ms. Sheid has spent much of the last year using JetBlue to shuttle between her son and husband on the West Coast and her daughter (and ex) on the East.

The New York court system, which she hoped would help her family to resolve the problem, has cost her tens of thousands of dollars in fees for court-appointed experts, she said, and has helped to prolong the process by objecting to her choice of lawyers.


Parenting: Baldwin Speaks Up

May 7, 2007

Many celebrities would shrink from view after a PR nightmare like Alec Baldwin's leaked voice mail in which he calls his 11-year-old daughter, Ireland, a "rude, thoughtless little pig." But Baldwin wants to use the media scrutiny to give exposure to parental alienation, the controversial "syndrome" caused by one parent's systematically damaging a child's relationship with the other parent.

Parental Alienation

Canadian Press

B.C. judge bars mother from seeing daughter

Court orders one-year ban after 'unfounded' abuse allegations made about teenager's father

March 10, 2009

VANCOUVER - In a case of extreme parental alienation, a mother has been banned by a B.C. Supreme Court judge from seeing her teenage daughter for more than a year.

Because of the urgency of the matter, Justice Donna Martinson issued the terse, two-page ruling outlining 15 conditions the parents must follow, including that the mother, known only as Ms. A, not see her daughter until at least March 31, 2010.

The decision came after the mother alleged extreme emotional abuse by the father, which she claimed was putting the teenager's safety at risk.

"I am satisfied that Ms. A's allegations are unfounded," Martinson wrote.

"I am further satisfied that she has continued to undermine the relationship between M and her father and has acted in ways that are detrimental to M's psychological healing."

Names have been stripped from the court ruling to protect the girl's identity.

The judge has ordered that both the mother and maternal grandmother have no contact with the girl, which would be enforced by police if necessary.

The Globe and Mail


The family Pandora's Box

Some victims of parental alienation syndrome don't realize until adulthood that one parent turned them against the other

The Globe and Mail
March 24, 2009

After Joe Rabiega's parents divorced, when he was an adolescent, his father repeatedly told him his mother had abandoned him. The boy had to return any gifts that came from his mother's side of the family and, twice daily, he had to pledge his allegiance to his father.

"I was never allowed to have anything to do with her," he says from his home in Raleigh, N.C. "The consequences were dire if I did. He said I would have nobody."

Even though Mr. Rabiega, now 33, had witnessed ugly behaviour by his father toward his mother and knew his dad to be an erratic alcoholic, it wasn't until he sought counselling for personal problems in his early 20s that his past snapped into focus: He had been the victim of parental alienation syndrome - his father had systematically turned him against his mother.

The phenomenon, coined by psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner in 1985, has gained traction recently due to a number of recent high-profile divorce cases in Canada - not to mention the very public case of movie star Alec Baldwin, who accused his former wife, Kim Basinger, of parental alienation.    Read More ..


November, 1999


The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is the systematic denigration by one parent by the other with the intent of alienating the child against the other parent. The purpose of alienation is usually to gain or retain custody without the involvement of the non-custodial parent (NCP) The alienation usually extends to the NCP's family and friends as well. Though this document is written with the father in mind, it must be clear that there are many cases of PAS where the NCP is the mother, and PAS from the non-custodial mothers' viewpoint will be discussed later.

Dr. Richard Gardner in his book 'The Parental Alienation Syndrome' states (p. 74) "Many of these children proudly state that their decision to reject their fathers is their own.";

They deny any contribution from their mothers. And the mothers often support this vehemently. In fact, the mothers will often state that they want the child to visit with the father and recognise the importance of such involvement, yet such a mothers every act indicates otherwise.

Such children appreciate that, by stating the decision is their own, they assuage mother's guilt and protect her from criticism. Such professions of independent thinking are supported by the mother who will often praise these children for being the kind of people who have minds of their own and are forthright and brave enough to express overtly their opinions.

Frequently, such mothers will exhort their children to tell them the truth regarding whether or not they really want to see their fathers. The child will usually appreciate that "the truth" is the profession that they hate the father and do not want to see him ever again. They thereby provide that answer - couched as "the truth" - which will protect them from their mother's anger if they were to state what they really wanted to do, which is to see their fathers.

It is important for the reader to appreciate that after a period of programming the child may not know what is the truth any Read More ..d come to actually believe that the father deserves the vilification being directed against him. The end point of the brainwashing process has then been achieved.    Read More ..