Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Era_Banner & Sun

'Superheroes' fight for father rights

Courts overwhelmingly side with women in custody cases, group says

Dressed as Santa Claus, Denis Van Decker gets Markham resident King Ng to sign a petition yesterday outside the York Region courthouse in Newmarket. The petition is headed to Ottawa on behalf of divorced fathers who charge courts are unfair when deciding child custody cases. Mr. Van Decker is the awareness and recruiting co-ordinator for the newly formed York Region Fathers 4 Justice chapter.

The Newmarket-Aurora Era Banner, Front Page, Dec 7, 2006, by Patrick Mangion, Staff Writer

(York Region) - Superheroes and Santas protesting outside Newmarket's courthouse were battling the elements and inequality yesterday. A steady stream of people, seeking shelter from the driving snow, craned their necks to shoot curious looks at a small gathering of the newly formed local branch of Fathers 4 Justice.

Donning Superman fatigues, Mark Litman approached men heading into the Eagle Street courthouse.

"Are you going to family court today?" he would ask, often to no response, while handing over the organization's leaflet.

The group, which has just started a chapter in York Region, is planning more similar publicity stunts to help turn up the pressure on the bias they insist exists in the courts over granting custody of children.

The courts overwhelmingly side with women when it comes to child custody during divorce proceedings, organizer Denis Van Decker said.

Their superhero and Santa get-ups don't detract from their credibility, he said.

It's symbolic, Mr. Van Decker added from behind a faux white beard.

"Superheroes. That's how kids see their dads," he said.

A drawn-out divorce of his own provided the inspiration to pull up his bright red pants and strap on a set of black boots in yesterday's frigid temperatures.

The 44-year-old Aurora resident, who normally favours a Mr. Incredible persona, simply wanted to see more of his 10-year-old daughter.

He figured there must be many fathers in a similar position and took up the cause.

Gary Keenan can relate to Mr. Van Decker's situation.

"I lost a lot of time with my boys," he said.

He felt the courts used his financial hardship at the time to build a case against him.

But Markham family lawyer Stephanie Ansky disagreed, saying the courts will use all the information available when determining where a child's primary residence will be.

"It may be primary residence, in most cases, is with mom. Mom is usually the primary caregiver. That's the reality. If it's perceived as a bias, that's unfortunate, but that's how families are usually run," she said.

Often, decisions about a child's best interests will be made by the parents out of court.

But when divorce proceedings go before a family court judge, a father can just as easily be selected as the primary caregiver for a child over the mother if the court deems it in the child's best interest, Ms Ansky said.

"It's case specific. So for fathers to say they get the crappy end of the stick, it's not like that."

Fathers 4 Justice has 15 York Region members, however, there are more than 1,000 members Canadawide.

For more information about the group, go to or call 905-786-9806.

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.

A Mother's Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation

A Kidnapped Mind

A Kidnapped Mind

What does Parental Alienation Syndrome mean? In my case, it meant losing a child. When Dash was 4 1/2 years old his father and I broke up. I dealt with the death of our marriage and moved on but Peter stayed angry, eventually turning it toward his own house, teaching our son, day by day, bit by bit, to reject me. Parental Alienation Syndrome typically means one parent's pathological hatred, the other's passivity and a child used as a weapon of war. When Dash's wonderful raw materials were taken and shaken and melted down, he was recast as a foot soldier in a war against me.

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.

The Globe and Mail

Judge rules father brainwashed son into hating mother

Globe and Mail
May 15, 2008

Toronto - A 13-year-old Ontario boy whose domineering father systematically brainwashed him into hating his mother can be flown against his will to a U.S. facility that deprograms children who suffer from parental alienation, an Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled.

Mr. Justice James Turnbull ordered the boy - identified only as LS - into the custody of his mother. He said that the boy urgently needs professional intervention to reverse the father's attempt to poison his mind toward his mother and, in all probability, to women in general.

TV Show Parental Alienation - The View - Alec Baldwin

The View - Parental Alienation - Alec Baldwin and Jill Egizii - Both Genders Can be Victims

Alec Baldwin talks about his experience with parental alienation. Alec ( 3rd from right) was accompanied by Jill Egizii ( 2nd from right) , president of the Parental Alienation Awareness Organisation (PAAO) and Mike McCormick, president of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC).

Parental Alienation Syndrome

Landmark Ruling Grants Father Custody of Children

PA News (U.K.), July 3, 2004

A key court decision to grant a father custody of his daughters after the mother flouted contact orders for four years was today welcomed by campaigners.

Fathers 4 Justice said that the High Court ruling was a vital victory and called for more judges to take a similar stance when faced with resistant parents.

The comments come after Mrs Justice Bracewell transferred the residence of two young girls to their father because the mother persistently refused him contact, despite court orders.  Read More ..

National Post

Custody judges rule on vengeance

Courts criticized for recognizing 'parental alienation'

National Post
March 27, 2009

Toronto -- The scope of the courts' reach into family affairs has long been contentious, but a recent trend in Canada's legal system has brought a new controversy that has some onlookers praising judges and others condemning them for accepting what they call "voodoo science."

More than ever before, Canada's judges are recognizing that some children of divorced and warring parents are not simply living an unfortunate predicament, but rather are victims of child abuse and suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome.   Read More ..


Psychiatric disorder may have led boy to fatally shoot father

Rick James Lohstroh, a doctor at UTMB, was fatally shot this summer, apparently by his 10-year-old son.

ABC13 Eyewitness News, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Dec. 29, 2004

The 10-year-old Katy boy accused of murdering his father this summer is now the face of an unofficial psychiatric disorder that may have lead to his father's death.

Some psychiatrists call it Parental Alienation Syndrome and they say that's why the son killed Doctor Rick Lohstroh last summer. The syndrome is basically caused by a bitter parent who poisons a child against the other parent, usually in cases of divorce.