Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

Family Court Bias and Injustice the Root Cause of Many Murder-Suicides

Men's News Daily, U.S.A., by Eeva Sodhi ( Eeva Sodhi is a freelance writer from Ontario, Canada),  March 7, 2002

Last few decades have seen an alarming rise in the number of young men who see suicide as the only option out of despair. In Canada, the yearly toll is close to three thousand men, most of them in the prime of their lives.

Statistics Canada tells us that in year 2000 fourteen men and one woman also committed an act of family homicide before ending their own lives: 10 men killed their spouses, three men killed their spouses and children, one killed his child. There was one high profile case where a mother killed her child during an act of murder-suicide.

Based on the above, we can hardly conclude that we are facing an all-out epidemic of murderous men on the prowl, intent on killing their spouses and offspring. Rather, we are facing an epidemic of desperate men who see their own death as the only option.

Yet, we refuse to examine the causes for these multiple tragedies. Rather, commentators cite this as another example of male violence. Only in the exceptional case where a mother kills her child and then takes her own life do we strive to understand the underlying reasons.

Researchers have almost totally ignored the role of biased family laws which are pushing fathers to commit the unthinkable, not only in Canada but across the world. Though we now cannot escape the fact that most of these tragic acts are linked to the break-up of families, we prefer to see it as an act of revenge not as a statement: I have been pushed further than I can go.

It is noteworthy that when fathers kill their children, they often commit suicide as well. Suicide, as we all know, or should know, is the final act of desperation. It is rare for a mother to take her own life after she has killed her children, who often have suffered long time abuse in her hands.

Strangely, the courts determine, almost without an exception, that it is in the children's best interest to grant the sole custody to the mothers, while ordering fathers to pay even if the mother has moved away with the children in order to thwart their access to their father.

Only shared physical custody and financial responsibility by both parents can prevent these tragedies. The assumption that both parents are financially responsible for the upkeep of the children is already written in the law.

However, only the non-custodial parents, usually the fathers, are ordered to provide support. The following exchange during the proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs tells it all:

Senator LeBreton:
"When the courts decide these issues, how does the mother's income factor into this? Who determines what amount the mother will contribute?"

Ms. Brazeau (Dept. of Justice Canada):
"The amount that the mother is required to pay is presumed. There is a presumption that she will pay what she can at her income level. If she earns more, she will be pay more "

[Source: Social Affairs, Issue 3, Evidence. Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology Issue 3 Evidence. OTTAWA, Tuesday, December 16, 1997]

For the ultimate irony, the father is usually ordered to pay alimony as well so that the mother can then be seen to contribute to the financial support.  As Abella J (Ontario Court of Appeal) put it:
"There is a clear statutory attempt to equalize the standard of living between the payors household and that of his or her children so that there is as little financial disadvantage to children from the parents separation as necessary...households tend to function as integrated economic and social units. This makes it more reasonable to determine what standard of living the household as a whole is entitled to enjoy."

In short, Madame Justice Abella advocates that the non-custodial parent is not only responsible for his child(ren) but for his ex-partners new partner, and his/her dependants also.

Justice L Heureux-Dube elaborates on this concept:
"The purpose of the guidelines is to enhance the child's post-separation standard of living to approximate, as far as possible, what that standard would have been had the parents not separated."

Personally, I cannot find any statute that stipulates that an outsider has to support the family of a stranger who has robbed him of his children and then uses them as pawns to extort money.>/p>

In 1999, Renu Mandhane, representing the Ontario Womens' Justice Network, wrote:
"...Unfortunately, this bias (towards joint custody) can have a detrimental impact on women and children by promoting the rights of the father at the expense of the mother and weakening the mothers financial situation post-divorce."

[Source: "The Trend Towards Mandatory Mediation: A Critical Feminist Legal Perspective Executive Summary" by Renu Mandhane, a University of Toronto law student, who worked with METRAC/OWJN for the summer of 1999 as a Pro Bono Fellowship Student]

So, there you have it from the horse's mouth: the support is for the mother, not for the children. Ms. Mandhane ignores the fact that sole custody promotes the rights of the mother at the expense of the children and their father.

The only equitable way to deal with this dilemma and save lives is, of course, shared physical custody, or sole custody by the parent who is able to provide the pre-divorce standard of living to the children. By ordering the transfer of wealth from the payor parent to the receiving parent, who need not be accountable, further reinforces the master-slave relationship between the parents and sets the stage for further conflict and even death, usually that of the payor parent.

Yet, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada is on record for having said that he wants to shelve the Child Custody and Access laws, while pursuing fathers who find it difficult to pay support to the mothers of their children. It is time forget the advocacy folly and restore justice into our laws.

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 ..

Scholarly Paper -
Parental Alienation is Child Abuse

Parental Abduction is child abuse

by Nancy Faulkner, Ph.D

Presented to the
United Nations' Committee on the Rights of the Child in Special Session, June 9, 1999, on behalf of P.A.R.E.N.T. and victims of parental child abduction.  Read More ..