Virtual Library of Newspaper Articles

The Windsor Star

Ruling may add to family conflict SCOC child support decision likely to increase animosity between divorced parents

Windsor Star, by Trevor Wilhelm, Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Supreme Court ruling that people should boost child support cheques when their income increases could put many divorced and separated Windsor parents on the hook for hefty retroactive payments.

Maureen Geddes, a divorced mother of two and co-president of the Canadian Equal Parenting Council, said the ruling -- meant to benefit children -- could actually hurt them by increasing animosity between their parents.

"I'm always concerned about retroactive rulings opening up old wounds," said Geddes, a Chatham mother who shares custody with the fathers of her two children. "In the vast majority of cases, to go retroactively backward creates Read More ..oblems than it may create in benefits."

Canada's top court ruled unanimously Monday that, as a general rule, people who don't increase child support payments to keep pace with rising incomes aren't fulfilling their legal obligations.

If they don't pay when their income rises, the courts will take their non-disclosure into account, along with other factors, when deciding if parents should make retroactive payments.

The issue arose when four Alberta fathers challenged the retroactive awards made against them. The Supreme Court ordered two of them to pay up, and absolved the other two based on their circumstances.

Geddes said an estimated 700,000 families across Canada will be affected. The rates of divorce and separation in this area are at or higher than the national average, she said, so the ruling will have a big effect here.

Windsor family lawyer Allan Dare Pearce said many cases in Windsor, including one of his own, had been on hold until the Supreme Court made its decision.

"There have always been problems with the different jurisdictions," said Pearce. "I'm glad there will be some conformity across the country."

But when you're dealing with such highly charged issues as divorce, child custody and support payments, he said it's impossible to make everyone happy.

"Either way they do it, someone will feel it's not fair," he said. "It's bound to appear inequitable no matter what they do."

In the interest of fairness, said Pearce, it's important to give the payer parents -- usually fathers -- notice you're going after them for increased support, and do it as soon as possible, before the numbers start to add up.

"Arrears can be so much that some fathers can't afford to pay it," said Pearce.

Windsor Family Forum CEO Bob McGuire agreed with Geddes that retroactive payments will create animosity.

"I don't know how it would create peace anywhere," he said. "When we have leaders and laws undermining the cohesiveness of families and actually fuelling conflict, that's irresponsible. To have a contract and just be able to change it is insanity. It is vital to children that both parents get along and are there to support them. It makes for a healthier child. There are things the system does that promotes adversarial relationships."


Divorced: 13,315 - 5,615 men and 7,705 women

Separated: 5,170 - 2,215 men and 2,955 women

Widowed: 12,450 - 2,115 men and 10,330 women

Single: 55,665 - 30,385 men and 25,275 women

Married: 82,155 - 41,105 men and 41,050 women

Total population 15-years-old and over: 168,755

--Source: 2001 census (numbers are rounded off)

Ran with fact box "Windsor, by the Numbers" which has been appended to the story.

The Windsor Star 2006

Toronto Sun logo

Mom's death dance


Toronto Sun
September 29, 2004

SINGLE MOM Clara DaSilva admitted yesterday she danced the night away while her 2-year-daughter was dying of dehydration in a sweltering apartment. Tiny toddler Adrianna Maria DaSilva was abandoned for at least 33 hours in a 35C room before her mom discovered her dead on Sept. 9, 2002.

Clara DaSilva, 24, pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Justice David Watt will sentence her shortly after Jan. 17 following a five-day trial with one contested fact -- the allegation that her purse, with keys and cash, was stolen at a club the day of her child's death.   Read More ..

Canadian Press - New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

New Brunswick woman ruled responsible in burning of baby's body

ST. STEPHEN, N.B. - A New Brunswick judge says a woman who burned and dismembered her newborn son is criminally responsible for her actions.

Becky Sue Morrow earlier pleaded guilty to offering an indignity to a dead body and disposing of a newborn with the intent of concealing a delivery.

Judge David Walker ruled Friday that the 27-year-old woman may have been suffering from a mental disorder when she delivered the baby but that that was not the case when the baby's body was burned and its remains hidden.

It is not known if the baby was alive at the time of birth.

At a hearing last month, the court heard contrasting reports from the two psychiatrists. One said Ms. Morrow was in a "disassociated" mental state when the crime occurred. The other said she clearly planned her actions and understood the consequences.

Associated Press logo

Woman convicted of killing 3 kids after custody battle


HELSINKI, Finland - A court in Finland has convicted a woman of murdering her three young children and has given her a life sentence.

The Espoo District Court says Thai-born Yu-Hsiu Fu was found guilty of strangling her 8-year-old twin daughters and 1-year-old son in her home.

She tried to kill herself afterward.

The verdict on Tuesday says the 41-year-old woman was found to be of sound mind at the time of the murders.

Court papers show the murders were preceded by a bitter custody battle with her Finnish husband who was living separately from her at the time of the murders.

A life sentence in Finland mean convicts usually serve at least 11 years in prison.

Mothers Who Kill Their Children
Canadian Press - Mother child abuse - sentenced 16 years in jail

Ontario woman convicted of son's starvation death granted full parole

Canadian Press
Wednesday, May. 22, 2002

KINGSTON, Ont. (CP) -- An Ontario woman who was sentenced to 16 years in prison in one of Canada's stiffest penalties for child abuse will be released on full parole after serving less than half her term.

Lorelei Turner, 38, and her husband Steven were convicted of manslaughter in July 1995 for beating and starving their three-year-old son John to death in a case that horrified Canadians who followed the trial.

But on Wednesday, a panel of the National Parole Board in this eastern Ontario city ruled Turner will be released but placed on probation until July 2011.

Until then, she must remain within 25 kilometres of her residence, is not allowed unsupervised contact with anyone under 16, and must continue to receive counselling.

"The board would have looked at the risk and obviously found a low risk to reoffend," Carol Sparling of the National Parole Board said Wednesday.


Yeeda Topham killed her baby son but walks free

Australian Associated Press
December 05, 2008

A WOMAN who killed her infant son by jumping with him from the eighth floor of a city apartment block has walked free after being convicted of manslaughter.

Yeeda Topham, 40, of Roleystone near Perth, had pleaded guilty in the West Australian Supreme Court to a charge of unlawfully killing 21-month-old James Topham on November 5 last year.    Read More ..

Mother Charged with Killing Her Baby

Firefighters Find Baby's Body In Washing Machine

Fire Officials Claim Fire Intentionally Set

NBC4-TV, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

LOS ANGELES, USA -- Murder charges are expected to be filed against a woman whose infant son's body was found in a washing machine after firefighters doused what they say was an intentionally set fire, authorities said Tuesday.

Latunga Starks, 32, was taken into custody last night, according to the Sheriff's Department Web site.

Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Dennis Shirey identified the mother and her nearly 3-month-old son, Michael Kelvin Thompson.

Toronto Sun - Mother found guilty of killing all 4 babies

"Murder in the nursery"
Australian mom killed her 4 babies

TORONTO SUN, May 23, 2003

It seemed a tragic coincidence - at first.

Craig and Kathleen Folbigg's first son died in his sleep at 19 days old. Their next child, Patrick, died two years later at nine months.

Still, it was after their fourth baby died before Australian police suspected something was terribly wrong.

In Sydney's New South Wales State Supreme Court this week, Kathleen Folbigg, 35, was found guilty of killing all four of her babies.

The jury's work would have been made much easier if they had been allowed to read Folbigg's entire secret diary. In it, she practically confesses to following in her dad's deadly footsteps.

"Obviously I am my father's daughter," the Australian woman wrote in her diary Oct. 14, 1996, having already killed three of her four children.

"But I think losing my temper and being frustrated and everything has passed. I now just let things happen and go with the flow. An attitude I should of had with all my children, if given the chance, I'll have it with the next one."

Folbigg was pregnant at the time with her fourth child. She would go on to kill her as well.