Malicious intent during child custody hearing may not pay off




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Many parents will say they’ll do “anything” to protect their kids. There’s nothing wrong with going above and beyond to safeguard the welfare of one’s child, so long as it truly is the child’s best interests being protected. One mother, in Alberta’s western neighbour, evidently crossed the line in her attempt to win a child custody battle, and the results were not what she had expected.

The mother and father of the 6-year-old child were in court to decide custody. The pair had never married, or even shared a residence, but had a child after a single encounter. The father sought joint custody of the little girl but said he would settle for liberal access and occasional overnight custody. Unfortunately, the mother had other ideas.

She was after sole custody of the child and levied numerous accusations against the man in an effort to defame his character. She speculated he had a personality disorder, claimed he was not capable of bonding in a meaningful way with the child and alleged he psychologically abused him. Part way through the trial, she produced letters from her housing manager, declaring the man was unwelcome on the co-op premises and the police would be called if his presence there was discovered.

No credible evidence for any of the accusations was offered, and the judge disregarded all of it. He noted that, while the father was evidently bad with his money, he was at least working and paying support, whereas the mother worked very little, despite holding two degrees. He ruled in favour of joint custody and ordered the mother to report her job-finding activities to the father twice a year.

Many parents want to come away from a child custody hearing  with the settlement that best suits them. However, it is the best interests of the child that come first. The best way to achieve a desirable result is to be honest and present the facts as they are. It may also be beneficial to seek representation from an experienced and caring Alberta lawyer.


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