Contribute  :  Web Resources  :  Past Polls  :  Calendar  :  Advanced Search  :  Site Statistics  :  Old Fathers\\\' Rights of Nebraska Site  :  Forum  
     Fathers Rights of Nebraska    
 Welcome to Fathers Rights of Nebraska
 Saturday, March 12 2005 @ 05:20 AM Central Standard Time

�Woman fined $10,000 for �parental alienation� �


OTTAWA: An Ontario woman who poisoned her children�s minds against their �good and loving father� has been fined $10,000 � and threatened with farther fines and imprisonment � in what is believed to be the harshest penalty yet imposed by a Canadian court for �parental alienation�.

Superior Court Justice Lorna-Lee Snowie of Brampton recently found Nancy Cooper, 52, in civil contempt of court for repeatedly flouting court orders over the past seven years that required her to facilitate contact between her three daughters and their father, David Cooper, of Point Clark, Ont.

The 53-year-old Air Canada pilot has not seen or spoken with the two youngest children since 1998 when his ex-wife told to vacate the family home. The girls send occasional emails requesting money.

Nacy Cooper, an unemployed registered nurse whose ex-husband still financially supports her, must immediately pay $10,000 to the Treasurer of Ontario and faces a further $15,000 fine and 30 days in jail if she fails to encourage and assist her youngest child, 16, to take part in family counselling aimed at �reintegrating the father back into his daughter�s life.� Says the decision reported in the next edition of the Lawyers Weekly.

�This counselling will provide a safe place for [the child] to work out her feelings and for the [father] to work out his feelings about their estrangement � their estrangement is through no fault of either one of them,� Judge Snowie observed.

The judge called the mother�s behaviour �a travesty� that deeply wounded her children.

The father�s lawyer, Paula Bateman of Mississauga said the decision sends a powerful warning to custodial parents who deny or obstruct their children�s right to see the other parent. �You will be dealt with harshly, and possibly jailed,� Ms. Bateman cautioned. �You have a proactive obligation to facilitate contact when you are the custodial parent.�

Obstructed access is a problem affecting thousands of divorced parents � mostly men � and their children across Canada. But monetary and

other penalties remain rare. Few access deniers spend more than a few days in jail. Ms. Bateman and other lawyers said the hefty fine meted

out by Judge Snowie is the highest they had ever seen from a Canadian court.

Roger Gallaway, the Liberal MP for Sarnia, Ont., and co-chair of the recent special joint Senate/House of Commons committee on custody and

access, said courts have been remiss in not handing out stiffer sanctions when confronted by egregious cases of wrongful access denial,

or "parental alienation" -- a term coined to describe the phenomenon of one parent (usually the custodial parent) brainwashing the child against

the other parent by denigrating and devaluing that parent.

Judge Snowie held that the mother's persistent refusal to comply with two court orders requiring her to facilitate family counselling, and

telephone contact between the girls and their father, amounted to civil contempt of court.

The judge remarked she might have awarded sole custody to the father -- instead of joint custody -- were it not for the fact the youngest, the

only child still at home, is so attached to her mother and will soon be independent.

"I find that [the mother's] sabotaging actions have been knowing, wilful and deliberate," found the judge. "As a result of [her] behaviour, the

children have little or no relationship with the father who loves them, who has tried to be a good father, and who has been a good provider

throughout their lives."

The girls were nine, 13 and 18 when their parents split up in 1998 after nearly 25 years of marriage.

The eldest, now 25 and married, recently started to see her father on her own initiative.

The judge emphasized all children have a right to a relationship with both their mother and their father.

"There is no evidence before this court that would indicate that Mr. Cooper was anything but a good father, a loving father, and father who

throughout the last seven years wanted to be involved in any capacity in his children's lives," wrote Judge Snowie. "He has admirably and

heroically been before this court on at least 15 occasions trying, unsuccessfully, to obtain access with his children. He still continues

valiantly to attempt to have a relationship with his children."

Judge Snowie said despite the "heroic efforts"of judges, therapists, counsellors and others to reconcile the girls with their father, their

mother "successfully manipulated the situation to sabotage all contact ... over and over again."

Due to a "major depression" that was partly caused by his estrangement from his daughters, Mr. Cooper has been on disability leave for the past two years from his post as a captain with Air Canada, says the judgment. He continued to pay combined child and spousal support of almost $5,000 a month even though his income fell drastically. He also voluntarily paid $41,300 for the university costs of his two older daughters.

� National Post 2005

What's Related

Story Options

�Woman fined $10,000 for �parental alienation� � | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
�Woman fined $10,000 for �parental alienation� �
Authored by: JackCade on Monday, January 24 2005 @ 10:51 PM Central Standard Time

I guess its good that the court has done something, but they've let
seven years lapse. Those kids are adults now and this sort of behavior
is going to have a lifelong impact on their ability to have healthy

My ex wife has pulled a lot of stuff like this - we separated in 2002
and I've only seen my kids for two of those three years.

Nebraska needs to pass LB128 and put an end to this sort of
behavior on the part of custodial parents, then they need to pass
LB564 and make custody shared unless one parent can *prove* the
other is unfit.

"Some say the bee stings: but I say, 'tis the bee's wax; for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since."
 Copyright © 2005 Fathers Rights of Nebraska
 All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
Powered By Geeklog 
Created this page in 0.91 seconds