The Divorce So Bad it Made the Family Judge Flip Out

Discussion in 'Up to the Minute' started by MagicRose99, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. MagicRose99

    MagicRose99 Watch out for my thorns!

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    The Divorce So Bad it Made the Family Judge Flip Out

    Spending days ringside to other people's parents bickering and arguing and general dysfunction takes a soul strong of stomach and long on patience, which is why only a hardy few to be a family court judge. But it doesn't mean they're not funny. Either that, or one Canadian justice found an unusual way to vent. Sick of the shenanigans of a couple from, ironically, the honeymoon capital of Niagara, he ruled that the wife should have full custody of their 13-year-old daughter but that the father should only pay $1 (and that's a Canadian dollar) a month in child support. But it was the way he ruled that has everyone talking.

    Ontario Superior Court Judge Joseph Quinn's 31-page December decision—which made the local papers and is still doing the rounds of legal circles on the internet—is filled with the kind of black humor and derision one would imagine is usually kept for close be-robed colleagues only. He chided the couple for "marinating in a mutual hatred so intense as to surely amount to a personality disorder," and said the chances of amicable resolution were "laughable." The wife had poisoned their daughter "irreparably" against the father who, the judge admitted, had "a near-empty parenting tool box."


    Quinn mocked the couple's habit of sending abusive, vulgarity-laced texts to each other and their inability to be civil at their children's sporting events. On one occasion apparently, Catherine, the wife, had tried to run Larry over with her car — "always a telltale sign that a husband and wife are drifting apart," the judge noted.



     
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  3. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    Poor Little Girl.

    Failed by her Parents. Then failed by this Judge. I guess everyone has to have the last say at her expense?

    :(
     
  4. RLynne

    RLynne Verified Expert

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    Ugh. I read through the entire decision (I won't post a link here, since full names are named, including kids--but if you really want to read it, it's not hard to find with a quick google search). I practiced family law, as an attorney and Guardian ad Litem, for over 6 years, and left because it was too stressful...cases like this one are the exception and not the rule, but when they happen, They. Are. Horrid.

    I feel for the poor judge: it would be great if you could issue orders like, "Don't be a jerk, put your bad feelings for your ex aside, be the adult and behave in a manner that's best for your kids," and then enforce it...but sometimes, it's just not possible. I don't blame the judge for his tone one bit. It's extremely frustrating to have grown parents acting like kindergartners and to not be able to reach them; sometimes you have to give snark a try, as a last resort. Thanks for the reminder of why I'm glad to have left family law behind!
     
  5. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    psst ... the U.S.& Cdn. dollars have been at par for quite some time :D

    I'm glad the judge let loose

    there's far too many emotionally stunted people in the world getting married & worse, having kids

    now, what are the chances those kids will have a successful marriage when they grow up? slim to none IMO because their parents modelled such immature behaviour for them
     
  6. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    LOL!!! I am SO putting this in my siggy line. I like this judge.

    “A finger is worth a thousand words and therefore, is particularly useful should one have a vocabulary of less than a thousand words,” Judge Quinn added.
     
  7. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    Ok, this decision is a MUST read. I wish they had case-studies like this in the textbooks when I was in school. :D
     
  8. LadyL

    LadyL Well-Known Member

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    "In recent years, the evidence in family trials typically includes reams of text messages between the parties, helpfully laying bare their true characters. Assessing credibility is not nearly as difficult as it was before the use of e-mails and text messages became prolific. Parties are not shy about splattering their spleens throughout cyberspace."

    Judge Quinn, you are my hero.
     
  9. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    :clap: :bow: :clap: :bow:

    I love his ruling, I love his vent. He is my new hero. I wonder if we can clone him?
     
  10. Velouria

    Velouria Don't Drink the Pinellas Punch!

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    I wonder if we can persuade him to start posting here? :D

    Betcha those two had to have some of the judge's sarcasm explained to them before they caught all the insults.
     
  11. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    I personally don't care what the judge thinks of this couple.

    I want to know why he thought that this child only deserved to have 1.00 in support from one of the parents?

    I don't understand that. JMHO
     
  12. MagicRose99

    MagicRose99 Watch out for my thorns!

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    From my interpretation of the article, the wife has so alienated the daughter from her father that he wouldn't even get visitation rights.

    From another article I found, it says the judge "stayed proceedings for four months hoping a resolution may be possible." So perhaps he was trying to open some eyes (and hearts) with his acerbic words.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/wor...-divorce-court-verdict.html?ito=feeds-newsxml
     
  13. Kat

    Kat Kind words do not cost much

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    Thank you MR.

    I do hope there is a resolution in this divorce for this young girl.

    She deserves to have both parents attention, love and support.

    IMHO visitation and financial support are mutally exclusive (and are legally in most areas). Meaning even if child support isn't paid or is in arrears that should be no reason for a child not to see and have a relationship with the financially non-supportive parent.

    A child should never be informed or have to concerned with the status of child support, the payment or lack of payment of...

    I do understand that this divorce is as acrimonious and caustic as they get, but the bottom line is always the best for the child. The best for any child, unless there is abuse (of any sort) by a parent of that child, is for that child to have a relationship with both parents. To have opportunites that are opened because of having the financial support of 2 parents. JMHO.

    Just as aside (and sorry but this story really set me off LOL) I agree that maternal care givers are very important in any child's life but too often IMHO the relationship between a child and a paternal care giver is marginalized and deemed insignificant at times.

    Every child, deserves to have the love, support and a relationship with two loving parents. (2 maternal, 2 paternal, or one of each...).

    I just had to explain my reaction because I think this child is getting the short end of the stick. JMHO.

    Again, sorry for the rant and I hope this child is put first eventually. By all parties, the Mom---the Dad and the peeved Judge. JMHO
     
  14. Salem

    Salem Former Member

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    I want to know why this "mother" was given custody after she told her child(ren) they would go to jail for calling their father?

    I think the children should be placed with some responsible adults.

    Oh... I do agree, $1.00 is not enough to support a child. Maybe the dad didn't have a job? Or maybe the judge thought the mom just wanted custody for the support? (that's a stretch.. I don't know :waitasec:)
     
  15. not_my_kids

    not_my_kids New Member

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    More than likely, the judge saw the honest truth of the situation...Dad only wanted her to get at Mom, Mom only wanted her to get at Dad. So, he gave the mother what she wanted, but also gave the father what he wanted... (low support).

    He may also have decided that there were no grounds to sever the parental rights of either, but that it was in the interest of the child that they be allowed to seperate fully. If they are getting into it publicly in front of her, then it probably would be better if the parents could completely live seperate lives.

    What the judge seems to be showing is the he knows the father will never pay support or ask to see his child anyway, so what's the point? Not a bad outlook if you ask me.
     
  16. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    Have read the motion in its entirety and got the following from it (aside from the huge belly laugh that is, I love and adore this Judge, he has a way with the poison pen I envy)

    1)mom had affair with dad's best friend and coworker. After discovery of affair and moving out Dad subsequently lost his job (perhaps due to some of the supposed harrasment of coworker/cuckolder) Much he said she said BF said and much harrassment went down by all involved parties.

    2)Mom and dad behaved badly. Mom very bad at alienating childrens affections from dad. Daughter now hates him as he is a "d*ckhead" and a "loser". Son wants to see dad but is frustrated with mom and dad's behavior around visitation.

    3)Judge basically severed dad from daughter and vice cersa saying that the alienation is too great and best to just let daughter have her way re not having to see/speak with dad. Dad given visitation with son.

    4) dad signed a seperation agreement without aid of counsel and lost his butt. signed away his rights to fair division of assets. At the time dumb dad signed this agreement he was unemployed. how anyone thought this man was going to be able to pay $600.00 per month in child support I will never understand.

    Judge ruled while dad was dumb to have signed this seperation agreement, he should have known better and would not throw it out.

    MOO As far as the dad only having to pay 1 dollar - the wife got everything in that seperation agreement, house (no division of assets, no buying him out, nada), the whole nine went to mom. Add to that mom's campaign to totally alienate dad from his children and I think the judge was spot on. You can't get blood from a turnip and dad, turnip time, hes got nothing.
     
  17. Cubby

    Cubby fly the W!

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    It's the draw on the fight between the extremists and his/judges stance to make a point - put your kids first.

    Better imo to order a dollar and another court could override if this child is indeed in danger....

    jmo
     
  18. Melly53

    Melly53 New Member

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    This is taken from the actual ruling:
    (Unless my reading comprehension has suddenly failed me, it says she gets $1.00 a month in spousal support, but he still has to pay child support of $1,171 a month for the two children plus arrears of $19,920.)

    [FONT=&quot](c) The contents of paragraph 13.1 of the separation agreement (child support) shall be deleted and replaced with the following:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot](i) Based on an income of $53,000 in 2008, Larry shall pay Guidelines table child support for 2008 in the sum of $798 monthly for the two children, payable on the first of each month commencing January 1, 2008; [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot](ii) Based on an income of $57,690 in 2009, Larry shall pay Guidelines table child support for 2009 in the sum of $866 monthly for the two children, payable on the first of each month commencing January 1, 2009;[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot](iii) Based on an income of $81,000 in 2010, Larry shall pay Guidelines table child support in the sum of $1,171 monthly for the two children, payable on the first of each month commencing January 1, 2010 until otherwise ordered.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot](d) The contents of paragraph 6 (spousal support) are deleted and replaced by a provision by which Larry shall pay spousal support to Catherine in the sum of one dollar on the first of each month, commencing on January 1, 2010 and ending on June 1, 2012.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot](4) Arrears of Guidelines table child support are fixed at $19,920 as of September of 2010.

    http://www.canlii.org/eliisa/highli.../onsc/doc/2010/2010onsc6568/2010onsc6568.html
    [/FONT]
     
  19. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    Generally, it is unwise to place an immature 13-year-old in charge of her life. Here, however, Catharine and Sam have engineered an alienation that is so complete as to leave the court with no feasible option.
    [128] I make these findings: (1) The alienation was not present before Larry and Catherine separated; (2) This is not a case where T has weighed the good and bad attributes of her father and found him, on balance, to be parentally deficient: she sees Larry as all bad – there is no ambivalence to her feelings; she is not disguising her true feelings; (3) Larry, although well-intentioned, is an inept father, who has not taken steps to identify, and fix, his shortcomings as a parent; nevertheless, the utter rejection of him by T is disproportionate, unfair and unwarranted; (4) As Ms. Katz observed, T has aligned herself with Catherine whose hate for Larry is palpable; the battle lines are clearly drawn and T knows the side that she wants to be on; (5) I am unable to think of anything that Larry can do to quickly repair the damage in his relationship with T; and, if I could, I have doubts that he has the skill-sets to pull it off; (6) I did not hear evidence of a single instance of T, since separation, expressing love or affection for Larry; (7) Although children are often required by their parents to do things that they do not want to do, obligating T to visit her father or to engage in counselling is considerably more complicated than insisting that she do her homework or go to the dentist; (8) The history of the parties is such that there is no reason to think they would meaningfully take part in, or benefit from, therapy or counselling; (9) While it is Catherine’s duty to encourage and support a relationship between T and Larry, that duty has been breached too severely to be remedied by the court; (10) It is not realistic to expect that the parties have the incentive and finances to engage in the extensive therapy and counselling that are needed; (11) Depriving Catherine of custody (sometimes an appropriate way of dealing with an alienating parent) would not benefit T at this point.
    [129] It is my view, sadly, that the alienation here is so severe that it is in the best interests of T not to order or enforce access by Larry. If access happens, fine.
    [130] Without professional help, Larry is incapable of addressing the breakdown in his relationship with T. Although, as I have said, well-intentioned, he is an ineffective parent and, without counselling and other assistance, he will remain ineffective. While Catherine, aided and abetted by Sam, initiated the alienation of father and daughter, Larry has not improved the situation. But, I emphasize the fundamental fact that Catherine’s conduct is the sine qua non of the alienation.
    [131] Absent counselling, matters will worsen, not improve. No practical purpose would be served if the court were to decree a schedule of counselling for the parties and the children. The hate and psychological damage that now prevail would require years of comprehensive counselling to undo. The legal system does not have the resources to monitor a schedule of counselling (nor should it do so). The function of Family Court is not to change people, but to dispose of their disputes at a given point in time. I preside over a court, not a church.
    [132] Larry might consider some common-sense steps, such as cards, letters or gifts, to show that he is receptive to a relationship with T should she have a change of heart. However, he would be wise to have those steps independently vetted by a responsible person (preferably, a professional in the child-psychology or family-counselling field).
    [133] It is agreed by all that T is immature for her age and she has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Catherine conceded, in deft cross-examination by Mr. Leduc, that the conflict in this case is harming T’s health.[34] Enforced access would exacerbate the situation.
    [134] Finally, on this issue, I observe that T calls Sam “dad,” whereas B refers to him as “Sam.” Neither Sam nor Catherine attempted to dissuade T, calling the matter “her choice.” Yes, the alienation indeed is complete.
    [135] The separation agreement shall be varied so as to be silent regarding access by Larry to T.

    snipped from the motion - Minor's first names changed to innitials.

    http://www.canlii.org/en/on/onsc/doc/2010/2010onsc6568/2010onsc6568.html

    Basically, what I got from this, is the judge gave the minor daughter, a teen, what she wanted. He basically allowed her to choose and sever her relationship with Larry and further pursue the father/daughter relationship with Sam, the new husband/hells angel. T calls Sam dad and wants no part of her natural father.

    To me, this portion of the Judge's Motion/Order reads as if he has effectively emancipated T from her father, per her wishes. Mom wanted T to be alienated from Larry and she accomplished that, Judge Quinn simply made it legal by allowing this severance. Why then should the mother and Sam continue to pursue Larry for money when they have both made it very clear that T should view Sam and Sam alone as her father? Sounds like supporting T would be one of the requirements of a father and Sam, Mom, and T all claim they want Sam to be father. Well there you go. let him have at it. He can now enjoy all the joys AND responsiblities of being T's new father.
     
  20. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    IMOO, this case should be required reading for all parents seperating or pursuing a divorce.

    A perfect illustration of what NOT to do!
     
  21. tlcya

    tlcya Well-Known Member

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    TY Melly, I had a heck of a time trying to wade through all the support language. So Larry is still required to pay child support and the motion was being misinterpreted.

    I agree with the judge on the spousal support. He could just as eassily have ruled zero IMO as she has been involved in this ongoing relationship with Sam for a long while. Probably the only reason they haven't married yet was to continue to try to stick it to ole Larry on the Spousal support. The judge ruling one dollar makes his point beautifully. Technically you may qualify for spousal supprt under the law lady, but your use of the legal system to continue, year after year, to harangue and harrass your ex is BS. Here ya go, you get a dollar.
     

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