Canada Judge Reverses Custody in Case of Parental Alienation

From API’s Publications Team

GavelCanadian parents who have been the target of parental alienation that is negatively affecting their attachment to their children now have the courts on their side. According to an article on, “Courts Can Rescue Kids From an Alienating Parent,” judges in Canada are now willing to intervene in such custody cases and remove children from homes of the alienating parent even if it’s against the child’s wishes.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is tactics used by one parent to systematically poison the minds of the children against the other parent. For more information, read these articles from the DIVORCED & SINGLE PARENTING section:

The concern is that there is no scientific proof that this intervention to resolve parental alienation cases works.  The support for custody reversal is the studies that reveal what will happen if parental alienation is left to continue unchecked. Children grow up to experience feelings of guilt toward the alienated parent and anger toward the alienating parent, to the point where these emotional traumas negatively affects their relationships with others.

Earlier in January, an Ontario judge stripped a mother of the custody of her three children, ages 9-14, and limited her access to the children to no closer than 300 meters unless in a counseling session. The father had fought for 10 years for custody away from the woman who was trying to excommunicate him from their children’s lives. The father now has the right to take away the children’s cell phones and other devices to prevent communication with their mother, and to remove them from the country in search of counseling.

Eventually, the goal is for the mother to have less restrictive access and communication with the children and for the children to have a positive relationship with both parents. However, the interventions and counseling are to help the child figure out their true feelings toward both parents.

An Example of Parental Alienation

Author Richard Warshak describes a severe case:

During the custody trial, an 18-year-old child threatened violence against his mother if the judge awarded her custody. Today, the child admits that these threats were not his true feelings but what he had been brainwashed to say and think.

This is only the third such ruling in Canada’s history. The first two occurred in Ontario in 1989 and in Quebec in 1991.

“There is a greater understanding that the courts really hold the power to rescue the children from the situation of being caught in the middle,” said Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison and coordinator of a workshop that helps alienated parents reunite with their children. In the judgment, Madam Justice Faye McWatt wrote that the mother’s “unrelenting behavior toward the children is tantamount to emotional abuse.”

None of the children wanted to live with their father, but it was determined that the children, even the teen, were unable to think clearly about what they wanted because they had been brainwashed by their mother.

“The Canadian courts are in the forefront,” said Warshak of Dallas, Texas.

But making rulings in parental alienation cases will continue to be a slow process. Child psychologist Barbara Fidler, who had been involved with the family for many years, said professionals involved in these cases need time to assess the situation and to try less drastic measures such as parenting plans and visitation changes.

“There are some cases of what we call realistic estrangement,” Fidler said. “The alienated parent may be abusive, and the child has good reason for not wanting to visit. And then there is true pathological alienation, in which children are refusing contact without good reason.”

This latest ruling is giving hope to parents targeted by parental alienation, who say the tide appears to be turning.

“There was a period of time when people thought that if you did anything to sever that attachment between the child and the favored parent — that is, the allegedly toxic parent — that could cause more harm than any good,” said Jeffery Wilson, a family lawyer specializing in child advocacy.

To read the entire article, go to

One thought on “Canada Judge Reverses Custody in Case of Parental Alienation”

  1. I am a Mother of two boys Landon 7, and Tanner 6, I never knew I could love another person as much as I love my boys and it was instant, I was 19 when I had Landon and thier father and I moved into our own apartment. We stayed there until Landon was around six months old or so. Then we moved closer to Landon and Tanners grandparents, their fathers step Mom and Dad, Ricky and Carrie are their names. I had lived with them before we had the boys they tried to help me and give me a place to live so I could finish high school and I ended up dropping out but I got my GED in 2012.
    I wanted to have a big close family because when my Mother and Father divorced when I was 14, my whole life was took from me we had to move out of our house I had lived in since I was born and I couldnt stay close to most of my friends and family cause so much of my life had changed dramatically and I think I was kinda in shock but thats something I miss from before their divorce we were such a close family and my family had close friends as well. Ever since I lost all of that I wanted to make sure my boys were close to all of their family members and I wanted to make sure we all stayed close. With our family and friends and Landon had a really good relationship with Ricky and Carrie they would usually come and get him once or twice a week for him to stay all night with them. If he didnt wanna go I didnt force him to go but if he wanted to go and if he wanted to stay longer I let him no longer than one or two nights at a time until Tanner was born and when Tanner was born he was in the hospital for three weeks he was born with metabolic acidosis, it was very scary and I was devastated to go that long without seeing Landon other than a couple times cause I stayed at the hospital by myself the whole time I would only come home to get money, clothes, and necessities and I would stop and see Landon. Then when Tanner got out of the hospital Landon stayed a little longer with Ricky and Carrie until we got things under control and Thank God Tanner got thru his sickness and he isnt affected by it whatsoever hes healthy as a horse and smart he’s learning how to read and hes doing very well. Eventually we got a handle on things but one kid was easy as pie but it seemed like when we had two it was so hard and I think I had a little post pardom depression I was very overwhelmed and I thought we needed a bigger place and their Daddy was a veteran, He served in the Marines and he was disabled and I thought we could afford moving into a bigger house but we ended up not being able to stay financially stable and we were young living on our own for the first time and being new parents it was super scary and overwhelming. I loved our bigger house it made things alot easier on me but we just couldnt do it. Landon and Tanners Dad and I ended up breaking up and we broke up from a lie his Dad told him some kind of rumor he had heard and he never told me what the rumor was until years later and when he told me I felt like that was the beginning to his plan to take my kids from me completely. Ricky and Carrie treated me like I was a part of their family up until Anthony and I broke up but even though we decided to split up Anthony and I remained really good friends this whole time because our childrens feelings for the each of us matter more than our feelings but since I had to move in with my Dad and my Uncle when Anthony and I split up. Ricky and Carrie offered that I give them temporary guardianship until I got on my feet financially. They wanted me to get my GED and go to college and get a good job and they would help me along the way. Well I thought they had a good idea Landon and Tanner were used to Ricky and Carrie and I trusted them with the boys and they were very good to them and me. I wanted to be able to support my children with or without a man I wanted to be a Mother my boys could be proud of and I got my GED and I started college I went to Ross Medical but it was an hour and a half away from my house and I ended up having to drop out cause my Dad had bought me a car to go to college but he ended up having to let the car go back and I didnt have much of a choice. but When I agreed to give Ricky and Carrie custody it was NOT about me not being a good Mother or putting my children in danger or harm. I had always been a good Mother I took good care of my boys and I had a close relationship with them the time I had the chance. Well not long after we signed papers and stuff in court Ricky and Carrie kept coming up with reasons why my boys couldnt stay with me whenever they wanted to and I was able they eventually made me have to go to thier house to visit with my boys and I could only keep them every other weekend Friday evening at7 and I had to have them back Saturday evening at 7 because I agreed with Ricky and Carrie that my boys should go to church with them then I went back to court asking for more time with my boys because I would leave from their house and my boys would beg and cry to come with me and that caused unimaginable pain to my heart and Ricky told me once to just leave and not tell them “bye” so they wouldnt cry then when I disagreed to that he started punishing my boys if they cried for me when I left and eventually they stopped but I disagreed with alot of the things they were doing to me and my boys I didnt give away my rights to my children I never thought they would do that to me. I considered them family but they betrayed me so bad I keep trying and trying to work something out to benefit the boys so they could get more equal time with me and my family but for the past five years I could only see my boys every other weekend Thursday until Saturday thats all the judge would give me when I asked for more time. Where I disagreed with them so much about how they twisted everything about our arrangement they quit answering my phone calls even when I would just be calling to talk to my boys and Ive went for about the past two years only getting to see or talk or have anything to do with my boys only every other weekend. I has caused alot of problems in my life they took my life from me, my boys are my life I cant move on with my life until I get to be the Mother God made me. April 17,2017 Carrie had filed papers to get child support and supervised visitation with me for NO REASON other than the gossip and rumors she could come up with. The judged ruled that the only time I can see my boys is whenever Carrie says and its been a month since I’ve seen my boys they were actually supposed to stay all night with me tonight this weekend was my weekend but she wouldnt let me have them. You couldnt imagine the pain they’ve caused me but Ive always been a forgiving person because its better for us to get along than everyone hold grudges so I’ve tried and tried to work out a good solution to this for my boys instead of ‘My way or NO way” thats how this has been Ricky and Carrie has made it that way, I think they just crave control of my children and me. I had cut Tanners hair and my Mom and I both thought it looked very good but Carrie jumped onto me for cutting his hair she told me not to cut their hair again. Thats ridiculous that I dont even have the right to cut my childs hair. THIS IS WRONG. I need help the odds are against me but Im a good Mother and I love my children and all I want is to have a good close and happy relationship with my children because I may never get the opportunity to be a Mother again, and to be clear CPS has never been involved I’ve never been in trouble with the law I’ve never been to jail, I’ve never even had a ticket but anyway the state did not determine to take my children away from me and why the judge is against me. Its been five years like this already and its causing my oldest boy Landon to stay angry so much more than normal and he’s been acting out very badly I just dont want my children to be abused by anyone anyhow and I think this is child abuse what theyre doing to me. So if anyone can contact me email me please with any info or post something back to me.

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