Judge removes children from mother's control
Girls sent to U.S. deprogramming centre
January 24, 2009
An Ontario judge has ordered that three girls be seized and sent to a
parental alienation centre for deprogramming after their mother waged
an unrelenting campaign to alienate them from their father.
The children - aged 14, 11 and 9 - were transported several days ago to
the U.S.-based centre. After being treated, they will live in the sole
custody of their father, a 56-year-old vascular surgeon.
"It is now time for his and the children's fates to be free from [the
mother's] control," Madam Justice Faye McWatt of the Ontario Superior
Court of Justice said in her ruling. "She has shown that she cannot be
entrusted with it."
The judge said the children had become so poisoned toward their father
by the mother's "emotional abuse" that they had lost the capacity to
make independent decisions about interacting with him.
Judge McWatt ordered the 42-year-old mother - a chiropodist identified
only as K.D. - to turn over all the children's clothing, passports and
possessions. K.D. was also ordered not to harass the children or go
within 300 metres of them.
The judge also gave the father, A.L., the power to confiscate the
children's cellphones, pagers, computers and BlackBerrys to prevent
their mother from contacting them.
"Hopefully, this decision will send a message to other parents of like
mind that, if they alienate children, there is a huge price that will
be paid at the end of it all," the father's lawyer, Harold Niman, said
in an interview last night.
"This order was child focused and designed very sensitively to ensure
that children emerge from this process as healthy children," Mr. Niman
said. "My client is a very decent guy who tried resolutely, under very
difficult circumstances, to have a relationship with his children.
Here, the system worked."
Soon after the couple met in 1993, K.D. became pregnant. K.D attempted
to keep A.L. from seeing his first daughter, but nonetheless eventually
agreed to marry him.
The relationship became more dysfunctional. K.D. closely regulated her
husband's interactions with his child and accused him of sexually
abusing the child. Judge McWatt said K.D. appeared to be dominated by
her mother, a vindictive woman who had regularly beat her children when
they were young.
K.D. and A.L. soon split up, but had two more children during brief
periods of reunification.
Judge McWatt found that K.D. - whom the judge described as immature,
evasive and completely lacking in credibility - on several occasions
precipitated physical confrontations with her husband and berated him
in front of the children.
K.D. also refused repeatedly to comply with court orders granting A.L.
visitation rights, and invented excuses to thwart them.
Judge McWatt said a psychologist who assessed the family noted that
K.D. was obsessive about observing the children when they were with
their father, retained an unreasoning belief that he would harm them,
and "overprotected the three children to the point of infantilizing all
"Eventually, he was not allowed to see or speak to the children - but
was left shouting good night to them through a door of K.D.'s home,"
Judge McWatt added. "Most times, he was not aware whether they were in
the house. He did this for up to two years during this period."
The degenerative series of events ended in the children withdrawing
from their father and refusing to see him.
Thanks to -
Joan T. Kloth-Zanard
Consulting for Individuals, Families and Businesses
For this article
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