Estate & Family Law Blog

Honesty is the best policy when pursuing a family law matter


When two former partners head to court in British Columbia to settle a family dispute, naturally, each of them wants to come out with their desired result. Unfortunately, some people will go to almost any length to make that happen, including being dishonest. When it comes to family law, however, the truth will out, almost without fail. That is what happened when one woman decided to level baseless accusations at the father of her child during a custody dispute.

A man and woman were in court to settle a custody arrangement for their daughter. The pair had never been married nor even lived together. He was seeking joint custody, or at least generous visitation rights; she wanted the child all to herself.

In court, she presented a letter from the management of her housing co-op that showed he was not welcome on the premises under threat of police intervention. She had convinced them that the man was a danger to her and her child. She accused him of likely having a personality disorder, suggested he was not capable of bonding with their daughter, and that he had emotionally abused her.

In the complete absence of any evidence other than her own assertions, the judge ruled against the woman. The co-op manager even apologized to the man for the misunderstanding. In his ruling, the judge ordered the father to continue paying child support and granted the man joint custody. For her part, the mother’s instructions included submitting regular reports of her job-hunting endeavours to the father.

No one wants to lose in court, but that doesn’t mean one should say anything to try to win. It is always best to present the facts precisely as they are and allow the judge to rule on what is best for everyone involved. A lawyer who practices family law in British Columbia can help with the organization and presentation of a case that will be most likely to yield a satisfactory conclusion.

Source: Vancouver Sun, “Even in family court, this litigant stood out as “callously conniving””, Christie Blatchford, March 28, 2017

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