Great news for a change coming out of a Superior Court of Justice family law decision:

Mom loses custody for alienating dad Ruling a ‘wake-up call’ for parents who use kids to punish ex-partners

The judge said awarding A.L. sole custody was the children’s only hope for having a relationship with their father, given their mother’s long-running transgressions.

These include ignoring court orders, shutting the door in A.L.’s face when he came to collect the children and refusing to answer the phone when he called to say goodnight. (He was granted telephone access to say good night on Monday, Wednesday and Friday). At times, she also arranged for police to show up when her daughters had overnight visits with their father.

Eventually, K.D. cut off contact altogether, refusing to allow A.L. to see or speak with his daughters. He was reduced to shouting goodnight to them through the door of their home, often not knowing whether they were there.

This sort of thing happens all the time. Instead of using federal government resources just to track down men who fail to pay child support payments and using insulting and sexist “Deadbeat Dad” advertising to bully fathers into paying when they can’t afford to, sometimes mandating they take dangerous jobs to do so (for men it’s “my body, the government’s choice”), let’s see more government investment in enforcing the sole custody winner (in most cases women) to obey her requirements with respect to dad. If we really are concerned with the best interests of the child, ensuring he or she grows up with his or her father is of paramount importance.

This man is a real father hero, as his lawyer says:

“It is remarkable that A.L. has not given in to the respondent’s persistence in keeping his children from him over the last fourteen years and simply gone on with his life without the children as, no doubt many other parents in the same situation would have and, indeed, have done,” McWatt said.

What we don’t hear often enough are all these stories of men who fight against a biased court system to keep their children – the most important things in the world – in their lives. While we’re fighting for pay equality, let’s remember that time with children equality is as important, if not more so. Don’t lots of feminist keep telling us that raising children is a job too often trivialized in comparison to bringing home cash? Most fathers would agree, and over 2/3 of men say they would gladly slow down at work if they could spend more time at home without compromising their family’s welfare.

In short, a great precedent. The only thing I’m wondering is why this took so long to happen in this case:

[Justice Faye] McWatt heard testimony from Barbara Fidler, a Toronto mediator and clinical psychologist who predicted eight years ago the three girls were at risk of becoming alienated from their father.

We still have a lot of work to do cleaning up family court. We need to make it clear this is a men’s issue. This is a high priority men’s issue. Notice how gender was entirely avoided in this story, but the fact is studies show that single father’s are far more likely to keep the mother in the picture as much as possible and attempt cooperation for the sake of the children. When it comes to alienation from children, this really is a case of father’s rights. How fitting that this news should be made the day before I interview Ken Wiebe of Father’s Canada for The Pendulum Effect podcast.