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When collaborative law cannot help, litigation may be necessary

When parents cannot agree on what's best for their child during or after a divorce, sometimes matters can become unpleasant. Recently, a child custody dispute spanning half way around the world found its way to a courtroom east of British Columbia. This unusually convoluted case has seen an Amber Alert, a warrant for an arrest and stories of a sex and murder factory in a far off land. Collaborative law is clearly no longer an option for this family.

A woman from Canada claiming her 9-year-old daughter was in danger at her home in Egypt, appeared in a Canadian court fighting for custody in Jan. 2017. In Dec. 2016, a nationwide warrant for her arrest went out after she failed to show at a Dec. 2 hearing. Furthermore, an Amber Alert was issued for her daughter, who was believed to be in her custody. The mother claimed she was protecting her daughter, who she alleges was sexually abused by her father.

During the proceedings, videotaped interviews the mother made of the child telling her story were under scrutiny. The child repeatedly alleged she was assaulted by her father, and made reference to a building with 500 rooms where groups of men committed murder and had sex. The judge did not believe any of the allegations, saying that they were most likely made up by the child under coaching from her mother. On Jan. 30, he ruled the girl would be given over to her father, and the two could return to Egypt where the case could resume.

In cases of genuine abuse, or in the presence of other reasons for a parent to fear for the safety or welfare of his or her child, litigation may be the only course of action available. If false allegations are made, however, matters will be unnecessarily prolonged, likely to the detriment of the child. Where possible, collaborative law solutions are far preferable to courtroom fights. An experienced and caring British Columbia family law attorney may be able to help in either situation.

Source: niagarafallsreview.ca, "Allegations dismissed as "a malicious contrivance" in Amber Alert case", Allan Benner, Jan. 30, 2017

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