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Short Marriages and Unequal Division

Vancouver Surrey parenting time denial is a serious problem in high conflict parenting time and child custody and access disputes. MacLean Law is one of the largest family law firms in Canada and it has won several awards for top Vancouver and Surrey family law firms from Top Choice, threebestrated, Consumer Guide, and Canadian Lawyer magazine. In today’s blog, Gurdeep Khosa reviews the law on when Vancouver Surrey Parenting Time Denial is justified  (hint: rarely) and when the Court will not accept such behaviours by a parent. Gurdeep can be reached at 604-576-5403

Vancouver Surrey Parenting Time Denial 1 877 602 9900

Vancouver Surrey Parenting Time denial
Gurdeep Khosa Punjabi fluent and rising star associate at Maclean Law

In T.N.S. v. G.V., 2020 BCSC 1866, the Court discussed Division 5 of the Family Law Act, namely, compliance respecting parenting time. The court focused on section 62(1), which outlines when denial is not wrongful and whether any of the 62(1) factors applied to the case at hand. This recent case sets out a great summary of how Vancouver Surrey Parenting Time Denial disputes are dealt with.

Vancouver Surrey Parenting Time Denial Lawyers Can Help

T.S., the mother, and G.V., the father are parents of a 12-year-old daughter, M.V. G.V. brought an application to enforce the terms of a Consent Final Order made June 5, 2017 (the “Final Order”). The Final Order was entered into after the first section 211 report was prepared in May 2017 and provided a shared parenting schedule of M.V., among other orders. 

G.V.’s application to enforce the Final Order is based on the fact that he has not had any parenting time with M.V. since August 2020. T.S. states that M.V. has not had any parenting time with G.V. since August 2020 because M.V. refuses to attend parenting time with G.V. T.S. states that short of physical coercion, she cannot force M.V. to go. 

 G.V. deposed that starting in 2018, he noticed behaviour from M.V. that he thought was consistent with T.S. alienating M.V. from him. In 2018, the parties agreed to an updated s. 211 report to be authored by Dr. Aube that included the views of M.V. That report was issued March 1, 2020. T.S. takes issue with Dr. Aube’s opinions and with the opinions Dr. Aube expressed in her first report. G.V. submits that the s. 211 report author found that M.V. had been alienated by her mother, has trouble expressing any views that do not align with her mother, has become co-dependent with her mother, and does not express her own views, but rather the views of her mother which she has adopted as her own.

The issues that T.S. asserts are:

a)    M.V. refuses to have parenting time with her father and, short of “dragging her by the hair”, T.S. cannot make her go;

b)    G.V. has not engaged in the counselling that M.V. and T.S. want to repair the relationship between G.V. and M.V.;

c)     G.V. has moved and his new residence is 45 minutes from M.V.’s school, dance activities, and friends; and

d)    G.V. does not support M.V. in her schooling or dance, the two things that are most important to M.V.

The Court concluded that:

[20] With regard to s. 62(1)(a), T.S. referred to an issue that arose between M.V. and G.V. in 2017 when M.V. was 9 years old. It is described in an affidavit sworn by M.V.’s counsellor. I am concerned about that affidavit being in evidence, given the term of the order which I have already addressed which provides that the counselling records will not be used in the litigation without a prior order of the court. However, the issue is also referred to in the second s. 211 report of Dr. Aube. In brief, the evidence is that M.V. raised an issue about being uncomfortable with her bedtime routines with her father, which included cuddling while reading stories. Apparently the counsellor raised it with G.V., who attended a meeting with the counsellor to discuss it, and after that meeting the issue was not raised again. There is no evidence that M.V. currently regards this as an issue. There is no assertion from T.S. in her evidence that this is an ongoing issue. Accordingly, I conclude that it is not a s. 62(1)(a) factor that T.S. believed that M.V. might suffer family violence.

[21]         T.S. has not raised any other issues relating to s. 62 (1)(a) through (e).

In enforcing the Final Order in favour of G.V., the Court further stated the following comments regarding T.S.’ parenting:

[25]         I do not accept that T.S. has no other options to address the situation. The evidence does not demonstrate that she has used her parental authority to explain to M.V. that it is not a matter of choice as to whether M.V. has parenting time with her father, and that she, her mother, insists that M.V. have the agreedupon and court-ordered parenting time with her father. There is no evidence that T.S. has used appropriate parental disciplinary techniques in response to M.V.’s defiance, if that is what it is, such as removing privileges or curtailing extra-curricular activities until M.V. is prepared to behave in accordance with the rules her parents set.

[26]         Without commenting on the alienation / manipulation debate, it is my impression, based on the evidence of T.S., that she has enabled M.V.’s defiance. There are more statements in T.S.’s affidavit about how she has encouraged M.V. to explain her reasons why she does not like the 50/50 week on week off schedule to her father than there are statements of how she has encouraged M.V. to comply with the agreed upon schedule.

[26]         Without commenting on the alienation / manipulation debate, it is my impression, based on the evidence of T.S., that she has enabled M.V.’s defiance. There are more statements in T.S.’s affidavit about how she has encouraged M.V. to explain her reasons why she does not like the 50/50 week on week off schedule to her father than there are statements of how she has encouraged M.V. to comply with the agreed upon schedule.

[29]         I do not accept that T.S. has established that she tried to persuade M.V. with all of her parental tools. Rather, the evidence demonstrates that she has supported M.V.’s reluctance and has insisted that it be addressed through counselling and a reduction of parenting time.

Surrey Family Lawyers Are Ready To Help

Call our Surrey and Vancouver family lawyers today if you have an issue related to Vancouver Surrey Parenting Time Denial. Gurdeep Khosa is fluent in Punjabi and aware of the cultural issues related to family law and the South Asian community.