In a rare decision, the Honourable Justice Kiteley in Sivarajah v. Muralidaran, 2016 ONSC 5381, ordered, on a temporary motion, that the father of two children is to have sole custody with no access to the mother. The father was also permitted to move to Australia with the children.
The mother had serious mental health issues and attacked her two biological children and her mother-in-law. She was later convicted of three counts of aggravated assault and was sentenced to 420 days in jail, plus 3 years of probation. The mother was released from prison, the terms of probation included that she have no contact or communication, directly or indirectly, with the two children and the paternal grandmother for three years starting on the date of her release, except pursuant to a family court order and with written consent revocable by the children and paternal grandmother.
Upon hearing that the mother had been released from prison, the father brought a motion for final sole custody of the children and permission to move the children to Australia. The mother brought a cross motion, seeking to renew her relationship with her children through “therapeutic access” or “reintegration therapy”. In a rare decision, the Honourable Justice Kiteley granted the father sole custody and permission to move the children to Australia. The mother’s request for therapeutic access was denied and, in fact, the mother was denied any access to her children for at least a period of three years. When the terms of her probation expired the mother would be permitted to apply to have temporary access with her children in the appropriate jurisdiction.
In another rare turn, the Honourable Justice Kiteley used the conduct of the mother to reduce the amount and duration of spousal support to outside the ranges provided for in the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines.
This is an interesting decision that doesn’t come along every day.
Erika MacLeod is a family and divorce lawyer practicing in Guelph, Fergus, Elora, Kitchener-Waterloo, Orangeville, and the surrounding areas. If you require legal advice for your family or divorce matter contact her at www.macleodfamilylaw.com.