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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-24-2016, 06:57 PM
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Default Some common sense: S7 grandparent babysitting, minor screwups, supervised access

Catizzone v Cowell, 2016 ONSC 5297 (CanLII)
http://canlii.ca/t/gt24v

1) Grandparents used for babysitting, then mom tries to claim S7

Quote:
[24] Ms. Catizzone and her daughter live with her parents rent free. If the parents wanted to charge for room and board, then Ms. Catizzone would be indemnified for her child’s ostensible portion of those expenses from basic child support. The Catizzones have manufactured a charge to claim as a s. 7 expense so as to make an additional claim against Mr. Cowell that is not caught by basic child support. I have no doubt that if they could not claim a piece from Mr. Cowell, they would not be charging their daughter anything for babysitting. Nor am I satisfied that they actually did so. I have no idea what happened with the funds that Ms. Catizzone gave to her parents purportedly on account of this charge.
2) Spurious complaints of bad parenting

Quote:
[37] Ms. Catizzone criticizes Mr. Cowell for having initially wanted to wake the child from her naps for access visits because his time in Toronto was limited to a few hours. She criticizes him for handling the stroller roughly one time and waking the child. Ms. Catizzone took the child to Ottawa to see her family this past July and she gave Mr. Cowell access (supervised) at a park. At one point he was looking toward another child and his child started to wander away.

[38] Ms. Catizzone did not favour the court with any evidence of whether she has ever woken the child from a sleep or ever had the child wander on her watch. I venture to speculate that while in the care of Ms. Catizzone and her parents, the child has fallen down, bumped her head, scraped her knee, and possibly even become ill.
3) Moms don't have to take parenting courses, should fathers be required?

Quote:
[39] Ms. Catizzone is critical of Mr. Cowell for not taking any parenting courses yet. She has not taken any either. Mr. Meiklejohn quickly backed away from a possible suggestion that mothers are more fit parents who do not need parenting courses.

Parenting skills are acquired through experience

Quote:
Instead, he quite fairly pointed out that Ms. Catizzone has had time to learn on the job while Mr. Cowell has not. And that is the important point. Whether by design of one or the other or not, Mr. Cowell may not have had sufficient time with his daughter to demonstrate that he knows what to do to bathe her, to treat a cut or scrape, to console her when she suffers an inevitable fall or when she cries inconsolably at bedtime. The barriers erected by Ms. Catizzone and by Mr. Cowell’s distance may have slowed his ability to grow into the role of father. They have certainly impaired the ability of their daughter to develop a meaningful relationship with her father and his family.
4) Requesting supervised access needs evidence

Quote:
[43] There is little left to be said. Ms. Catizzone’s subjective wants are of little consequence in assessing the best interests of the child. Supervised access has lasted for more than long enough and is now interfering with the child’s entitlement to develop and maintain a meaningful relationship with her father. Mr. Cowell has demonstrated patience and resolve in meeting Ms. Catizzone’s conditions and then bringing this proceeding to try to enhance his relationship with his daughter. There is no evidence justifying further supervision of Mr. Cowell’s access. Ms. Catizzone has not proven any of her three concerns exist in any event. There is no evidence that Mr. Cowell’s anger prevents him from properly parenting their child. There is no evidence that Mr. Cowell is not truthful in his dealings and communications with respect to the child. He will now be given the chance to be a constant presence in her life.

The case is not a total win. There is still that nonsense of a child having to get gradually used to a father, when somehow children can handle entire days at a daycare facility without much warmup at all. There is some of the usual fuck you to fathers scattered throughout. But amidst all the muck, some nuggets of gold.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:13 AM
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Great find.

Quote:
[20] The point of this is that the parties can put up all manner of disputes to all manner of issues and pay their able counsel to dig deeply into each other’s affairs if they choose. Or, they can accept that their child is going to have a relationship with the other parent which neither of them can or ought to control and that their child will be hurt if they continue to approach each other with anger and anxiety-inducing demands and assumptions.

[21] Digging through the minute details of each other’s lives to fight each other off, while legally permissible, is expensive, and inevitably creates resentment and distress. I will deal with the three claims and Ms. Catizzone’s claims regarding access below as I must. But I encourage the parties to consider closely any further desires to trudge through the muck of each other’s lives. Section 7 expenses and access are both to benefit their daughter after all.

...

[27] The parties filed reams of evidence on the question of whether Mr. Cowell was emotionally abusive to Ms. Catizzone during their relationship. Much of the evidence was couched in inadmissible oath helping (“Ms. Catizzone told me he was abusive”) or inadmissible past conduct that was not relevant to abuse or access (i.e. mudslinging)...

[28] The difficulty I have with this finding, that Mr. Cowell was abusive, is that it applies to a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship that could not survive an unexpected pregnancy over two years ago. That alone does not tell me much about how Mr. Cowell will behave with his daughter. Abusive conduct between adults in a relationship is unacceptable and should be stopped by all available lawful means. Given the breadth of the term “abuse” however, one cannot necessarily draw conclusions applicable to one situation from a finding of abuse in another. It is common sense to be wary of the risk that a person who is abusive of another may be abusive toward a child. The finding of abuse is therefore the starting point rather than the end of the inquiry.

...

[41] It is Ms. Catizzone’s position that she gets to set the tests and she gets to be the judge of Mr. Cowell’s satisfaction of her wants.
Para 41 says a lot about the Mother. A lot. Someone this controlling is abusive. Both to the other parent and the child.

What surprises me is that the judge scolds the mother for this very controlling conduct and doesn't do much to address it. Mind you this is a motion and not the results of a trial.
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Old 08-25-2016, 10:27 AM
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When daughters (aka Mothers) live with parents (aka Grandparents) they are still children. Judges should be more mindful of the control that Grandparents have on adult children who are dependent on them for housing.

The more scary situation is when grandparents live with their children.
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Old 08-25-2016, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayken View Post
When daughters (aka Mothers) live with parents (aka Grandparents) they are still children. Judges should be more mindful of the control that Grandparents have on adult children who are dependent on them for housing.

The more scary situation is when grandparents live with their children.


It also works when they dont live with them but they still depend on them. One of the fundamental problems in my partners marriage and in his relationship with his kids now...
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Old 08-25-2016, 11:35 AM
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My ex's parents are being enablers and financiers of her bad behaviour but sometimes she manages on her own.

When her spousal support was going to end, she tried to start charging me the cost of full time daycare. For HER home daycare at her house. For her child. Was good for a laugh. I even offered to pay her a bit above full CS during the "transition" off spousal support. She demanded I pay her the equivalent of full time daycare on top of CS for her to stay home and look after him, or nothing. So I paid nothing.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:40 PM
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All this is a product of family law system that is so abusive of payors that they are so scared to fight often times and recipients feel so entitled to whatever they can get their hands on
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