Recent case law: Emails play role in custody decision

McAllister v Norman, 2014 CarswellOnt 9247 (Ont. S.C.J.) offers a strong judgement in a case of what the court found to be alienation of the child by the mother and serves as a good reminder about the dangers of using email recklessly.

The mother had an order permitting her to relocate with the child so she could live with her boyfriend. That decision of the court was being appealed by the father. In the meantime, the mother ignored the interim access order and did not allow the father to have time with the child, who was 11 years old.

In making the decision to give custody to the father, Justice Campbell gave considerable weight to the evidence of emails written by the mother, which showed her antagonism and hostility to the father.

Interestingly, the decision offered the mother the opportunity to return to live in the same community as the father, in which case custody would be given back to her as long as she would allow reasonable access.

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