by Sandra Gionas Friday June 12, 2009

High-conflict cases is what they’re called in family court — where acrimony between exes fuels endless court appearances and the inability to resolve issues. And one area where it is most contentious is over custody and access rights.

 

Professionals in the family court system are increasingly paying attention to the alienation of a parent by another parent. Bad-mouthing the ex and leading children to believe they aren’t loved by the other parent is incredibly damaging to children as you will hear from our panel tonight.

 

Mr. Justice Harvey Brownstone, who presides over North Toronto Family Court, family lawyer Jeffery Wilson, family psychologist Barbara Fidle and researcher Amy Baker will be on hand to discuss the damaging effects of parental alienation and how it is playing out in our courts.

 

One guest we tried to book but he was already committed to another conference today is law professor Nichiolas Bala of Queen’s University in Kingston. He and his research team recently concluded a study which focused on parental alienation cases in the courts from 1989 to 2008. He concluded that such cases are on the rise and a detriment to the courts in that they are taking up far too much time. He also broke down cases according to gender and the results of experts appointed to give testimony. It’s worth a look.