Broken system? Family Law and the Children’s Aid Society.
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(THUNDER BAY, ON) – I recently ran into a long time friend whom I’ve known over 25 years at the courthouse and he invited me to come watch his family law case. What I was about to witness has shocked me.

BACKGROUND.

For the sake of this reality story, I shall call him Rick and call her Liz (not their real names, but the story is completely true).

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Rick and Liz were in a long term relationship for at least 15 years. They had a child I’ll call “Billy”

The relationship broke down due to Liz’s lifestyle choice of becoming a drug addict. Her drugs of choice were crack cocaine and opiates.

They separated and Liz kept sole custody of Billy. A court ordered Rick to pay 350$ a month in child support for the son he loved so dearly. Rick gladly paid the support but constantly worried about his son. Rick maintained steady employment and never passed up the opportunity for visitation with his son.

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Liz made false accusations against Rick. CAS forced Rick to do various types of their programs if he wanted to continue seeing his son. Rick completed them faithfully. Meanwhile, the drug addicted Liz didn’t have to do any programs.

Rick went to CAS numerous times worried about the welfare of his son with a drug addicted mother. CAS did nothing but dismiss his concerns. They never drug tested Liz or her drug dealing new boyfriend, but Rick was subjected to numerous drug tests which he never failed.

LIZ DIES DUE TO LIFESTYLE CHOICES.

Liz died of a drug overdose last year with young Billy at home.

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THERE WAS A TOTAL OF 8 CAS WORKERS AND 2 CAS LAWYERS INVOLVED IN THE CASE OF RICK, LIZ AND YOUNG BILLY.

CHILDREN’S AID TOOK CUSTODY OF YOUNG BILLY AND MADE RICK KEEP PAYING CHILD SUPPORT TO THEM.

Rick faithfully followed all court orders and continued to get supervised visitation 2 hours a week with his son whenever Children’s Aid allowed. After 4 months, the CAS finally gave Rick his son Billy. Rick is the sole surviving, loving and responsible parent. But he still did not have custody of his own son.

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Rick finally got his day in Family Court this past week. His lawyer filed a motion to have custody awarded to him over 7 months after Liz had overdosed and to have all child support paid to CAS since that date returned.

I sat there as a Judge created a custody order that gave Rick full custody of Billy and ordered the child support he paid to CAS ordered returned. I saw the look of relief on his face knowing that this was all finally over and he could just focus on being the loving father he wants to be for his son.

I was happy for him. Truly happy for him.  But I wondered, if it can happen to Rick, how many other people does this happen to?

The thought sent chills down my spine.

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