Editors note: Chris Marshal is a father trying to maintain a healthy relationship with his 10 year old son. He is doing so as the Alberta family courts cooperate, and collude with his wealthy ex wife who obstructs him at every step. Mr Marshal will be returning to court on September 25 2012 – continuing a 10 year struggle to retain contact with his son. The judges listed below have demonstrated scant interest in justice or in equitable interpretation of Canadian family law, nor even in the best interests of a small boy, used by his mother and by the court as a weapon and a tool.
The following are a series of questions, put to Family court judges in the province of Alberta. They were originally posted http://www.afathersstory.ca/
Dear Justice Ged Hawco,
My 9 year old son said he could hardly wait for the weekend so he could show me his Halloween costume. He passed the phone to his mother. I asked her if it was ok for me to pick our son up that weekend. She said it would be ok. I then apologized for not emailing her 7 days before picking up our son as your court order requires. My ex wife then said, You did not email me 7 days in advance. Then you do not get to see him. I said what about Matthewʼs feelings? He is expecting me. She said he will get over it. I asked my ex wife, ”What should I say to our son as an excuse for not picking him up?
What do I tell my 9 Year old son Justice Hawco? Do I say his mother will not let me see him or do I say the law will not let me see him?
You are in charge of this case, Justice Hawco. You are the only one that can let a 9 year old boy see his dad. My ex wife does not care about my sonʼs feelings or my feelings, just her feelings of keeping her son from his father.
What do I do, Justice Hawco? I have been trying to see you since July. My ex-wife keeps denying me access and I can not get into your court room to see you. Please set up a date so that we can see you Justice Hawco. Sooner than later, so that we can all get on with our lives. It has been 8 years and 62 times to divorce court sir. It is my son that is missing out on a normal childhood with his father.
Further Questions for Albertan Justices.
Madame Justice E. Lovecchio, I have a question for you.
On November 14 2009 I asked you if I could vary my support payments to my millionaire ex wife, as I had recently filed for bankruptcy. You told me that you would not vary my support payments, and that I should go deal with Maintenance Enforcement.
They told me that if I did not pay, they would take away my driver’s license and passport. You then fined me $1,000 because I asked you to vary my support payments. Why would you do this? What were you trying to accomplish?
Are you trying to get me that much closer to loosing my driver’s license and job again?
Madame Justice Horner, I have a question for you.
On November 3 2009 I asked you for your help as my ex wife kept denying me court ordered access. You said there was nothing that you could do about it and then fined me $1,000.
You are a highly educated person. How about fining my ex wife the $1,000? When I tried to explain the situation you told me to shut up and sit down. Why would you penalize me, when it is my ex wife who breaks the court order and denies me access to my son? Please tell me why, Justice Horner.
This Judge did not lie or manipulate me. He simply said,”Stop trying to get access to your son or it will kill you.”
I had just spent 30 days in jail for contempt of court and completed my 2nd $3,000 court ordered psychiatric evaluation that stated that I was a warm hearted outgoing man that enjoy’s life and laughs readily.
Justice Sullivan then gave me access to my son 1 day a week with overnights. I live in Vancouver British Columbia, my son lives in Red Deer, Alberta.
This access cost me $4,000 per meeting. I never missed an access.
Why am I doing this? I want to show that judges are people, and people make mistakes. I’m not talking about judicial procedure only.
In reality a family is a complex interweave of emotions that don’t always mesh with the machinery of the Justice System. Judges need to be that human interface of the justice system. They have a responsibility to go beyond the letter of the law. Judges need to look at the whole picture. Too often judges take the easy way out by sticking to procedures to quickly wind up proceedings, so everyone can go home.