In CJD v. RIJ, Justice Robert A. Graesser of the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench dealt with a case that involved 14 years of protracted litigation. At the outset of the litigation the child was two years old. She is now 16. Over the course of those years she became alienated from her mother to the point where she had not seen her mother for seven months and the court appointed therapist had all but given up trying to foster a relationship between the mother and the daughter. The Father made an application asking for retroactive and ongoing child support as he had full-time care of the child. Justice Graesser, who had been Case Managing the file for 5 years held that retroactive support should go back to the date that financial disclosure was requested – October 2014. The mother argued that retroactive child support should not be paid because of the father’s conduct. The father had commenced litigation against the mother, her lawyers and the child’s former school. In fact, he had been declared a vexatious litigant.
Justice Graesser goes on to order arrears against the mother, however, he notes that this is an unusual case and while monies would usually be paid to the father, because he pursued an active course of conduct that hindered and delayed the counselling process, which in turn aggravated the alienation between the child and mother, he should not be rewarded for that. Accordingly, Justice Graesser ordered the retroactive support be put into a trust which would be used for future counselling, academic upgrading or other expenses for the child. The court held that there was no good reason for the child’s alienation from the mother, and goes on to say: “It may be unreasonable for an adult child to expect support from a parent the child wants nothing to do with other than his or her money.”