In the recent Court of Queen’s Bench decision of Hrycun v. Theriault, the Honourable Madam Justice J.B. Veit dealt with an action where a grandparent was seeking contact with her grandchildren. The application was made under section 35(2) of the Family Law Act and required the grandparent to have leave of the Court before she could make her application. Justice Veit, denied the grandparent’s application for leave. In her judgment she noted that, where eventual access (to the child) is remote, it is not in the best interests of the child to grant leave for an application that will only increase the animosity between the parents and the grandparents. Justice Veit also noted the financial consequence that such an application would cause all parties involved. The decision goes on to summarize the leading cases in the area of grandparent access. In summarizing the law, the Court held that the case law has established that where parents are able to meet the needs of the children, the decisions that those parents make regarding who, where and when their children will associate with others will be respected.
Canadian family law jurisprudence is child centered. Meaning the best interests of the children will always be paramount in any decision that the Court makes. The decision of Justice Veit in Hrycun is no different. This is a very unfortunate case where litigation will cause nothing but emotional and financial harm to parties involved. Therapeutic intervention may be the only answer in this type of unfortunate situation.