Mr. Speaker, marriage breakdown is often a difficult and sad occasion and even more so when children are involved. Listen to the story of a non-custodial father who lives in my riding.
A few years ago his former wife took their two children and moved to the east coast. Subsequently he was laid off from his job and it took three full years for the courts to acknowledge the change in his employment status. In this case the court system pushed this father to the edge of financial ruin and dropped him into the abyss of deep emotional anguish, often aggravated by the fact that his wife repeatedly denied any access to his children.
For many, the emotional trauma brought on by inefficient, expensive and sometimes unfair court orders proves too much to bear. Darrin White from Prince George, B.C., committed suicide in March after a court gave him limited access to his children and ordered him to pay his estranged wife twice his take home pay in child support and alimony each month.
All legislators at all levels of government, all family law practitioners and all family court systems realize their decisions have human consequences. Too often, however, the court system fails to deal adequately and quickly with changing home situations.