Boyle v. Gale - Grandparent Access
In this case, the Boyles sought increased access with their three grandchildren. The mother objected to increased access because of the hostility that the Boyles had for her, because they showed favouritism for the eldest child, and because she was worried that the Boyles would allow their son, the children's father, access with the children. The father was denied access because he was suffering from a drug addiction.
This case began when the mother fled with the children without telling the grandparents where she was going. When the grandparents found out where the mother was staying, they took one of the children with them and appeared to use this child as leverage to gain access with the other two children.
As social worker's report recommended that the grandparents and the mother have joint custody of the children. This recommendation held little weight because it seemed to be founded upon the premise that the mother owed the grandparents gratitude for allowing her to stay with them when she was teenager.
Ultimately, Justice Tucker sided with the mother. She believed that the grandparents lacked credibility, that the mother's witnesses were reliable, and that the fact that the mother fled from the Boyles, taking only a diaper bag with her, supported the mother's claim that she only fled because the grandparents threatened to keep the children if she tried to leave.
The grandparents were denied further access with the children and the access schedule, whereby the grandparents spent every other Sunday with the children, was not varied. Justice Tucker stated that increasing access with the grandparents would only expose the children to more hostility, which is not in their best interests. She made it clear that the grandparents' and the children's love for one another did not mean that greater exposure to the grandparents was in the children's best interests.
The grandparents' Application was not entirely dismissed. They were granted birthday and Christmas access, as well as the right to be reasonably informed of, and participate in, any holidays or special events.