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Ontario child custody case being sent back to Egypt

When an effort to try and settle parenting arrangements ends up going to court, the proceedings are not always pleasant. Unfortunately, some child custody cases do need to be litigated due to the particulars of the situation, especially if the welfare of the child may be in jeopardy. In an international case that recently came before an Ontario judge, however, those particulars were not recognized.

Allegedly fearing for her young daughter's safety, a Canadian woman defied an Egyptian court order and brought her daughter to Ontario in Aug. 2016. Her failure to show at a Dec. 2 hearing sparked both an Amber Alert and a countrywide warrant for her arrest. The battle over the child, now 9 years old, came to a conclusion, of sorts, in an Ontario courtroom on Jan. 30, 2017.

During the court proceedings, videotaped evidence was presented of the child describing the sexual abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of her father. An expert who reviewed the tapes noted the girl spoke in a monotone voice, and appeared coached on what to say. Stories of a large facility where thousands of children were held in hundreds of rooms, with some rooms filled with deceased bodies, were discarded as complete fabrications. The judge dismissed the evidence, decreed the child was in no real danger, and ordered her return to Egypt with her father to allow the judicial system there to settle matter.

In cases of genuine abuse, litigation is perhaps the best choice for a parent who wants to shield a child from his or her partner. Unfortunately, there are times when a parent uses the opportunity to drive a wedge between the child and the other parent for purely selfish reasons. It is always best when cooler heads prevail, whether during mediation or in courtroom. With an open and rational mind, and the assistance of a family law attorney, it may be possible to arrive at a mutually agreeable child custody solution.

Source:, "Court hands jurisdiction to Egypt in child-custody case", Steve Henschel, Jan. 30, 2017

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