Hand over the ballet slippers — ‘Frequent flyer’ parents tie up family courts with trivial arguments
Recently, the New York Times reported about a case in U.S. family court where separated parents asked the judge to decide whether their child should be allowed play football, as the parents could not agree. The father said the risk of concussion was too great; the mother said their son understood the risks and wanted to play.
The family bar in Canada is used to dealing with parents’ disputes about extra-curricular activities. Particularly antagonistic parents who repeatedly appear in court are sometimes called “frequent flyers.”
While frequent flyers may have significant issues, often they take up valuable court time over minutiae, such as one parent’s refusal to return ballet slippers. These disputes reduce available court time for more consequential issues like parental abuse or the alienation of a child by one parent.