On Friday, July 10th, Mills & Mills LLP Partner Toni Wharton was entirely successful on all issues raised in the Appeal of Liu v. Huang, 2018 ONSC 3499, an important Family Law case. The decision of the trial court was upheld, giving Toni’s client sole custody of his child, full recovery costs for the trial, as well as partial indemnity costs for the Appeal, in a case that followed almost five years of very high conflict litigation.

Although this case involved property, spousal support, child support and parenting issues, at the heart of the litigation was the custody and parenting time of a young child. After separation, the mother withheld the child from having access with the father and in the litigation, she made serious allegations of domestic violence, which she leveraged to support her obstructive position towards the father’s parenting time and decision making throughout the litigation. 

The trial judge found the mother not to be credible, not to have acted in the best interests of her child and ordered that the father have sole custody and equal parenting time. She made property and support orders favourable to the father as well. In her costs decision, the trial judge ordered 100% full recovery costs in the amount of approximately $250,000, referring to very reasonable Offers to Settle made throughout the litigation by the father, as well as bad faith of the mother.

The father’s reasonableness throughout the litigation and credibility in the witness stand helped him to succeed in these very important issues for him and his child.

This result sends a clear message that false allegations of domestic violence in parenting cases will not be tolerated by the Court and obstructive positions and bad faith will result in substantial costs consequences.

Congratulations Toni Wharton as well as Joseph Gentile and Christina Boodhan, who contributed to this important case.

More information about the trial, costs and Appeal decisions can be found here:

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