Christie Blatchford: B.C. man pleads for family court reform in suicide note
In a scrawled suicide note, he wrote: ‘Parental Alienation is devastating. I
loved my children as much as a husband and father could. I see no light’
The scrawled and bloody suicide note found in Jeramey A.’s truck
March 28, 2017
9:21 PM EDT
May 9, 2017
2:23 PM EDT
The horror shows that emerge from Canada’s family courts, those aggressive
high-conflict battles that can go on for years, are often complicated and
Jeramey A.’s story — Postmedia isn’t using his last name because two of his
young children carry it — is certainly one such.
It involves an ex-wife and two daughters, a former fiancée and a young son, and
a current wife named Angela.
But a couple of things are straightforward and clear.
On March 8, Jeramey finally signed off on the July 11, 2016, order from B.C.
Supreme Court Judge B.J. Brown.
He unsuccessfully had applied for an order varying the amount of child and
spousal support he had to pay his former wife, a total of $6,500 a month. She in
turn was seeking he be found in contempt of another order and fined an
additional $10,000; the judge adjourned those issues.
Another woman, with whom he’d been briefly engaged and fathered a son after his
divorce, was seeking retroactive and ongoing child support for their son.
You emasculate a man and take away his ability to provide … he’s a human
being. He has limits.
Both those applications were successful, bringing his total child and spousal
debt to about $8,000 a month, but then, in fairness, that woman is herself a
family court lawyer.
Early on the morning of March 9, Jeramey apparently rigged his truck so that
when he drove down an embankment at the end of Page Road in Abbotsford, B.C.,
his neck would break.
In a scrawled and bloody suicide note found in the truck, he wrote: “FAMILY LAW
NEEDS REFORM. I recommend mandated lower costs and less reward for false claims
of abuse. Parental Alienation is devastating. I loved my children as much as a
husband and father could. I see no light. Recommend; an authority consistent
during high conflict separations: It is exploited in family law.
“Sorry Dad and Angie. I’m very sorry.”
He was 45 years old when he died, and as his current wife, Angie, told Postmedia
in a telephone interview from B.C. Tuesday, “He had a hard life. He could not
catch a break.”
Born into a Jehovah’s Witness family, he was kicked out when he was a teenager,
lived with his grandmother and was basically cut off from everyone else in his
He was married the first time for almost eight years.
The woman accused him of assault, he was arrested, the charges eventually
stayed. But, of course, he had to pay for a criminal lawyer to defend him.
This double whammy — a spouse making criminal allegations while custody and
access applications are underway in family court — is known, Angie said, as “the
Jeramey had a company that built cellphone towers and microwave dishes in B.C.
and the north; the business dried up about the time of his divorce, when fibre
optics took over.
In the end, he had declared bankruptcy, though the judge was sceptical that he
really was bankrupt and imputed an income of $181,400 to him. He paid more than
$330,000, Angela said, in legal fees.
He was in arrears, owed money to almost everyone.
B.C.’s Family Maintenance and Enforcement Program was chasing him, because while
he always paid something in support, it wasn’t what the court had ordered, and
FMEP was moving to take away his driver’s licence and passport for failing to
meet his financial obligations, Angela said. His ex was going to get his
pension, if and when he retired.
He hadn’t seen his daughters, now about eight and 10, for almost 11 months. They
were, Angela said, completely alienated from him. He never got to see his son by
In October last year, he was jailed for non-payment of support and breaching
court orders. This strapping man had never been in jail before and was
Angela knew he was in despair, but weeps that she didn’t realize the depths of
it. “I just didn’t know,” she sobbed on the phone. “If he could have seen those
girls, he could have handled all this …
[np_storybar title=”Feel like you need some help and want someone to speak
“His bank accounts were locked, he lost his homes, his vehicle, his business.
You emasculate a man and take away his ability to provide … he’s a human being.
He has limits.”
The two had known one another as teenagers and reconnected in 2014; they married
on Valentine’s Day the next year. Jeramey was completely honest with her: “He
told me everything,” she said. “I knew what I was getting into.”
They were in court, for one thing or another, almost every month, Angie said.
“Knowing you owe so much money, and they’re taking your passport and driver’s
licence, your pension is ours … On top of that, seeing what it was doing to me,
not seeing his daughters … he was in despair, an emasculated man in despair.
“He thought he was burdening me,” she sobbed. “ ‘You’ll love me until we’re old,
you didn’t ask for this. You deserve more,’ but I didn’t want more, I wanted
Two days before he died, Jeramey wrote his lawyer: “I’m tired … Not only have I
lost my children which by itself has torn me into two, but I have lost all my
assets in life … The level of cruelty brought on by what could have been a
simple divorce was and still is mind blowing and I’m simply not the same person
I was, and I expect I’ll never see that person again.”
At his memorial service, his best friend gave the eulogy and said, in part, that
family courts and spousal support in particular “creates an artificial right to
another person’s successes.”
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