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Family Law during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Parenting Time

In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the members of the public are being advised, and in some cases required, to remain in their homes and self-isolate.

Separated parents face the additional challenge of ensuring that their children have meaningful time with both parents while abiding by recommendations with respect to health and safety.

Some parents may not be able to physically be with their children as a result of self-quarantine or if their parenting time takes place at an access centre. In these situations, technology is an important tool that parents can use to ensure that they have frequent contact with their children. Parents can have access to their children using programs like Skype or FaceTime and they can play with their children using internet-based games.

Family court judges are strongly discouraging parents from using the COVID-19 pandemic to try to create a new status quo that unduly or unjustifiably restricts the other’s parent’s time with their children. Parents are encouraged to cooperate with each other to find creative solutions that minimize disruption to a child’s relationship with their parents.

While judges are available to hear urgent matters, parents are encouraged to attempt to resolve issues through negotiation rather than litigation. The presumption is that court orders and pre-existing parenting arrangements are in children’s best interests as is spending time with both parents.

If you require assistance with a parenting schedule, please contact a member of the McKenzie Lake family law team.