Parenting After Separation During COVID-19
The global health crisis has brought forth unprecedented challenges for separated parents. With the onset of COVID-19, many are grappling with the complexities of existing parenting plans. The emphasis on minimizing contact and practicing physical distancing has raised concerns about children transitioning between homes. Understandably, some parents are apprehensive about exposing their children to potential risks, leading to denied parenting time and escalating conflicts.
Across Canada, these disputes are reaching legal professionals, with some even making their way to the courts. A notable case from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Ribeiro v. Wright, sheds light on this issue. The court emphasized:
- The paramount importance of children and families' health and safety.
- The presumption that existing orders, including parenting ones, should be upheld as they prioritize the child's best interest.
- The need for flexibility, creativity, and common sense to ensure children's physical and emotional well-being.
- The importance of adhering to COVID-19 precautions, including strict physical distancing.
- The potential need to reconsider direct parent-child contact based on a parent's risk factors or non-compliance with health guidelines.
Infinity Law believes that the essence of this decision is clear: existing agreements and orders should be respected. However, if there's concrete evidence of a parent compromising a child's safety by neglecting health protocols, legal intervention might be necessary. Given the current court operations and the costs involved, it's crucial for parents to communicate and collaborate to prioritize their children's best interests.
In these uncertain times, children need stability and reassurance. Parents must set aside differences and work cohesively to ensure their children's well-being remains the focal point.
For expert guidance on family law matters in Nanaimo, Victoria, and throughout Vancouver Island, reach out to Infinity Law. Connect with us via our website or call us at (250) 385-6004 / (888) 385-6004.