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Parenting Time Reduced for Essential Workers

Posted on June 10, 2020

For all divorced families it should be your responsibility and priority to make sure your children are being cared for in the best way possible. This may include limiting and/or changing your share timeframe with your spouse if they are an essential worker. 


Recently there have been pressing issues with respect to care, visitation and access to children. What happens when an essential worker (ie: clinical expert, transport driver, basic food item labourer, and so forth) has had their parenting time reduced by their ex-companion as a result of their interests identifying with COVID-19 presentation to the children and grandparents? 

 

Most recently, Justice Deborah Chappel heard the situation where a transport driver hired with the City of Hamilton was denied physical access to both his children aged 7 and 4 since his previous partner had worries about his potential exposure to COVID-19. Since March 15, the mother unilaterally suspended the dad’s physical access and the dad just had phone and video contact with the youngsters. 

 

The dad tried to reestablish his child-rearing time with the kids but was ultimately denied by the mother as she lives with her older and immunocompromised parents and does not want them to be infected. The mother won’t permit the kids to get return home except if they complete a fourteen-day isolation. When this case arrived at Court, the dad had not attended to his children in person for seven weeks.

 

Nonetheless, Justice Chappel reciprocated that these negative effects must be weighed against any wellbeing and dangers the children face if parenting time with the dad proceeded under the current arrangement. Since the mother lives with her older and immunocompromised guardians, the judge considered that the children couldn’t come back to the mother’s home.

 

Upon evaluation, Justice Chappel concluded that the existing court-ordered parenting arrangements are no longer applicable in the best interest of the children.

 

Justice Chappel expressed “the children’s best interests will be served by varying the temporary order to provide for regular daytime visits, in an outdoor setting with limited exceptions, and with strict terms aimed at protecting the children and their other family members from exposure.” 

 

Justice Chappel reduced the father’s parenting time to every Tuesday (2 hours), every Saturday (4.5 hours) and every Sunday (4.5 hours). The most restrictive aspect to the order is that “the parenting time shall occur outdoors, either in the (father’s) backyard or in a nearby park or other outdoor areas accessible by foot once parks and outdoor areas re-open.”

 

These are trying times for isolated guardians who have shifting degrees of worries over COVID-19. At Epstein and Associates, we are here to help with your extraordinary circumstance and to offer you lawful exhortation on your family matter.


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