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Virtual Access During COVID-19

If the COVID-19 pandemic hit at a different time, parents would not have the option of exercising access virtually. Thankfully, modern technology provides parents with a myriad of ways of interacting with their children, even when apart. In a recent case, an Ontario court considered a mother’s motion for the continuation of FaceTime access between …

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Enforcing Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In a recent decision, an Ontario court considered the interesting question of what happens when one parent withholds access to a child during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Background The parties were separated. They had one child together, who was two years old. The child had some ongoing health issues, including a neuromuscular disorder with previous …

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COVID-19 and Meeting the “Urgency Test”

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, courts have had to consider parties’ requests to hear motions and decide whether a matter meets the “urgency test” (set out below) on a case-by-case basis. In a recent decision, an Ontario court considered whether a mother’s motion met this test in the context of a more recent notice to …

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Court Recognizes Appropriateness of Self-Isolating at a Cottage During COVID-19

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to change and develop, some parties have been challenging their parenting arrangements. In this recent case, an Ontario court considered the mother’s request to suspend the father’s access to their child because the father had chosen to self-isolate with his new partner (and her family) at a cottage. The …

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Complying With COVID-19 Protocols

An Ontario court recently considered the interesting question of what should happen when one parent fails to follow recent COVID-19 protocols. In this case, the mother brought a motion to suspend the father’s access to their child until he provided evidence that he was complying with public safety directives. The Background The parties had one …

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Mother Granted Exclusive Possession of Matrimonial Home Over COVID-19 Concerns

Parents who share custody and access arrangements for their children have been facing a number of challenges during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases, such as Ribeiro v. Wright, which we discussed in a previous blog, the parent with primary custody has made attempts to suspend the other parent’s access out of fear of …

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How COVID-19 Impacts Family Court Decisions

Over the last few weeks we have used our blog to share news about how COVID-19 is impacting the family courts in Ontario. The courts are currently only hearing urgent matters. The decision we’d like to discuss today is an excellent example of both the types of issues the courts are dealing with as well …

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Determining Whether a Matter is “Urgent” Under the New COVID-19 Protocol

As noted in an earlier post, the regular operations of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice have been suspended under the Notice to the Profession of the Chief Justice of Ontario (the Notice) since March 15, 2020. A determination of “urgency” must therefore be made pursuant to the Notice. In a recent case, the Superior …

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