Podcast: Family Law Now

Family Law Now | Ep. 28: Top 20 Questions About Covid-19 and Ontario Child Custody & Access

child access
Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

Russell Alexander and colleagues answer the top questions about child custody and access in Ontario related to covid-19. Collaborative professionals Jonathan Paynter, Jarret Johnston, and Marc D’Heureux provide answers and information for separated parents concerned about child access and parenting schedules during the pandemic. In these unprecedented times many separated parents are experiencing understandable anxiety about safety protocols in the other parent’s home, whether the other parent works from home or is an essential service worker out of the home. The courts are experiencing a high volume of child custody and access cases. Tune in to learn what the courts consider to be “urgent” matters, how the courts treat “self-help” remedies and about alternatives to court.

Top 20 Questions About Covid-19 and Ontario Child Custody & Access

  1. Do I need to send my child for access if I’m worried the other parent is not following protocols?
  2. How do I proceed if I don’t have a court order or separation agreement to formalize the parenting arrangement?
  3. What is sufficient to change the parenting schedule?
  4. If one parent is working from home and spending more time with child, can this parent unilaterally change the child access schedule?
  5. If one parent works in the healthcare system and has an increased risk of contracting covid-19 can child access be restricted?
  6. I’m concerned about the virus spreading during our child exchanges.
  7. I’m concerned that the other parent has children from another relationship and that those children are also going between the homes. I’m concerned about covid spreading through all his family mixing.
  8. Will supervised access continue during the pandemic? Supervised access centre alternatives?
  9. The other parent is using public transportation. Can I stop access?
  10. What am I supposed to do with my concerns?

Parenting Time Enforcement in Ontario During the Pandemic

  1. I’ve consulted a family law professional, but I still feel that it’s in the best interest of my child to avoid sharing time. I’m concerned the other parent will not follow protocols. What can I do?
  2. What does the family court deem as an ‘urgent’ matter?
  3. The other parent is pestering me about my adherence to safety protocols. This is another example of their controlling behaviour. What should I do?
  4. The other parent is now not allowing me to see our children making all these excuses including covid-19. What can I do?
  5. What can I do if the other parent is over holding our child or not willing to return the child?
  6. I’m concerned that the other parent will move or abduct our child. Will the court be willing to hear my matter?
  7. My child is refusing to go to one parent’s home. Will the court hear my matter?
  8. What other parenting claims is the court likely not willing to deal with now?

Finding a Professional

  1. Where can I get legal advice on my matter?
  2. Where can I find professional mediation services?


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Show Notes

First Emergency Child Access Case Decision from the SCJ – Ribeiro v Wright

COVID-19: Updated Case law – LAF v KVS

Children’s Consent to Therapeutic Treatment Examined: Recent Appeal Ruling


Family Law Now | Ep. 22: Covid-19, Divorce, and Remote Collaborative Practice Meetings

Family Law Now | Ep. 24: Child Access During Self-Isolation, Lockdowns and Quarantines


COVID-19 and Divorce Information Centre

Law Society Referral Service

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.