April 9, 2020

BC Provincial Court factors in COVID-19 Parenting case

The Provincial Court of British Columbia has released a decision involving parenting time around concerns of risk to a child particularly, the mother, who was a health care worker who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Judge Bond provides a list of factors that she found were appropriate to consider. She stated:

[22]        I find a constellation of factors to consider, in assessing what is in a child’s best interests. In this situation, the following factors are relevant:

  1. Whether the child is at an elevated risk of suffering the more severe consequences of the virus;
  2. Whether either party, or those in their household are at an elevated risk of suffering the more severe consequences of the virus;
  3. Each party’s exposure to the risk of contracting the virus;
  4. Steps taken by each party to mitigate the risk of exposure;
  5. All of the relevant factors listed under s. 37 of the Family Law Act, including:
    1. The child’s health and emotional well-being;
    2. The child’s views, where appropriate;
    3. The child’s relationship with each parent;
    4. The history of the child’s care;
    5. The child’s need for stability, given his age and stage of development;
    6. Each parent’s ability to exercise his or her parental responsibilities;
    7. The ability of each party to cooperate in parenting the child; and
  6. In the larger context, society’s need to maintain and access resources in the community, including health care and other ventures that provide services and income for families in a safe manner over an extended period of time.

Judge Bond found that the child was not at an elevated risk and that based on all the circumstances that parenting time should continue with both parents at this time.

The case can be found at the following link:

https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcpc/doc/2020/2020bcpc57/2020bcpc57.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAIQ09WSUQtMTkAAAAAAQ

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