COVID-19 case: Urgent or case conference?
In Edwards v Robinson 2020 ONSC 2956, the mother brought an urgent motion on May 1st for the return of the parties’ two youngest children (the oldest is 20 years old) to her by the father, who had had them since March 25th.
The mother made allegations of domestic violence, which the father disputed, alleging in response that the mother struggled with anger as well as alcohol and drug use. The mother and father filed conflicting evidence with respect to where the children were habitually primarily resident.
Justice Jarvis, in reaching his decision, noted:
“In my view, this is less a case about urgency as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic than a parenting dispute about the terms of a temporary parenting arrangement. Still, the absence of parent-child contact as alleged needs to be addressed. The father’s apparent failure to facilitate contact between the children and their mother since March 25, 2020 is especially concerning and could well jeopardize his claim that the children should remain in his care.”
Rather than finding the matter urgent, Justice Jarvis ordered that a case conference be held “on the sole issue of temporary parenting arrangements.”