Recent Court Decision: “In the long run, self-help will turn out to be a big mistake”
McNeil v McGuinness 2020 ONSC 1918
In this case, which was identified by the court as having “a long history of conflict and litigation since the parties separated in 2012,” Justice Pazaratz declined to find the father’s motion to be urgent as set out in the March 15, 2020 Notice to the Profession.
In his decision, he also set wrote:
“Perhaps I can give high conflict parents a bit of a warning:
A. Just because a Triage Judge decides an issue isn’t urgent, it doesn’t mean the issue isn’t important. It simply means we have to prioritize which issues we currently have the resources to deal with.
B. The suspension of most court activities during the COVID-19 crisis means that – temporarily – separated parents are largely going to be on “the honour system.”
C. We’re counting on parents to be fair and helpful with one another. To rise to the challenge and act in good faith.
D. Because now more than ever, children need parents to be mature, cooperative, and mutually respectful. In these times of unspeakable stress and anxiety, children need emotional reassurance from both parents that everything is going to be okay.
E. How parents conduct themselves during this time of crisis will speak volumes about parental insight and trustworthiness.
F. Your reputation will outlast COVID-19.
G. So please don’t try to take advantage of the current situation.
H. In the long run, self-help will turn out to be a big mistake.”