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Do I have to send my child to my partner for access visits if my child and I are self-isolating or under quarantine?

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Do I have to send my child to my partner for access visits if my child and I are self-isolating or under quarantine?
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Do I have to send my child to my partner for access visits if my child and I are self-isolating or under quarantine?
Reviewed: 
March 27, 2020
Answer

You must follow a court order or agreement about access. But a court is likely to agree that it’s a good reason to stop access until you don’t need to self-isolate or be in quarantine. 

At the moment, anyone who returns to Canada from another country or who has been in contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 has to quarantine themselves for 14 days. Anyone who has COVID-19 symptoms is also being asked to self-isolate.

It’s a good idea to contact your partner and try to get them to agree on their own to stop access until things change. You can offer other options, such as FaceTime, Skype, or WhatsApp calls, as well as giving them extra access time when your quarantine or self-isolation ends.

The National Self-Represented Litigants Project (NSRLP) has developed sample clauses and a sample parenting agreement dealing with social distancing that may be helpful when talking to your partner.

If you and your partner agree about this, you usually won’t have to do anything else. You may want to put your agreement in writing, but you don’t have to.

If you and your partner can’t agree on access while you’re quarantined or self-isolating, then you may have to go to court and get a court order to change access for the short term.

Since March 16, 2020, Ontario family courts are only open for urgent matters. Access to a child may be an urgent matter. Each court decides how they will hear urgent cases and what qualifies as an urgent matter. Contact the court in your area to find out what process they’re following for urgent matters. For example, they may hear motions and case conferences by telephone or video conference.

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