What can I do if supervised access centres are closed during COVID-19?
Ontario's centres are closed to the public because of COVID-19. This means that most supervised visits and supervised exchanges are not available. A few centres are offering limited services, for example by video. Call the supervised access centre in your area to find out what services are being offered.
If you have an order for supervised access
Your children's safety is most important. If they aren't safe with the other parent, this might mean there can be no visits for now. But you need to let the other parent know about this. See “Make a plan” below.
If you have an order for supervised exchanges of your children
Think of other safe public or private spaces where you can exchange your children with their other parent. For example:
- the parking lot of a hospital, police, or fire station where there are people around but you can still keep physically distant
- the end of your or the other parent's driveway, with the parent doing the dropping off staying in their vehicle and the other parent staying inside the house
- have another adult come to the place where you exchange the children to act as a , but they keep socially distant, for example, by coming in their own vehicle
- the front lawn of a friend, family member, or neighbour's home
Make a plan
Whether you have an order for supervised access or supervised exchange, it's a good idea to do one or more the following:
- Discuss the situation with the other parent by email or text message, if it's safe to do this. This allows you to have a written record of what you both said. You could also communicate with them through another person. Luke's Place has tips on how to communicate with an abusive partner electronically.
- Speak to your lawyer, if you have one. You may have to go to court to make a new plan for how you will exchange your children or how your children will see their other parent while services like supervised access centres remain closed.
- Get legal advice specific to the COVID-19 and family law situation, if you don't have a lawyer.
Making sure you and your children stay safe is always the most important thing.
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