CTV News: COVID-19 custody battles present tricky challenge for overwhelmed courts

TORONTO — Divorced parents at odds over arrangements for their child’s safety during COVID-19 have been turning to Canadian courts to settle custody disputes, sometimes in an attempt to limit one parent’s access to a child.

In one case, a father temporarily lost physical access to his daughter after taking her shopping in April without a mask. The child has asthma, putting her at higher risk of complications from the virus, and the judge expressed worry that the father would continue to dismiss safety guidelines.

In another case, a judge prevented a child from visiting a cottage with his father and a group of extended family members after the child’s mother shared concerns about the size of the group. The judge acknowledged that, in normal circumstances, the summer holiday would be perfectly fine, but that in this case, considering Ontario’s guidelines on social bubbles, the risks of the trip outweighed the benefits.

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