Change the custody of children during the containment : not everything is allowed

Modifier la garde d’enfants pendant le confinement : tout n’est pas permis

The crisis is causing headaches for separated parents who share custody of their children. Between the fear of contamination and the compliance with the judgment of child care, how to find ?

The judgment of custody must be respected

Since the beginning of the crisis, several parents have asked the courts to change the custody or access rights that have been set out in a judgment. These parents were concerned that the movement of children increases the risk of contamination. The courts, who continue to deal with urgent requests during the crisis, however, have decided that the judgments of custody and right of access should be respected in spite of the pandemic.

In several cases, the courts have held that the crisis of the COVID-19 is not a reason to change child custody or rights of access in the absence of infection. The mere fear of infection does not change the terms of custody. Even if a parent is working in the hospital environment, it is not necessarily sufficient to justify a change of custody.

You can’t do it justice

If you do not hear from you on how to exercise the custody and access rights during the crisis, you must make an application to the court BEFORE changing what is provided for in the judgment ! You can’t just decide you do justice yourself.

The father of a family has recently made the charges. He had custody of his two children during the school year, as provided for in the judgment, while the mother had access rights. He decided to keep the children at home because of the pandemic, which prevented the mother from exercising its access rights. The latter has submitted an application to the court for the father to allow him to exercise them.

The tribunal gave reason to the mother and ordered the father to allow him to exercise his rights. To compensate for the attorney fees that she had to pay because the father had decided to do justice himself, the court also sentenced the latter to pay 700 $.

You can always reach an amicable agreement

Nothing prevents you from you make a mutual agreement to temporarily change the terms of custody or access without the need to change the judgment. For example, if you have a shared custody of a 7 days/7 days, you could change it to 14 days/14 days.

Caution : the changes must respect the interests of the child. According to its level of maturity, it is also important to consider her opinion concerning his care.

Modifier la garde d’enfants pendant le confinement : tout n’est pas permis

Informational text – This text is not legal advice; it is recommended to consult with a lawyer or a notary public to such a notice. Éducaloi is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inform Quebecers of their rights and obligations in a clear language”.

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