Canadian Lawyer

June 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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www.canadianlawyermag.com 23 together for a lifetime. . . . When you share adversity as a couple, if you take it seriously and work hard at protecting your children and family, that reminds you that what's great about marriage or other unions is that you're not facing adversity alone." However, more fragile relationships "broke apart harder," she says. And parents have used COVID-19 "as a sword and a shield to justify certain actions and to pursue their own agendas," says Grewal. The pandemic was seized on as an excuse to withhold access, refuse to return children to the other parent or claim that frontline health-care professionals posed a risk to their children, says Alexander. Disputes started last summer as to whether, for example, a cottage rental with extended family would be in the child's best interest and have continued since then. In September, there was some direction from the court and case law regarding when it was appropriate to order a child back to school or homeschool, he says, after the government decided the social and other benefits of in-person schooling outweighed the risks from COVID-19. Judges have generally indicated that if the government deems it safe, the courts will consider in-person school attendance and the like to be safe as well, says Grewal, who acted for the mothers in two family law cases (below) that addressed concerns about COVID-19. One of the first COVID parenting cases "When you share adversity as a couple . . . that reminds you that what's great about marriage or other unions is that you're not facing adversity alone." Anne-France Goldwater, Goldwater, Dubé

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