- 19 Jan 2022
- 2 min read
Unvaccinated Father Loses Contact with Child
The press have recently reported that a father in Canada has been denied contact with his 12 year old son as he has not been vaccinated against COVID.
Following a dispute with the mother as to the arrangements for their son, the father had made an application to Court for an order allowing the time that his son currently spends with him during holidays to be extended. The mother opposed the application and it therefore fell to the Court to determine what was in the son’s best interests.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Court ruled that it was not in the son’s best interests to spend time with the father at all when the father was not vaccinated against COVID and unless the father received the vaccine in the meantime, the arrangements for his son to spend time with him were suspended for a period of 2 months.
Whilst it is not suggested that the Courts in England and Wales will choose to follow suit, this case is a timely example of the risks that parents face when inviting a Court to determine the arrangements for their children, rather than attempting to agree arrangements through mediation.
Mediation offers parents the opportunity to discuss the issues they face in a constructive way in the hope that they will come to a resolution that works for their children. Parents have the opportunity to listen to each other’s views in a safe environment as the mediator is there to ensure they are both heard and discussion remains respectful and productive. There is also the opportunity to involve the children in the mediation process, where appropriate.
Court proceedings are sometimes necessary but there are alternative ways which should always be considered first. At Trethowans, our specialist lawyers and mediators are able to guide you on all the options available to you so that you can make an informed decision about what route is best for you and your family.
If you require any assistance please contact our specialist Family team on 01202 339028 or click here.