COVID-19 Pandemic – Custody and Access Rights Temporarily Suspended to Protect the Health of Residents of Shelters for Victims of Domestic Violence

Date
Press Releases

COVID-19 Pandemic – Custody and Access Rights Temporarily Suspended to Protect the Health of Residents of Shelters for Victims of Domestic Violence

Quebec City, April 11, 2020 – Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec Sonia LeBel announced the temporary suspension of parental custody and access rights when the other parent with custody of the child is staying in a shelter for victims of domestic violence that imposes isolation measures on its residents.

This measure applies whether the custody or access rights are set by judgment or agreement.

Contact between the child and the parent whose rights have been suspended should be maintained to the extent possible by any appropriate means, including technology, in the interest of fostering their personal relationship.

The suspension will end as soon as the parent ceases to reside in the shelter or upon court order.

Quotes

“Shelters across Québec have strict confinement rules to stop the spread of COVID-19. To protect the women who live in them and their children, these exceptional measures had to be taken. Once again, our government is acting in the interest of public health, while ensuring that the rights of Quebecers are protected.”

Sonia LeBel, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Québec 

“We ask for the cooperation of all parents who are affected by this decision to help us succeed in our efforts to stop the spread of the virus. The decision announced today by my colleague the Minister of Justice aims to protect the women living in shelters so that they can stay safe and healthy, and continue to receive this essential service.”

Isabelle Charest, Minister for Education and Minister responsible for the Status of Women

Additional information

Under child custody court orders and agreements, children are required to go to the other parent’s residence. 

In the context of a pandemic, it is often difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile this with public health guidelines and the isolation rules enforced by many shelters for victims of domestic violence.

A child that leaves a shelter to visit another parent would effectively have to isolate for a period of 14 days each time. In practice, it is not possible to provide for this 14-day isolation upon the child’s return in most shelters.

Related links 

To learn more about the justice system measures taken in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the website of the Ministère de la Justice at: https://www.justice.gouv.qc.ca/en/coronavirus.

 

 

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Sources :     Information:

Nicky Cayer
Press Officer
Office of the Minister of Justice 
and Attorney General of Québec
418 643-4210

   

Paul-Jean Charest
Media Relations
Ministère de la Justice du Québec
418 644-3947, ext. 20932

Alice Bergeron
Press Officer
Cabinet de la ministre déléguée
à l'Éducation et ministre responsable
de la Condition féminine
418 997-4093
     
By : MJQ Back to Press Releases
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