Does a trial judge have an obligation to restrict contact with one parent?

Prince Edward Island, Canada


The following excerpt is from B.(R.) v. P.(D.), 2009 PECA 12 (CanLII):

A trial judge is mandated to address maximum contact with both parents; however, that does not mean there is an absolute obligation to make an order which insures such contact. If the evidence demonstrates it would not be in the best interests of the children to provide them with maximum contact, an order that might restrict contact with one parent does not offend s. 16(10) of the Divorce Act. See: Gordon v. Goertz at para.24. There was no evidence before the trial judge which would indicate that it was necessary to restrict contact with the appellant. The evidence was to the contrary. Despite a somewhat unsettled marriage relationship between the parties, the children had the benefit of the meaningful presence of both parents. In all respects, the evidence is that the children thrived in this environment and to deprive them of at least a semblance of such an environment on the dissolution of the marriage is contrary to their best interests.

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