The guiding principle for parenting time is the best interests of the child according to Section 37 of the Family Law Act, SBC 2011, Chapter 25. In some circumstances, the court will require parenting time to be supervised by another individual. For example, a supervision order may be in the best interest of the child in order to protect the children from the risk of physical or emotional harm, to promote the parent-child relationship and to allow for direct access to the parent being supervised. Supervision may also be appropriate to engage in programming, counselling, or treatment to deal with issues relevant to their parenting, to create a bridge between no relationship and a normal parenting relationship and to avoid or reduce the conflict between the parents and the impact of the children. [Ali v, Elfraaz, 2022 BCSC 1339 at para 54 (Ali v. Elfraaz)]

The court will not ordinarily order supervision, because supervision is “one small step away from a complete termination of a parent-child relationship.” [Ali v. Elfraaz at para 54] In Ali v, Elfraaz, a recently decided BC Supreme Court case, Justice Elwood listed some exceptional circumstances which might justify the requirement of supervision such as:

(1) long-term harassment and harmful behaviour towards the custodial parent;
(2) a history of violence, unpredictable and uncontrollable behaviour, or alcohol/drug abuse that has been witnessed by the child or parent that poses a risk to the child’s safety and wellbeing;
(3) neglect or abuse during parenting time; and
(4) lack of a relationship or attachment between the non-custodial parent.

Whether the court decides a supervision order is appropriate will depend on the specific circumstances. Generally, supervision orders are temporary and can be varied.

If you or a loved one are seeking parenting time, consult Vancouver and Burnaby Family Law Lawyer Andrew Rebane at Resolutions Law Corporation, Burnaby, British Columbia at [email protected] or 778-372-7107.

Tags: Burnaby Lawyer; Divorce; Family Law; Parenting Time; Supervised Parenting Time