A British Columbia judge says a polyamorous father is not breaching the province's COVID health orders by sharing his Squamish apartment with a new partner who is also living with her husband in Vancouver.
In a decision released just before Christmas, the B. Supreme Court said the man can still have visits from his two young children despite his ex-wife's fears that his new partner's open marriage might expose them to the coronavirus. Justice Nigel Kent said the province's public health orders would be challenging for anyone to decipher — even without the extra romantic complications.
The couple are named in the decision, but CBC News has chosen not to identify them because part of the ruling deals with the way in which the subject of the father's new lifestyle is introduced to the children — a four-year-old daughter and six-year-old son.
The mother withheld the children from the father's regular parenting time beginning on Dec. Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has issued orders defining such terms as "private residence" and "vacation accommodation.
The rules say occupants of either shouldn't have people who don't live with them come to visit or stay, unless they live alone — in which case they can be visited by up to two people with whom they regularly interact. But as Kent noted, the orders do not "define the concept of 'living on their own' or 'regular interaction. Does a parent who has two small children still count as someone "living on their own" for the purposes of socializing with others?
And can a polyamorous woman with a husband at one primary residence become an "occupant" of another alongside her lover? Premier John Horgan, who publicly announced plans to spend Christmas at home with his wife, son and daughter-in-law before "it was pointed out to him that such a gathering was actually a breach of one or more of the public health orders currently in force.
The father began dating his new partner in November after meeting her and her husband at a local polyamory support group. The children's mother learned of the relationship in March She didn't like it then, but things came to a head with the public health orders issued in November. I am not okay with that exposure.
He comes with his own risks.
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So does she!!!! That isn't okay for the kids or me And she is not part of your household.
A household are the people you live with. They don't live with others.
Minus the multiple lovers, Vancouver family lawyer Leisha Murphy said Kent's ruling speaks to issues her clients have been grappling with since the beginning of the pandemic. She said the initial lockdown saw no specific mention in the orders for children to be able to move from residence to residence in split families. Murphy said the threat of a deadly virus heightens the central question underlying most child custody disputes: "Is that other parent taking the precautions needed to keep everyone safe?
Family law act defines common law or marriage like relationships
Are they taking unnecessary risks? She said judges have had to weigh the risk of moving from household to household against the potential harm to children of being denied access to a regular caregiver. The mother claims the father paints her as a "crazy, scorned woman with control issues.
Kent found that the father's new lover had a key fob to his Squamish residence, where she kept clothes, toiletries and cookware.
She's in the process of getting a parking spot. The bottom line, the court said, is the new partner can travel between residences — and men — without breaking any rules. Kent also found there was no evidence that the father, his new partner and her husband were acting recklessly.
The judge ordered that the shared parenting regime should immediately. He also said the father should be given visits to compensate for the time he missed in the past month. Kent did agree, however, that the mother should be consulted before the children were introduced to either the father's new partner or the "concept of polyamory. Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.
Ex-wife had withheld children's visits over belief that health orders were breached
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the conversation Create. Already have an ? British Columbia B. Social Sharing. Polyamory during a pandemic? It's complicated.