Supervised Child Access Parenting Time has to balance the need of a child to maintain maximum contact with both parents while ensuring the child’s best interests are promoted and the child remains safe. The Supreme Court of Canada says the determination of the child’s best interests requires a full and sensitive inquiry. The inquiry must have regard to all the relevant circumstances relating to a particular child’s needs and the ability of the parents to satisfy those needs.
In a new 2019 decision by Madam Justice Shergill, T.E.A. v. R.L.H.C., 2019 BCSC 1042. the section 211 custody report author recommended the father have primary residence due to parenting capacity deficiencies of the mother but she did not recommend supervision. The Judge properly decided that she was not bound by the psychologist’s recommendations. Justice Shergill held that supervision of the mother’s time with the children by the father was needed, given the mother’s parenting capacity issues and her lack of desire to get help to deal with her compromised parenting skill set.
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Supervised Child Access Parenting Time
As this new case explains Judges, not section 211 psychologists, decide what the parenting terms and child access, also known as contact, will be:
 Claimant’s counsel argues that the conditions warranting supervision are not present in this case. Counsel relies on M.H. v. A.M., 2016 BCSC 1664 at para. 132, wherein Mr. Justice Skolrood relies on the following factors taken from F.K. v. M.K., 2010 BCSC 563 at para. 147:
- Long term harassment and harmful behaviours towards the custodial parent causing that parent and the child stress and or fear.
- History of violence; unpredictable, uncontrollable behaviour; alcohol, drug abuse which has been witnessed by the child and/or presents a risk to the child’s safety and well being.
- Extreme parental alienation which has resulted in changes of custody and, at times, no access orders to the former custodial parent.
- Ongoing severe denigration of the other parent.
- Lack of relationship or attachment between noncustodial parent and child.
- Neglect or abuse to a child on the access visits.
- Older children’s wishes and preferences to terminate access.
 More than one of the F.K. v. M.K. factors are present in this case, such as unpredictable and uncontrollable behaviour of Ms. A., long term harassment of Mr. C., and ongoing severe denigration of Mr. C.
 In J.P.G. v. V.S.G., 2012 BCSC 946 at para. 60, the Court noted that “[t]he overarching consideration for the issue of supervision is the best interests of the child”. Madam Justice Maisonville quoted the following passage from Madam Justice Dardi in A.B. v. C.D., 2011 BCSC 603 at para. 30, which I find to be instructive:
 In V.S.J. v. L.J.G,  O.T.C. 460 at para. 143 (S.C.J.), the court provided guidance as to the factors a trial judge should consider when restricting a parent’s access, including:
- The maximum contact principle;
- The right of a child to know and have a relationship with each parent;
- A limitation of a consideration of parental conduct to that conduct which impacts on the child;
- The risk of harm: emotional, physical and sexual;
- The nature of the relationship between the parents and its impact on the child;
- The nature of the relationship and attachment between the access parent and the child; and,
- The commitment of the access parent to the child.
Supervised Child Access Parenting Time cases involve a thorough assessment of risk. In T.E.A., The Court decided there is a real risk of harm to the children should they be left unsupervised in Ms. A.’s care, such that supervision of Ms. A.’s parenting time with the children was warranted because:
- there were false allegations by mother versus father including false sexual abuse allegations,
- the Ministry was involved to place children in the temporary care and to have the mother’s time with the children supervised,
- the mother’s unilateral move away from the Victoria area, and
- finally, the mother lacked insight into her parenting capacity deficiencies nor had she sought help to deal with her issues.
Supervised Child Access Parenting Time
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