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The parties married July 7, 2012, and separated May 4, 2019. They divorced April 20, 2022.

After they separated, the Applicant mother moved to Mount Brydges from Niagara Falls, without apparent prior notice to the Respondent.

After court proceedings commenced, Justice Tobin ordered parenting time for the Respondent on alternate weeks and twice a week via Skype.

In March of 2021, the Applicant met Mr. Martin and they married on July 6, 2022. They then moved to Stratford together from Mount Brydges. Shortly after the move, the Applicant’s health declined. She battled cancer for some time, but unfortunately passed away on August 8, 2023.

On August 18, 2023, the Respondent picked the children up for his weekend parenting time. At the end of the weekend, he sent an email to Mr. Martin and the maternal grandparents requesting they do not come to get the children as they were going to stay with him in Niagara Falls. After this occurred, Justice Hassan heard an urgent motion brought by Mr. Martin and as a result, she added Mr. Martin as a party and ordered the children return to his care pending the return of the motion for argument on full material. This decision pertains to that motion.


Both parties acknowledge that the jurisprudence strongly supports maintaining the parenting status quo pending trial. A The court found the status quo in this case over the past 4 years was the children living with their mother and seeing their father on alternate weekends and while on Skype during the week.

On a motion for an interim order to vary an existing interim order, the court should only do so where the moving party has demonstrated a change in circumstances as a result of which there are compelling reasons to vary the interim order to meet the child’s best interests. In this case, the death of the children’s mother, who was their primary caregiver at least since separation, constituted a material change in circumstance requiring a reconsideration of the parenting arrangement.

The court found that the children have a close relationship with Mr. Martin and their maternal grandparents. To assist them in grieving the loss of their mother, it is in their best interests to remain in the familiar supportive environment provided by Mr. Martin and their maternal grandparents.

The court found concerns related to the Respondent’s parenting, specifically noting that he unilaterally, without consultation or discussion and in contravention of a court order, resorted to self help and advised Mr. Martin not to bother picking the children up at the end of his weekend parenting time. The court found such behavior demonstrated selfishness, and a sense of entitlement – it did not prioritize the best interests of his children. The court also found that the only reason the children to date have not spent more time with their father is because of his own inaction as there was nothing that would have prevented his request for more parenting time.

The court made an order for the children to remain in the primary care of Mr. Martin. Mr. Martin was also granted sole decision-making responsibility.