Court Orders Parent to Sign Nexus Consent

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Mr. Justice Skolrood of the BC Supreme Court has ordered that  he can step in where necessary and require parents to sign a consent form for Nexus passes.

In Pasco v. Pasco, 2016 BCSC 2484, the mother lived in White Rock and the father was unwilling to provide consent for her to travel cross-border for day trips with the child. Justice Skolrood begins by pointing out that it is not the court’s job to effectively manage the parents in the parenting of their children.

Justice Skolrood says,

[11]         It is apparent from reviewing the affidavit material filed on the application that the parties continue to have considerable difficulty communicating and cooperating with respect to the parenting of the child. There is a clear lack of trust that runs through the correspondence between them and a tendency to involve counsel on matters that should reasonably be resolved by the parents. That includes the matters that are the subject of this application.

[12]         I make the further observation that while it is obviously open to either of the parties to bring applications before the court, the court is limited in what it can do in terms of regulating the conduct of the parties. The only people who can ensure the type of cooperation and flexibility that is necessary to promote the best interests of the child are the parties themselves, and they need to start figuring out how to do so before lasting harm is done to the child from their ongoing animosity.

Justice Skolrood allows the mother to travel outside of BC for periods of less than 24 hours and makes an order requiring that the father sign the Nexus consent form to allow the child to obtain a Nexus pass.

He finds jurisdiction for making this order in ss. 41, 42 and 45 of the FLA and notes,

[27]         On this point the respondent submits that obtaining a Nexus card is a matter of convenience, not necessity, and that the interests of the child are not harmed if he does not have a Nexus card. While I have some sympathy for this position, I am satisfied that the convenience that flows from having a Nexus card, specifically the reduced travel and waiting time, is in the child’s best interests, particularly given his young age.

Justice Skolrood states that he is reluctant to make the orders because the court’s role should be limited, and it should not involve itself in everyday parenting decisions of children, which “fundamentally is the role of the parents”.

When the parties cannot agree on parenting issues, the court will always be reluctant to step in. In some cases, the court will order parenting coordinators to make determinations on issues that the parties can’t agree on. Sometimes, the court has ordered parents to sign up for website programs such as Our Family Wizard. In all cases, it is best for the children if it is the parents and not the court making decisions on their behalf.

For more information, or for a consultation relating to children’s issues, please contact us.

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