Change of the custody regulation within the PEI attainable, says Justice Minister

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – Attorney General Bloyce Thompson says he will review possible changes in the way conflict-ridden custody matters are handled before they go to court.

Thompson responded on October 20 to questions from Summerside-Wilmot MLA Lynne Lund, who asked about the lawsuits put by lawmakers on October 20 in cases without formal custody agreements.

Pointing out situations where a parent can withhold custody, Lund said there is no clear path for parents to intervene before custody matters go to court.

“Do you think it is in the child’s best interests to be withheld from their parents?”

Attorney General Bloyce Thompson says he will examine possible changes in handling conflicting custody matters before they land in court. – SaltWire network file photo

Thompson said these are difficult situations and there are many programs that can help in high conflict situations.

“It is unfortunate that sometimes we have to work with parents to resolve these conflicted situations so that the children do not have to face these situations,” he said.

Lund said parents would have to go to court to resolve such conflicts and in the meantime children could be kept away from one of their parents.

“It’s absolutely traumatizing for the children,” she said.

She asked Thompson if he would change the necessary legislation to allow emergency regulations to prevent one parent from withholding a child from another.

Thompson said there was no easy answer to this problem, but he made a commitment to speak to the provincial children’s attorney to see what action can be taken.

“If a change is needed, that’s what we will,” said Thompson.

Ryan Ross is a reporter for the SaltWire Network on Prince Edward Island.

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