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protect them from harm, yet the question of custody (which requires determination of what is inthe child’s best interests, and thus considerable information, to enable the determination to bemade properly), is left to be resolved in a forum in which such information can be made availableto the adjudicator.6.4.6In an emergency situation, the safety of the claimant may be ensured first by an order thatthe respondent not contact the claimant. If there are children, the children may or may notthemselves be at risk of harm. If they are, there should also be an order that the respondent notcontact the children. However, even if there appears to be no risk of harm to children, contactbetween the respondent and children may compromise the safety of the claimant. If this is so, itmay or may not be possible to structure the logistics of access to the children by the respondent
177ALRI Report No 7477.481ALRI Report No 7480.482ALRI Report No 7482 - 83.483ALRI Report No 7482.484ALRI Report No 7473 - 74.485in such a way that contact does not compromise the safety of the claimant. If it is possible, thisshould be done. If it is not, the “no-contact” order should be made to apply to both the claimantand the children.4816.4.7Addressing the situation where there is an existing custody order in place, the Alberta LawReform Institutereasons that though it may be accurate to say that a lower court is not482competent to vary an existing custody order, it is arguable that such court can still grant aprotection order. The argument is based on the idea that protecting a child against harm bygranting a “no-contact” order is a different issue than deciding which of two parents should havecustody.6.4.8The two types of orders (custody/access and “no-contact”) do not conflict because theyhave different purposes. Protection orders do not conflict with custody orders because the twotypes of orders have different purposes. A protection order may temporarily suspend or qualifya respondent’s custody order, but it does not re-adjudicate the custody issue.4836.4.9The Alberta Law Reform Instituterecommends that it should be possible to make the484following orders in respect of children:•Where there is a risk of harm to a child, an order of “no-contact” with the child;if the risk is minimal, there may be an order of supervised contact.•Where the respondent’s contact with the child would create a risk to a claimant,and order setting out the logistics of the respondent’s access to the child so thatthe claimant’s safety is not compromised; if this is not possible, there may be anorder of “no-contact” with the child.6.4.10As regards financial relief, the Alberta Law Reform Instituteconsiders it important to485distinguish between the type of financial relief that may be needed as a direct consequence of
178ALRI Report No 7474.486Quoted in ALRI Report for Discussion No 15123.487abuse and the resulting need for separationon the one hand, and an ongoing support obligationon the other.