This is an unprecedented situation. Parents should do the best they can to work together to resolve parenting issues, keeping their children’s best interests in mind, and limiting their exposure to the vulnerable members of our society (such as grandparents, immunocompromised persons, and healthcare workers). With this in mind, here are some recommendations
- Communication between parents
- Acknowledge that both parents remain loving parents to their children
- Commit to do what you can to ensure that the parenting arrangements are the least disruptive to the children as possible
- Recognize that children need the opportunity to maintain the enjoyment of their relationship with either parent
- Health and Self-Isolation
- Take all recommended precautions from health officials such as keeping distance from others, washing hands frequently and model these behaviours for children.
- Avoid activities that require taking children to group settings, or any air travel or travel outside of the province.
- If one parent is required to self-isolate for any reason such as recent travel, or possible exposure to the virus, the parenting schedule may need to change to accommodate a 14-day self-isolation.
- Flexibility is critical.
- Recognize that both parents are likely facing challenges such as managing with school and daycare closures as well as potentially working from home.
- Make a genuine effort accommodate any necessary changes between themselves. This is not the time for power games between parents.
- Use technology to facilitate extra parenting time such as Facetime/Video calls or telephone calls where possible
- Court Closures/Reductions
- Remember, guardians are obligated to discuss and make their best efforts to agree. This requires a common-sense approach on both sides.
- Where a parenting dispute arises that cannot be resolved between you, be aware that you may not be able to get your matter heard by a Judge at this time as the courts are operating on an extremely limited basis, with only the most urgent matters proceeding at this point.
- We are here to help
- Call us if you need help to resolve any significant issues. We will not be meeting clients in person, but we can assist by phone or email.
We encourage everyone to do their part in helping to “flatten the curve” of the spread of COVID- 19.
Written by Jeanine Ball