Various thoughts and concerns regarding how to co-parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, adapted from Justice A. Pazaratz, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Hamilton, Ontario:
- The health, safety and well-being of children and families are the foremost consideration as co-parenting issues arise amidst the pandemic.
- An existing parenting order should presumably be adhered to and respected.
- Amid extraordinary times, however, everyone’s daily routines and activities have been essentially suspended in favor of social distancing and limited community interaction.
- Promoting the physical and emotional well-being of children calls for flexibility, creativity and common sense.
- Most co-parenting situations call for the continuation of existing parenting arrangements and schedules, subject to pandemic precautions including social distancing.
- A parent subject to self-isolation, personal illness or exposure to the virus may have to forego some custodial or parenting time.
- A parent who fails to take reasonable health precautions and/or recklessly exposes a child (or household members) to COVID-19 risk may be subjected to limited or suspended parenting time.
- Parenting exchanges require additional thought and planning as it pertains to social distancing and other safe pandemic protocols.
- Each family has unique issues and complications, many with no easy answers.