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As if shared parenting was not complicated enough, enter COVID-19
really shake things up. In the past few weeks, we have
experienced the rapid and unprecedented effects of this global
pandemic. Staying home in pajamas all day used to do
you feel lazy now, it makes you a taxpayer, socially
responsible member of society.
In all seriousness these are difficult and very uncertain
times. School and daycare closings, working from home,
layoffs, financial and health fears and social distancing are only
some of the reasons why parenting may seem difficult, or even
impossible, right now. So what can be separated or divorced
parents do to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on themselves as
co-parents, about their relationship and interactions with one
another, and about your children?
Now, more than ever, parents must work together, book
their differences and focus on the best of their children
interests. Regardless of interpersonal difficulties, you
may have faced in the past, civil and respectful communication is
now necessary be open and honest with each other about how
the pandemic can affect your parenting approach.
Try to be a united front for your children. How are you doing
Discuss the pandemic with your children? How are you doing
implement appropriate social distancing? What other measures
Can their respective homes adopt to ensure that their children are
receive consistent and supportive messages about
pandemic? If your children are of school age, you could argue
Educational activities to be carried out in each home, or simply
brainstorm and agree on some ways to keep your kids busy
Did your business close or get fired? Communicate.
Work in an essential service and you don’t know what to do about it
childcare during your parenting time? Communicate. To have
Health problems for your children related to COVID-19?
Communicate. The takeaway message? Keep open and
respectful communication about parenting through this difficult
Follow court orders and settlements
Continue to comply with court orders and agreements as much as
possible. They remain binding. Do not try to use
the pandemic as an excuse to retain parenting time or otherwise
prevent contact between children and their parents. Courts do
Do not look favorably on such behavior. Furthermore, it is
It is important that children maintain consistency in routine and
Enjoy close and loving relationships with both parents.
That said, there are exceptions. A child probably shouldn’t
transfer to a home in which the other parent or a member of your
recently traveled home outside of Canada, shows symptoms of
COVID-19, or has been in contact with someone who tested positive
for COVID-19. A child who is immunocompromised may also
require certain additional precautions. Parents can get
creative to find ways to keep in touch with your
children should not be physical visits. Daily
Skype, FaceTime and phone calls are one way to achieve continuity
Contact. You can also talk about the makeup time to be scheduled
when the pandemic disappears. You should try to work together
to safeguard the health and well-being of yourself, your children,
and their respective homes.
For a summary of recent custody and related access decisions
to COVID-19,Click here.
For a summary of the judicial and non-judicial processes currently available
for family law clients, as well as a summary of how we can help, Click here.
Many people face financial difficulties due to COVID-19.
Child support payers must do their best to continue doing
child support payments. Consider tighter budgets and eliminate
discretionary expenses. Keep in mind that social distancing means
we are no longer eating out, traveling or maintaining the gym
Memberships In some circumstances, however, it may not be possible.
for payers to meet their support obligations. If a payer is
really unable to support their child support payments they
you must communicate that to the receiving parent
Recipients should try to be accommodating and understand
Financial difficulties are affecting everyone. Reduced support can
be an inevitable reality but hopefully it’s just
temporary. This difficult time requires cooperation and
flexibility of both parents to ensure that children
best interests are being met.
I’m going to say this bluntly: don’t be an idiot.
These unknown times are stressful and confusing for everyone,
including your ex. This is not the time to air dirty
wash clothes or make small blows to each other. Your children
depend on you for hope and guidance through this strange and
Difficult moment. I get it, civil communication and cooperation
with your ex it may not be easy. It’s okay. But
right now it’s time to present your differences and work
together to ensure the safety, stability and well-being of your
If effective communication and cooperation are simply not possible,
we will be happy to offer strategies to achieve positive results
for his family. McKercher LLP has family attorneys both in our
Saskatoon and Regina offices available to assist you
remotely We are pleased to offer Collaborative Law
services. If you are already a customer, contact your
attorney. If you are new to us (welcome!) Contact Renee
Powder in [email protected]
To arrange a consultation. keep in mind
queries can only be arranged after conflict verification
Thanks for reading, stay safe!
We recognize that there are some circumstances in which
communication and cooperation between parents cannot be
possible. If you or someone you know is having household problems
violence, call or text 211 for services and support in your
The content of this article is intended to provide a
guide for the topic. Specialized advice should be sought.
about your specific circumstances.