Co-parenting when you’re newly separated from your spouse can be a challenging situation to navigate on its own without the added concerns of a public health crisis. Co-parenting when you’re newly separated in the midst of a pandemic is even more challenging and brings with it all kinds of questions and concerns. For those parents in the early stages of separation, productive, child-focused communication is very important. Open discussion around the new issues that this global public health emergency has brought to the surface can help to make this time easier for parents. Conversations about what COVID-19 precautions parents are taking to protect their children from the coronavirus (i.e., engaging in social distancing, added sanitary/hygienic routines, etc.) can offer peace of mind, and allow parents to work together to address any concerns that they have.

Unfortunately, there is no “one-size-fits” all approach for separated families, as each family has its own unique set of circumstances and parents have different ideas about how best to address the situation created by the pandemic. Some parents are still going into work as their employment is an “essential service” and some families have children or other household members with underlying medical issues that give rise to added health concerns; strategies that work for one family may not work for another.

In some situations, both parents may agree that it is in their children’s best interest to be flexible with parenting time to reduce the number of transitions between households. For example, they may decide that parenting time with the children should be for extended periods with each parent; or they may decide to use video calling to maintain contact rather than in-person visits for a period of time.  In other situations, parents may decide that the existing parenting schedule should continue subject to the changes necessary to ensure all necessary COVID-19 precautions are taken.

In most instances, children need both parents, particularly during these troubling times, and fear of COVID-19 should not restrict them from having regular contact with both parents. Studies have shown that it is best for children’s long-term happiness and success as adults to have a good relationship with both parents, regardless of whether they are married, separated or divorced.

The above information is NOT legal advice of any kind, and you should be sure to speak to a qualified family law lawyer about your specific situation. For more information, on understanding co-parenting and COVID-19, call us at 905-273-4588 or email us at to book a free 30-minute consultation with one of our experienced family law lawyers at Kain & Ball Family Law.

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