This Version Posted: May 25, 2020
Co-parenting – or sharing custody of children with your former partner – can be a challenge at the best of times, let alone during COVID-19. Worries about increased exposure risk to the virus in one home or whether proper precautions are being taken by your former partner can weigh on your mind.
A recent Ontario Superior Court decision offers some guidance on how to approach shared custody during a pandemic. According to the court:
- Existing parenting arrangements and schedules should continue with modifications to ensure COVID-19 precautions, such as physical distancing, are being followed
- In some cases, parents may have to give up their time with a child if they have to self-isolate because they’ve become ill, they’ve travelled abroad, or they’ve been exposed to someone with the illness
- There is zero tolerance in the eyes of the court for any parent who recklessly exposes a child (or members of the child’s household) to any COVID-19 risk.
- Due to COVID-19, changes may need to be made to transportation, exchange locations, or any terms of supervision
For the sake of the child, all parties must find ways to maintain important parental relationships. But above all, everyone needs to find ways to do it safely.