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How Pandemics Can Affect Co-Parenting Arrangements

The pandemic has created massive changes to the way things work — from affecting our daily routines to forcing employees to do their work at home. Even legal proceedings and court hearings have been affected, with people’s inability to show up in a physical setting and preside over agendas.

It’s also harder to abide by orders of the court when our ability to go out and interact with others has been limited. An example would be in cases of custody, especially if the parents share parenting time and decision-making powers. It’s become more difficult now for the children to move from one place to another and stay over at each parent’s house at different days of the week because of the health risks associated with the pandemic. 

How affected co-parenting arrangements are would depend on different situations and fact patterns. Although the courts have said that the pandemic does not impact parenting time, there is still that looming risk of the virus. So parents have to come together to make their own decisions about the most affected areas of their co-parenting arrangement: decision-making on health and education matters. 

Health and Education Decision Making

Pandemics are extreme situations, which makes it more pressing that the parents come to an agreement about crucial factors that can affect the health and education of their child. For example, they have to talk about vaccinations, sending their children to school during the pandemic, etc. 

One parent may want their child to stay at home and study digitally to keep them safe from the virus. On the other hand, the other parent may be concerned about socialization and want the child to go to school. Or it could be that the parents cannot agree on whether or not to have the child vaccinated. There can be a lot of conflict when deciding serious matters like these. 

To help them come to an agreement, the parents should do their diligence and research on matters that will help them come to a unanimous decision. They should look at the statistics and specifics, such as the efforts that the school is doing to keep the kids safe, the side effects of a vaccine, the requirements of getting vaccinated, etc. 

Parenting Time

The pandemic has also shed light on matters that involve parenting time. The main crux of the matter is if the parent is acting in a responsible way that helps keep the kids safe from the virus. There can be isolated instances when one parent regularly goes out without a mask or doesn’t practice social distancing, hence regularly exposing the child to the risk of COVID-19. 

These matters are worthy of reconsideration. Parents should sit down together and discuss these important factors that can affect the health, safety, and well-being of their child. 

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Stephanie
Randall

Managing Partner

Colorado Springs

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