The holiday season is supposed to be festive but for many families it can be a difficult time of year – especially when it comes to families in which co-parenting means children are spending their holidays with different groups of family members.
Pandemic safety issues have introduced a new level of complexity.
Watch: Ask A Lawyer – Separation, family visits and the holidays
Legal Aid Alberta staff family lawyer Jessica Chapman advises parents to approach planning with kindness and to be flexible.
“We’ve learned a lot about how to manage social situations more safely,” she said. “Technology has allowed us to reach so many relatives during the holidays – we can use it to stay connected in a different way.”
When planning in-person gatherings, parents need to share information.
“We do suggest that co-parents continue sharing information about activities including who you have planned unmasked indoor gatherings with, and to be open about what the potential risks are and be open to listening to the other parent,” Chapman said.
“Regardless of what kind of relationship you have with the other parent, you don’t want your child to be at risk of losing someone in their family. It’s not about convenience.”
Previously on Ask A Lawyer:
Ask A Lawyer: Family violence and the legal tools that can help protect families
Ask A Lawyer: Duty Counsel Day and the impact of duty counsel lawyers
Ask A Lawyer: In child welfare cases, family law duty counsel lawyers balance the scales
Ask A Lawyer: The Vital Role of Duty Counsel
Ask A Lawyer: Indigenous Courts and Restorative Justice
Ask A Lawyer: Mental Health and the Law
Ask A Lawyer: Immigration and Refugee Claims During the Pandemic
Ask A Lawyer: Teenagers and Crime
Ask A Lawyer: Child Support Payments