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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Stewart-Williams, MDR

Covid and Concerns of Child Health

Covid has affected every facet of our lives and one area where there is great concern and arguments over is in the child custody arena.

This dynamic is very complex. Over the course of the year, I have engaged in:

  • The parent who is all for vaccinations and allow their children to go back to school;

  • The parent who doesn't believe in the vaccination (for multiple reasons) and want their child to virtual learn;

  • The parent who is all for vaccinations and still does not want their child to go back to school but rather virtually learn; and

  • The parent who doesn't want their child to have vaccinations and want their child to still go back to school.

The different types of opinions and desires to make decisions for their children is a complex and sensitive issue. The question is how do you handle these situations. Do you run off to court with an attorney and demand what you desire? That is definitely an option, but will the result of this demand only obtain what you want momentarily? How much will it cost you and will your case be heard swiftly or timely. The other thing to acknowledge is will it actually be enforced. These are things to consider going the court route. Another option, which you probably guessed, is to mediate.

How can you mediate something that you believe is absolute? It is called a compromise. For example instead of demanding that your child not attend school at all, you agree to half the school year of virtual learning, but agree to a review at the half year mark to re-evaluate the affects of covid on in-person learning. This allows consideration of the other parent's concern or desire to also make decisions in the child's life. Never be afraid to think outside the box of compromise. The things we know about mediation is that it is cost-effective, time- efficient, and the decisions made will be your own. Consider mediaiton in these issues. If you need assistance and help to mediate or to put a plan of action in place, please do not hesistate to contact us at Family Court Ombudsman.

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