Travel is often a bone of contention for separated parents. Who can go where and when and with the kids at what age?
To add, during the pandemic, travel bans separated many children and parents further.
Now with borders opening, all sorts of reunions that require travel will be taking place.
Holiday travel for fun or to see extended kin will be up for discussion.
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For some families, the issue of vaccination may be revisited.
However, if one is wanting to cross an international border or travel by air, restrictions will require people to meet vaccination requirements. Whether they like it or not. That, to some degree takes care of those concerns for those supportive of vaccines when their co-parent might not be supportive.
The other issue, less seen, is the fact that children will be away from a parent by a greater distance. Likely by a greater time than experienced since before the pandemic. This alone can create anxiety for both parent and child.
This is not to say travel should be avoided. But if parents want to resolve a travel decision, they should be mindful of this issue as it alone can give rise to conflict although disguised as other issues. Here, talk, sensitivity and planning can ease such tensions for both child and parent.
While so many of these issues can fall to dispute, the legal system can be the worst place to resolve them. That is not to say a lawyer can’t be helpful though.
The trick is to work with a lawyer whose approach is to bring reason, compassion and problem solving to the issue… Not power and control. These are more social than legal issues. Your lawyer can also enlist the aid of a counselor or mediator while still offering you support through the process.
As the world shifts back toward more regular activities, even that return to normal is an adjustment.
Try deep breath, strategies to provide for safety and connection, and problem solving. These can go a long way to facilitating life post-pandemic.
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW is a Canadian Social Worker in private practice. Recognized from his 65 episodes of the hit show Newlywed/Nearly Dead. To over 650 columns as the parenting expert of a major metropolitan newspaper, to more than 600 media appearances, to his book, Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout Canada and the US and helps family peacemakers grow their practice.