Co-Parenting in the Age of COVID
Even in ideal circumstances, co-parenting with your ex can be quite difficult and require a significant amount of coordination. If things are not amicable between you and your child’s other parent, co-parenting might be a struggle. For co-parents across the board, though, COVID-19 has presented challenges and required a great amount of flexibility from everyone. Now that children are back “in” school, we thought we’d pass along some pieces of advice that might prove useful for you, your ex, and your child.COVID-19 is Not a Free Pass to Abuse the Current Parenting Plan
There is certainly plenty of room for reasonable concerns from co-parents about their children being exposed to the virus, depending on the other parent’s line of work and daily exposure to the general public. This, however, is not an acceptable reason to flout the parenting plan that has been approved by the court. Not abiding by the time-sharing agreement could mean you will be held in contempt of court.Open up Communication Between You and Your Ex
No matter what, being an effective co-parent means having a constant line of communication between you and the other parent. The pandemic and subsequent stay-at-home orders have only intensified the need for effective communication between co-parents. Be sure to communicate about the important things: schoolwork (remote or in-person), safety, and stability.Be Flexible
This point is essential. If your ex’s place is a better environment for staying on task during remote lessons, consider biting the bullet and letting your child start spending more time at the other household. To the extent that schools are testing children for the virus, you might get an announcement that your child’s school has abruptly suspended in-person services and ordered all students to go completely remote for the time being. If that happens, you and your ex need to figure out the best way forward for your child.Get Creative
Let’s say your ex agrees that, due to his job at the hospital, it is best not to have your child around him. Imagine how it must feel to not have access to your child for an indefinite period of time. Help your child arrange Zoom meetings and other virtual visits to make everyone feel included. Your efforts to accommodate the time-sharing agreement during difficult times will be rewarded. Most of all, your child will benefit from enjoying both parents’ involvement. Ultimately, everyone would benefit from you and your ex coming up with a temporary agreement that keeps your child safe and happy.Going to Court
If your ex is putting your child (and others) at risk by not adhering to health guidelines, it is not out of the question to petition for an emergency custody order. However, judges only grant these in the most extreme circumstances. With the backlog of cases already filling up family court, this might not be an efficient nor cost-effective way to resolve the dispute.
Whatever family law issue you are dealing with, our firm is committed to helping you find a solution. After we learn the nuances and particulars of your case, we will advise you on the best way to move forward so you can have a better tomorrow. We look forward to speaking with you soon!