Co-Parenting as We Move Forward with COVID-19
It is tough to overstate precisely how disruptive – and anxiety-provoking – living with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has been. Now that back-to-school is upon us; parents have even more worries to confront. If you are in a co-parenting situation, it can make things that much more complicated. Fortunately, there are some steps that you can take to make the situation more manageable.
First Things First
The most important thing to remember is that your custody arrangements – as they stand – remain in effect come what may concerning the pandemic. You and your ex should continue with your custodial schedules just as you always have – unless you both agree to mutually acceptable changes that you are willing to commit to writing. Further, it is important to recognize that, even though the courts are beginning to open up, they are generally facing significant scheduling backlogs that will likely make it difficult to a modification hearing anytime soon. If you need an emergency order or require a court ordered modification, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.
Back to School
At least to begin, most kids are returning to school online – or with a hybrid plan. Such arrangements bring their own set of complications. Who, for example, will monitor your children and facilitate their learning – while you have your job to do (to support your children in the first place adequately)? When there is only one of you, it can be complicated to move forward with a solid plan, but some things can help, including:
Now is the time for you and your children's other parent to cooperate creatively. Discuss the reality of the new normal you are all living through and attempt to hammer out solutions that work for everyone involved.
Enlist your children's cooperation. Older children often respond favorably to increased responsibility. They may be able to help you out with corralling your younger charges (while building their character ).
Carefully evaluate your resources. If there is a family member or friend who can help out or with whom you can trade services, do not overlook this possibility.
Finally, do not be too hard on yourself. Soon enough, you will have the hang of this thing and will be juggling everything with your usual aplomb.
Do Not Lose Sight of What Is Most Important
Your children's health, safety, and well-being are undeniably foremost to you and their other parent. Making all your decisions with this in mind will help you move forward with confidence. If your children's school is opening for in-class learning, think about how that affects you and your children. If, for example, one of your children has an underlying health concern – or if an elderly relative helps care for your children – going back to the classroom may represent a greater risk than you are willing to assume. Make your decisions based on what is best for you, your children, and your family. You will be well on your way to mastering this challenging situation.