We are living in unprecedented times. Although past generations have gone through pandemics, our social structure is much different than it was in the past. As a result, we have new situations to navigate. Situations like co-parenting children after a divorce.
Is it even possible with the current coronavirus pandemic to successfully co-parent children? Yes, though it may take a bit more thought compared to the arrangement prior to the pandemic. Some tips to help parents navigate co-parenting relationships during the pandemic include:
- Prepare for different viewpoints. You and the child’s other parent may have different viewpoints on what reasonable social distancing is appropriate for the family. Some may prefer complete isolation, others are comfortable with a small group of friends while still others may not agree with any restrictions. Be prepared to disagree so that you can focus on a logical, as opposed to emotional, negotiation if you find you do disagree.
- Prepare for future consequences. There are cases of custodial parents refusing to let non-custodial parents see their children as agreed to in the custody arrangement. Although courts are closed and it is difficult to litigate a violation, the courts will reopen. Each parent will have an opportunity to present their case to the court in the near future. As a result, parents that are not able to see their children should keep track of missed dates and those who are keeping children from their parents should be prepared to defend the decision in court.
- Keep records. Keep records of any negotiations to modify child custody arrangements. Modifications are possible, but it is generally wise to have legal counsel help put the documents together to better ensure they survive a later challenge.
These are difficult times, but you are not alone. Legal counsel can help tailor a modification to your situation.