Co-parenting During Pandemic

With schools closed and parents’ work schedules altered, co-parenting may become even more challenging. Below are some tips on how to get through the difficult times with the best interest of your children in mind.

Accept the fact that your parenting time may need to change:  Regardless of whether the parents reside next to each other or at different ends of a big cosmopolitan city, your parenting time may have to change. With schools closed and parents working from home, everyone will need to adapt to a new routine. You may now need more help from your ex to watch the children if your day is full of virtual meetings and phone calls. Perhaps facetime with your children will save them and you the risk of being exposed to the disease during your pick-up and drop-off commute. Even if you’ve been following a court-ordered visitation schedule, it is totally fine to alter on consent of both parents. Exchange text messages or emails with proposed new schedules and communicate!!!! Put your animosity towards each other aside and focus on safeguarding your children.

If a quarantine is announced, allow the primary custodian to continue to care for the children and have facetime with them instead of picking them up. Discuss how you can make up the missed time by, perhaps, adding more time with the children during the summer. Maybe spend time with the children in the primary custodian’s house instead of taking them outside. Be smart, be loving, be understanding.

Coronavirus pandemic does impact custody arrangements, parenting time, and visitation schedules. Try to work on decisions regarding your children together as well. Remember that although divorced, you loved each other at one point and were able to work together as a team. Focus on the children!!

Accept the fact that you will have to interact with your ex more often: Kids love both parents and want both parents to be present in their lives. In times of change and uncertainty, kids experience anxieties as much as the adults do. Communicating with your ex, being flexible, amicable, and willing to work together through these difficult times for the sake of your children, will reduce worries in everyone. Allow your children more facetime, more phone calls, and, if possible, in-person time with each parent. Help your children feel safe and protected by mom and dad. Continue to communicate with each other and continue to co-parent.

Allow third parties to help you: Step-parents and significant others are often a source of friction for co-parents. But when kids are out of school, and people are getting sick, allow third parties to step in and help. Fighting a crisis has always been easier in teams v. fighting it alone. Delegate, allow help from third parties, and you will see that it will become much easier to conquer the current situation.

High-conflict co-parent:  One of the best ways to deal with a high-conflict co-parent is to follow guidance and take into account recommendations from CDC, Government, Mayor’s Office, and your doctors. Stay neutral!

Consult with your child’s pediatrician for guidance, and share any helpful or necessary information with your ex. Provide recommendations you receive to your ex via email and explain your rationale for the decisions you make. In the event that your ex does not support your decision, ask him/her for the explanation and reasoning. Consult with your child’s health or educational provider for any guidance or reach out to a divorce or child custody attorney or a parent coordinator.

Working together is key to your child’s emotional and physical well-being.

Rudyuk Law Firm, P.C. is readily available for you to answer questions, address your concerns about child custody and parenting time, and consult you if needed.

Contact Ksenia Rudyuk, Esq., New York divorce attorney for more information.

Stay safe and healthy.