Co-parenting can be a very effective model for raising a child when divorced, particularly for parents who get along well and have shared goals related to child-rearing. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, even the best co-parenting plans have been interrupted. If you are co-parenting right now and struggling to navigate the various obstacles that are pandemic-driven, here are some tips to help you along the way–
Obstacles & Issues Separated Parents Are Facing During COVID-19
Parents who are attempting to share in child-rearing responsibilities while living separate and apart may feel as though life has become infinitely more complex as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To be sure, new issues and obstacles relevant to co-parenting that may have arisen as a direct result of the coronavirus include–
- Disagreements about whether or not the child should attend school remotely or in-person this fall;
- Disagreements about the definition of “social distancing” and what is really safe;
- Concerns about how to spend time with a child during one’s allotted window when also trying to work from home; and
- Worries about a child transferring the virus from one parent’s home to the other.
In addition to the above, one or both parents may become extremely frustrated with the other. In some cases, a parent may even feel as though it is dangerous for a child (or for themselves) to spend time with the other parent. This may lead to a breach of a parenting plan and court order.
Tips for Navigating Co-Parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As you navigate co-parenting and try to do your best during this difficult time, keep the following in mind–
- Prioritize communication. The most important thing that you should focus on when co-parenting, both during a pandemic and normal times, is communication. Be honest and open with your child’s other parents about your needs, challenges, limitations, and wants. Further, listen with an open ear. Working together to find solutions will serve you both better.
- Try to stay calm. The pandemic is incredibly stressful. Dealing with your ex may be incredibly stressful. While both give reason to fret, try to stay calm. Approaching your parenting plan with a level head will go far.
- Empathize. Remember that your child’s other parent loves your child just as much as you do. Keep this in mind as you negotiate and try to find solutions that work for you both.
- Don’t violate a court order. As tempting as it may be to violate your court order and your custody agreement, know that doing so can have serious consequences. Rather than violating your court order, follow the proper legal pathways by seeking a child custody order modification.
- Get a lawyer if you need help modifying a custody order. If you need to modify your court order during the pandemic, you don’t have to do it alone, nor should you. Instead, reach out to an experienced child custody lawyer who has worked on custody modification cases.
Call Heather Ward Law Today
At Heather Ward Law, our experienced family and child custody lawyer understands the additional stress that you may be experiencing as you attempt to co-parent during a pandemic. If you need to take legal action to enforce or modify a child custody order, Attorney Heather M. Ward can help. Send our law firm a message or call Heather M. Ward directly at (617) 903-8955 today for a consultation.