While we are all settling in to our new normal in the face of COVID-19 it can be hard to adjust to a co-parenting schedule. Its now more important than ever to try to co-parent like a team, rather than adversaries. Many families have struggled with what to do and how to allocate their parenting time in the midst of social distancing. While many parents have slowly started to adjust here are some tips to continue effectively co-parenting during COVID-19.
Tips to Effectively Co-Parent During COVID-19
- Think Long-Term
- Try and make an effort to work closely with your co-parent to ensure the children are prioritized.
- Working with your co-parent during these stressful times can improve your co-parenting relationship once COVID-19 has come and gone.
- Communicate Your Concerns
- Ensure you and your co-parent are on the same page by practicing effective communication.
- Communicate any concerns you may have about social distancing.
- Remain open and receptive when concerns are being communicated to you.
- Many people have different ideas about what the protocols should be when it comes to social distancing and parenting time. Therefore, it is important to communicate your concerns and get on the same page.
- Talk About Alternative Schedules
- Discuss alternative parenting schedules that may be necessary to enact during this time.
- Co-parents may determine that an alternative schedule that decreases the amount of travel time the children are exposed to is in their best interest.
- It is important to remember that you and your co-parent will have to agree on a temporary schedule. If you both cannot agree you must stick to your regular parenting plan.
- Facetime or Zoom
- Allow your kids the ability to facetime their other parent anytime to ensure everyone stays connected and try to maintain normalcy.
- This is especially useful if you and your co-parent decided to use an alternative parenting schedule in which the children may spend longer periods of time at one parent’s house.
- Remain Reasonable
- The most important thing to remember is to remain reasonable and flexible with your co-parent.
- Share your concerns, remain open to new ideas, and put your children’s wellbeing first. Keeping an open mind allows for better communication and a better outcome for everyone involved.
If in light of all of these things, your co-parenting “team” is still not working, there are ways to settle disputes. Many parents are utilizing mediation during this time if they cannot agree on things such as alternative parenting schedules or any issue that may arise during this time. Virtual mediation is a great option for parents to solve problems in a safe and timely fashion. If you have any questions regarding parenting time or ways to attend mediation don’t hesitate to reach out to the Beermann team.
Morgan L. Stogsdill, Divorce and Family Law Partner