Unprecedented times have brought many changes to our lives such as the way we interact with others and how we balance our schedules between our work life and our family life. Divorced couples with children have had to face even greater challenges during the pandemic because of remote learning, work-from-home situations, job losses, and parents who are essential workers, among other challenges.
Co-parenting in itself is a difficult task but the pandemic has added even more pressure to co-parenting effectively. Many parents are worried that their joint physical custody arrangement could possibly be threatening their child’s safety while others are being blocked from seeing their children because of such fears. As a result, parenting plans are being disrupted. How can we resolve this?
First, parents must endeavor to effectively co-parent. The first step is to have a strong open line of communication with each other. The second step is to be flexible and work around each other’s schedules for the benefit of the child. This is more important than ever during this public health emergency. Every family is different and working together to do what is best for your family, especially your child, is crucial.
If you are unable to communicate effectively with your co-parent, hiring an attorney to facilitate such conversations or attending mediation can be effective. Many mediators and arbitrators are engaging in virtual sessions to assist families during these trying times.
In the event that you choose to file an application with the Court, there is no real legal precedent for any of these unique issues. All Judges review the individual situations and determine what is in the child’s best interests. Some Judges may err on the side of caution while others will not take away parenting time. Most importantly, however, parents absolutely cannot deny parenting time despite their fears. If you feel that you have a legitimate and urgent concern, it is important that you reach out to our firm immediately for assistance.
Our firm can assist you with modification of your parenting time agreement or the creation of a temporary parenting time agreement relative to the pandemic. This agreement would take into consideration the best way to divide the child’s time with each parent and include boundaries and rules such as travel guidelines, safety precautions, and behavioral restrictions for parents. The agreement can be limited to this unique time to be revisited and revised.
Our firm understands the enormous stress that the pandemic has brought to co-parenting and are here to help you navigate this difficult time. Please reach out to us today.