The Stress and Struggle of Co-Parenting During the CoVid 19 Pandemic
How are you navigating through co-parenting in this time of uncertainty? Do you and your co-parent agree on how to go about doing this? Is he or she acting like they don’t need to follow the guidelines to keep your children safe and healthy?
Are the stresses of home-schooling, unemployment, and financial insecurity creating even more trouble on how to deal with the parenting schedule that just isn’t working as well or working at all right now?
No one has ever had these circumstances to deal with before and most parents are having to make adjustments to their parenting schedule.
But You Don’t Need To Do It Alone
Our team of professionals here at Smarter Divorce Solutions are receiving many calls because the existing parenting plans are harder than ever to follow right now.
The Superior Court in Maricopa County has made some recommendations to help parents through this unprecedented time. First and foremost, the courts want parents to always consider what is in “the best interest of the child.” That being said, they are recommending that you follow the parenting plan as closely as possible.
But is that really possible? You may be having some of the same concerns that we are hearing from parents, so we want to help you in any way we can.
Suggestions To Help Get You Through This
- Because both parents are expected to care for their children and make decisions regarding day to day aspects of their lives, it’s critical that the lines of communication are open. If you and your ex can at least agree on the changes you want to make to your parenting plan during this quarantine, you’re going to find this challenge so much easier.
- Talking, emailing, texting just the facts can be of so much value. This is a time to “dig deep” and put your differences aside. No matter what, you’re still a family even though it’s a different kind of family.
- If you’re wanting to change the plan, talk with the other parent about giving him/her more time or makeup time after this quarantine passes.
- It may make sense that the children stay with one parent or the other for more time than was previously determined. If that’s the case, then discuss this with your co-parent to ensure there will be compensation for lost time.
Remember, any modifications during this time are done in the “best interest of the child,” not to get back at the other parent.
- If the parenting schedule is changed, the parent who is affected and loses time must be allowed to have contact liberal contact via telephone and videoconferencing. This is extremely important to help children feel secure and reduce their anxiety over not being in their normal routine right now.
- If you feel that your co-parent is not following the guidelines of the CDC’s recommendations, send an email to express specifically what the issue is.
- Remember to only talk about the “specific issue” you’re concerned about and how important it is for everyone involved to stay well right now. Try to do this gently and in a way of cooperation as opposed to accusatory language.
- Keep a written record of all your concerns and the changes you have agreed upon in the parenting plan. This will give you both a good idea of where you agree or disagree. Keep talking this through. It’s not necessarily in order to “take them to court” later. It’s intended to be done in the spirit of cooperation, but if you’re dealing with a co-parent who is absolutely not cooperating, you’ll have the documentation you may need for the future.
Handing the Difficult Parts Of Life
Remember your children need to have as much consistency and stability as possible right now. How you and your co-parent handle this unfortunate situation will teach your children problem solving skills, negotiation, and cooperating in difficult life situations.
And if you just can’t do it alone and the courts are closed, consider coming in for a mediation session with one of our trained mediators. We will be able to help you work through many of these challenging parenting issues without having to go to court. We can help you and your co-parent come up with a plan that you can agree upon and live with – a plan you create.
This will benefit you both now and in the long run to have better skills and a cooperative mindset for the future of your family.
You don’t need to do this alone – we’re here to help you.
To get additional parenting guidelines, visit Maricopa County Superior Court
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