Co-parenting during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
Co-parenting is already complicated in many ways, and your family will certainly be impacted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic. While co-parenting situations are unique to every family, below are some important points to consider:
First, if you haven’t done so already, you need for first have a comprehensive discussion with the co-parent to ensure the safety and health of the entire family. Some things to consider are:
Who will be able to take care of the child if childcare is no longer an option?
What happens if either parent loses their job? How will you deal with the financial hardship that may follow?
What happens if someone becomes ill?
What precautionary health measures (i.e. washing hands and items) are being taken when the child is being exchanged from both households?
How are you supporting the children’s mental health during this period?
Should the child be transitioning back and forth between each parent’s household as normal? You and the co-parent may need to alter parenting plan temporarily in such a way that it is in the best interest of your child. In particular, if one co-parent has been in contact with Covid-19 or is at high risk, it may be in the best interest for everyone to have the child stay with the other co-parent for the time being. This may mean that one parent would get more parenting time than the other. However, parents can work together and be creative and come up with alternate arrangements for compensatory parenting time when the pandemic dies down.
As problematic and complex as social distancing may seem with respect to co-Parenting, remember that millions of people are being impacted around the world. Rather than arguing over “entitlement” of parenting time to your children, both parents should be focusing on the well-being of your children, and making a conscious effort to be kind and patient to each other so that we can get through this trying time.
Broadhurst & Kooy can help you navigate through this difficult time with advice, mediation services, and access to information and resources. We are all in this together.