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Keys for Parenting Time During the Pandemic

It’s probably safe to say that none of us expected to be living through a pandemic. The stress we all feel due to health concerns, possible job loss and the loss of our normal ways of life are difficult to manage. If you are co-parenting after a divorce, the stress can feel even greater. How can your children safely have parenting time during this time of uncertainty? Below are some tips that can help.

Communicate

If you are co-parenting, you already know how open and honest communication is necessary to maintain a healthy co-parenting relationship and stability for your children. COVID-19 adds another layer to the importance of open communication. Make sure you and your former spouse agree that you will both follow all CDC guidelines when the children are with each of you. Voice any concerns you may have and encourage your child’s other parent to do the same. Honest communication will benefit everyone.

Be Safe

If you or your former spouse essential workers, be sure you are following all appropriate safety protocols. Even if you are working from home, it is important to model safe behavior to your children. Practice social distancing during drop-offs and pick-ups and when shopping for essentials, and follow the recommendations put forth by your state officials and the CDC. If you are concerned that the other parent is not committed to good safety measures, don’t be afraid to address those concerns. It is important that you and your former spouse be united in your efforts to keep your respective households safe.

Revising Your Parenting Plan

The Parenting Plan that you and your former spouse agreed to at the time of your divorce may not work during the pandemic.  Schools are closed and children are doing school work at home.  Many parents are trying to work from home and manage their children’s distance learning.  Essential workers can no longer rely on schools to provide care for their children during their work hours.  Parents need to be flexible during this time.  If you are an essential worker, and you have the children during week days under the current parenting plan, and your ex-spouse is working from home, consider changing the parenting plan to allow the children to be with your ex when you are at work.  If your ex-spouse had weekend parenting time, but now has to work because she is an essential worker, change the schedule to accommodate her current work schedule.  Use common sense.  Remember, many non-divorced parents who are essential workers are quarantining themselves in basements, garages and hotel rooms.  This is not a time to insist on your “rights” but to do what is right for the safety of your children.

Applications like Zoom and Skype allow a compromised parent to “virtually” be with their children when they physically cannot. 

If you would like to discuss parenting time issues or the pandemic, please contact  Kathy Newman to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

With extensive experience in all aspects of marital dissolutions, Kathleen M. Newman has handled many complex divorces, including cases with closely held business interests, professional practices and high net worth cases. Her clients appreciate her listening skills and quick assessment of complex issues. She helps her clients organize a strategy to accomplish their goals in resolving the issues in their divorces.

She can be reached by email at kmn@dewittllp.com or by phone at 612-305-1400.

 

 

 

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