COVID-19 has presented many hardships for families around the world, especially for those managing parenting plans. Here are some tips for making parenting time a positive experience for the entire family during the pandemic.
Tips on Co-Parenting Agreements During a Pandemic:
- Start the conversation with your co-parent to find common ground. COVID-19 is affecting every area of your life (work, childcare, school, health, etc.), and discussing how the pandemic is affecting you personally will eliminate some of the stressors. You don’t need to agree on the various politics around the pandemic, but it will be helpful for your co-parent to understand how it is impacting you directly.
- Parents need to be aware of their ability to travel with the children, pursuant to their decree. If travel is permitted, parents should discuss their comfort level regarding the children traveling. Address any upcoming trips and whether they are completely necessary, or if plans need to be modified.
- Emergencies may occur since this virus has presented many unknowns to the general population. Create a plan with your co-parent so that you are both prepared to handle emergencies in the best interests of the children.
- Social gatherings are being reduced, eliminated, or revamped. Talk to your co-parent about any upcoming holidays, birthdays, or other social events that the children will be involved in. Listen to your co-parent’s concerns and collaborate to create a plan of action, whether that means to skip events or take precautions to protect the children’s well-being.
- The school year is resuming, and parents need to be on the same page regarding their children’s education. Some children will attend school in person and others will be remote. Communicate with your co-parent to make arrangements for the children that will best support their educational needs.
The Terms of Your Decree
COVID-19 does not change the terms of your decree. Social distancing, mask mandates, and shelter-in-place guidelines do not impact the terms of your decree. It is in your best interest to abide by the terms of your decree unless both parents agree on a new plan to address current circumstances. If you that a change is necessary, but cannot obtain your co-parent’s agreement, you may need to file a motion to make changes to the decree.
Modifying Parenting Agreements
Keep in mind that a parent’s safety concerns may be valid and could potentially warrant a modification to the decree. If you find yourself in a difficult situation regarding your co-parenting arrangement, please reach out to us for help.