Morris County Family and Divorce Attorneys Discuss Co-parenting During COVID-19
Relational issues often arise between exes or two people raising their children separately.
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way we operate in the world. From our personal lives being drastically affected by social distancing and stay-at-home orders to our professional lives transitioning to online or being upended completely, we are in a time for which there are no instructions or easy ways out. If you are a parent who is raising your child with an ex or other co-parent, these times may be wreaking havoc on your child-rearing routines or your court-ordered arrangements.
COVID-19 has affected everyone worldwide and caused nearly 400,000 deaths as of early June 2020, according to The New York Times. So how can you ensure safety for your child, your loved ones, and yourself, and continue to co-parent in some semblance of normalcy? Hopefully, if you were unable to share parenting duties during the first part of the outbreak – when stay-at-home orders included curfews and nothing but emergency services and vendors of essential items were open, you are now able to navigate co-parenting operating within a new normal. We are not, however, out of the woods yet, and with the threat of a second wave erupting in fall 2020, it’s imperative that the way we all navigate movement in society comes with extreme caution. This includes spending time with – and spending time away from – our children.
This includes differences in opinion or approach on how to raise one’s child or different lifestyles that the child experiences within each home. During this time of the pandemic, it’s important that co-parents work together with the common goal of keeping their child safe and protected as they navigate their diverse life. Keep reading to learn some tips that will help with co-parenting during this unique time.
Regardless of communication issues in the past or how testy your relationship is with your co-parent, this is a time in which recognizing that you are partners in the safe rearing of your child is essential. In order to ensure that everyone in the family stays safe from the highly contagious Coronavirus, communication needs to be the pillar of each relationship: your relationship with your co-parent and your relationship with your child.
Explain to them why it is important to take precautions and introduce them to specific ways they can stay safe. This will not only empower them to take their health into their own hands but also quell any sense of aloneness they may encounter.
Approach the Situation as a Team
Even though you and your co-parent don’t share the same home, you can develop systems together to ensure that proper hygiene and protective measures are taken by everyone in the family. This will have the added bonus of making your child feel anchored across their life, with matching routines in each household and a new culture of collaboration as their default experience.
When developing systems with your co-parent, consider such questions as
- What are emergency procedures if anyone in the home begins showing symptoms of COVID-19?
- What are the procedures for cleansing hands, shoes, and clothes upon entering the home?
Remember that an empowered child feels agency and even excitement to take their own wellbeing – and that of their family – into their own hands. As such the child will feel their power and an increased family bond, across homes, if you give them jobs that they complete daily regardless of which home they are currently living in.
As possible, continue with court-mandated parenting time agreements.
Unless it is impossible or dangerous to keep the court-mandated custody arrangement inflow, try to keep to your steady routine. Your child is perhaps used to this arrangement, and this will create a sense of safety for them in a world that is all but stable. Additionally, New Jersey courts are available to help those in need of augmenting their parenting time agreements during this time; but making a few changes as necessary, and contacting your family law attorney to consult with them on the necessity of approaching the court, is the surest way forward. In the presence of cautious, solution-finding teamwork, custody arrangements can be navigated effectively at this time.
Contact Our Morristown Co-parenting Attorneys Today
At The Law Offices of Jacobs Berger, our team of family law attorneys supports our clients in Florham Park, Tewksbury, Randolph, Morristown, across Morris County in all custodial matters that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
To schedule an online consultation with a member of our firm today regarding your parenting time agreement and impediments to meeting it, please call (973) 718-7705 today regarding your post-divorce or any other family law-related matter.