Even under normal circumstances, co-parenting your children with your ex after a separation or divorce is challenging at its best. However, in the “new normal” of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing and travel regulations have made it incredibly difficult to co-parent successfully. Unfortunately, there’s no roadmap for helping your family adjust to life with the coronavirus.
If you aren’t on the best terms with your ex to begin with, co-parenting during this time may have you feeling completely overwhelmed. Here are a few ways you can strengthen your co-parenting for your kids amid the global health crisis:
While you may have tried to avoid speaking with the other parent regularly after your divorce or separation, now is the time to over-communicate with your ex about your children and plans during visitation. Keep each in the loop about where you take your kids, what you do together and who you spend time with when you have custody.
Knowing these details is necessary for ensuring your family stays safe and healthy. If speaking with your ex directly is too much to bear, you can rely on co-parenting apps or digital communication to share important details about your children and schedules.
Try to be flexible
While your parenting schedule may have made sense before COVID-19, the unfortunate reality is that you or the other parent may have to make some difficult sacrifices to do what’s best for your child. For example, you may have to settle for a video call instead of an in-person visit or have your kids stay at one parent’s household for a while. While these decisions are never easy, they may be appropriate in these unprecedented times.
Plan for the future
While it often feels like there’s no end in sight to the pandemic, eventually the world will come out the other side of it. While it can be hard to keep a level head when so much about the future is uncertain, remember that how you parent now could work in your favor or against you in future custody hearings. For example, a judge may view taking your child to large public gatherings during this time as irresponsible or even endangerment.
If you are struggling with co-parenting during these times, you’re not alone. By prioritizing your child’s well-being and setting aside your differences with your ex, your family can come out of this stronger than ever.