Co-Parenting During a Quarantine: A Guide for Separated Couples
As news concerning the course that the coronavirus will likely take, countries seem to be reporting an uptick in the number of divorce petitions. But what about couples that are already in the process of divorcing or have been divorced for quite some time?
This can be difficult for a lot of couples. But what about those who don’t live nearby? Are visitation schedules still going to go on as normal? Will some parents be concerned that the other parent isn’t going to take the pandemic seriously? These are all valid questions to ask during the quarantine. Below, we’ll try to address some of them.
Be Healthy and Follow CDC Guidelines
CDC guidelines are there to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Both parents must be on the same page concerning the implementation of recommended social distancing and hand washing. This includes suspending playdates with friends or going into public for any other reason than pressing necessity.
Managing Your Children’s Anxiety
This is a trying time for all of us, but children may not fully understand what is happening and why it is necessary. For that reason, parents find themselves in the paradoxical position of keeping themselves informed, even as the news appears to grow worse, and protecting their children to manage their anxieties over the situation.
Custody Agreements and Court Orders
While the situation has changed everywhere, custody orders and agreements remain in effect throughout the coronavirus quarantine. There will, of course, be couple-specific issues that arise, but by and large, custody orders remain court-enforceable. Even in situations where one parent has primary residential custody of children who are no longer in school, it is better to maintain as much routine during this time for children as possible.
Help One Another
Some parents may have jobs that are considered “essential” services while other parents are temporarily laid off from work. This provides an opportunity for those parents to take more of an active role in their children’s lives while taking pressure off the other parent who is likely under a great deal of it.
Keep Each Other in the Loop
If you or your co-parent are experiencing symptoms that seem like they could be of the virus, you must be transparent and honest with one another. If the children are experiencing symptoms, they should be kept away from others who may be vulnerable to the virus.
If one parent is missing a lot of time with the children due to the quarantine, offer to make that time up some other way. Maintaining a cordial situation with your co-parent is best for the children and the courts recognize that the parent who makes decisions on that basis is eminently qualified to retain custody.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Divorce Attorney Today
If one parent is denying you access to your children based on fears concerning the coronavirus, you may have cause to protest this in court. Call the West Palm Beach divorce attorneys at Bruce S. Rosenwater & Associates to learn more about how we can help.