From family counselors to Spanish speaking family law attorneys, experts can attest that co-parenting is a challenge even in the best of times. During a quarantine situation, those challenges become even more difficult to navigate.
With social distancing protocols in effect, what’s typical when it comes to co-parenting isn’t always in keeping with the best advice of health experts, so how can families maintain balance during these trying times?
That’s what we’ll be taking a look at today, as we examine some info and advice from those in the know about how the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent quarantine have affected the co-parenting landscape.
The Effects Of Pandemic
According to family law specialist M. Jude Egan, the advice from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, to stay “compliant with court orders and custody agreements” without taking the quarantine into consideration. In her view, it is important to recognize areas where the pandemic might impact complex child custody matters, and she identifies four key areas of concern:
Supervised Visitation — As this might involve third parties whose whereabouts either parent may not be able to confirm, there’s a potential for spreading the virus. In Egan’s view, there should be restricted physical contact during visitation in a pandemic scenario, instead giving priority to telephone contact and video chats.
Essential Workers — Egan states that essential workers should not be penalized for the pandemic altering their circumstances, and that their co-parent should be sympathetic toward the possibility that they’ll need to put in longer hours and may have their schedule disrupted.
Ill Parents — If either parent is feeling symptoms of Coronavirus, they should put the well-being of their child at the forefront by limiting contact and opting for video chatting instead.
Protecting Other Family Members — Again, Egan stresses the need for putting health and safety first, and reasons that parents who have not been quarantining diligently should be honest about the fact, and limit contact if there is a reasonable chance they may have been exposed to the virus.
These are all fair points to consider, and it’s evident that simply following the normal routine of co-parenting may not be possible while the effects of the pandemic still rage on.
Tips From A Therapist
Additional advice can be gleaned from therapist Nancy Ryan. She’s identified ten tips that may help co-parenting units better manage their responsibilities during all the uncertainty:
- Be patient
- Be flexible
- Stay healthy and safe
- Be kind
- Be honest
- Tread carefully
- Be practical
- Get it in writing
- Get through it
It may be worth studying this advice, then putting it into practice to help navigate parenting while also attempting to balance the strains of quarantine. Remember to stay adaptable, and work together to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of your child and family.