Across the nation, many divorced parents are feeling stressed and overwhelmed — not just because school is out and the kids are home all day, but because it can be quite difficult to navigate custody orders during this unprecedented time. If you're sharing custody with your child's other parents, you may be wondering how to balance that with the stay-home orders. The truth is, there is no hard and fast rulebook for how to handle the current moment, because it's something we've never seen before. However, the MKH team has some tips to help you and your co-parent get through this as easily as possible.
1. Articulate your concerns with your co-parent and try to find solutions.
Every family's situation is different. Perhaps you or your co-parent work in a hospital or in another position that leaves you more vulnerable to COVID-19. In this case, getting sick and inadvertently passing it on to your child is a serious concern. It would make sense for the child to stay with the parent who is less at risk during this time, even if it means missing out on a visit. No matter the nature of your concerns, your best course of action is to express your worries to your co-parent, propose a solution, and work together to decide what course of action is best.
2. Be reasonable.
Understand that we're all just humans doing our best right now. If you expect things to go just as they would outside of a pandemic, you're likely to be disappointed. Be reasonable with your expectations, patient when it doesn't all go according to plan, and respectful of your co-parent. Unreasonable demands and expectations will simply make this time less tolerable for everyone involved – you, your ex, and your child alike.
3. Utilize technology.
Fortunately, technology offers us many ways to connect even when we aren't physically together. Whether it's reading a bedtime story on Facetime, watching a movie together with a Netflix watch party, playing online games, or other virtual activities, make sure your child gets to spend time with you or your co-parent using technology when a physical visit is not possible.
For further reading…
If you would like to learn more about how the legal system is dealing with coronavirus concerns, check out this article written by the presiding judge of Los Angeles, and this administrative order from Orange County related to child custody.
Who can help?
Whether you have additional questions about child custody in the age of coronavirus or you've tried all the options above and it just isn't working, the MKH team is here for you. We have extensive experience with all aspects of child custody, and while living in a pandemic is as new to us as it is to you, we will do our best to use our knowledge to point you in the right direction. Contact us today!
The information you read in this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.