Under normal circumstances, co-parenting can be challenging enough. Trying to manage and maintain a healthy parenting plan under a pandemic is unchartered territory for all us.
Attorney’s here at Modern Family Law are working through very different questions and concerns from parents when it comes to COVID-19 (coronavirus).
While everyone’s family situation is different, we’ve outlined some specific things you can do to be a part of the solution rather than add to the problem.
It’s likely your routine has vanished nearly overnight, and new conflict and issues may be arising due to stay-at-home orders. The best thing parents can do in this mounting uncertainty is to be flexible with one another.
Setting lofty expectations and assumptions are ways parents can be flexible; or not. Aside from poor communication, these two areas can truly cause a divide, so pay close attention to your actions and demands.
Think about it, everything in our life right now has become “flexible” whether we like it or not. So, why shouldn’t you be with your ex? Therefore, the theme for your family should be flexibility.
You should also be willing to modify child support if an ex has been laid-off. While you shouldn’t assume or expect such a change, if both parents are flexible, everyone comes out of the situation better.
Being flexible is great, but that doesn’t always stop the conflict that a situation like COVID can bring. During times like this, the last thing you want to do is drive anger or conflict with your ex, especially if children are involved. People are already on edge and it doesn’t help anyone if conflict is layered over the fear we already have.
For children, it’s even more important parents show a cool head and display teamwork during this uncertain time. This demonstration of leadership, responsibility and true parenting goes a long way in the minds of children. This is how you continue to lead by example and put your best face on.
Let logic win the day, not your overflowing emotion. You know your ex well enough to know when a fight is coming so don’t push it. This is just one example of standing above it all and becoming a better you.
Remember, if there is one thing you can do to drive the cost of your custody, support or divorce situation up; it’s to create conflict.
As mentioned before, you don’t want to make assumptions when working with an ex just because that is what they have always done. Things are a bit different at the moment regardless of how well you’ve known someone over the months or years.
To fight this mistake and others when co-parenting, it’s all about communicating confirmations. Make sure you’re always on the same page by repeating a question and then the confirmation of the action. This works regardless of the medium you use, whether that be phone, text, email, etc.
During unstructured situations such as COVID, over-communicating just means communicating consistently and doubling down on the confirmation.
Parents that make their plans or decisions without communicating with the other, will constantly be at conflict with one another. Why would you want to do that, especially right now?
These are times when we check our egos and work towards the good. In your case, as parents, it’s working towards making this moment comfortable and tolerable for your children; not you.
There are several tools on the market that are helping parents these days. One we like to point parents to try is Our Family Wizard, an app that is made specifically for your co-parenting effort.
Save your disputes for later when courts are fully open and COVID has been managed properly. Wait for those demands, needs and asks for a later day. Find a way to compromise right now.
If you can’t come to a meaningful and working relationship over the next month or two, we can always help with a simple and free video consultation to see what can be done. You can start the process here.
See other COVID related articles here.
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