Parenting during the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone, but it's even more stressful when you and your ex-partner are separated. Here are 5 tips to keep you sane, your child happy and your partner in line.
1. Keep communication open
It's always important to keep an open, honest and direct line of communication with your ex-partner when you can. You may be busier than usual during the pandemic, particularly if you have to work remotely or homeschool your child, but that shouldn't mean you neglect the occasional talk with your child's other parent, whether that's online or offline. Not only will this help you meet your obligations, but your ex-partner can also help keep you updated on your child's feelings when they're not with you. Separation can be a scary time for children, and the pandemic only compounds that, so it's always great to have more information about how your little one is getting on.
2. Meet your court-ordered obligations
No matter how hectic the pandemic gets, you're still required to meet your court-ordered obligations when you're co-parenting with someone else — unless circumstances truly prevent it. Quarantine and travel restrictions may affect shared custody arrangements, but if you can, you need to keep up with all agreements you made during the divorce. If you don't, you could find yourself being called back to court.
3. Communicate about changes
If schools close and extra-curriculars become socially distanced, you may need to make changes to your child's usual activities and routines. If you do, it's important to inform your ex-partner and get them on board. If you and your fellow co-parent both share authority and responsibility, you could find yourself in trouble if you make drastic changes without their consideration.
4. Keep your divorce lawyer's number on-hand
Whether you're about to divorce, in the process of divorcing or you've been divorced for a while, it's a good idea to keep your lawyer's number on hand during the pandemic. As stress levels rise, your ex-partner may become resistant to your wishes or begin rethinking your custody arrangement. While it's always best to attempt peaceful mediation first, you may find you need to head back to family court if you can't solve any disagreements amicably.
5. Be considerate
Ultimately, although you may be struggling during the pandemic, remember you're not the only one going through troubles. Try to be considerate of your ex-partner's concerns, from financial troubles to changing opinions. The more you can see things from their point of view, too, the easier it will be to resolve any parenting disagreements.
Contact a local divorce lawyer for more tips.