Co-Parenting In The Time Of Coronavirus
Co-parenting with your ex can demand a level of commitment and coordination that maybe you thought you’d litigated away with your divorce. Yet, parenting after divorce requires a whole new level of collaboration and creativity to provide your kids with the lives they deserve. Now, add in a global pandemic and nation-wide quarantine into the mix, and things get a bit more interesting—especially if relations between you and your ex still still run a little hot.
As the new reality of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reshape our lives, many normal things have been restricted, and the irregular is becoming the new norm. While we all may put on a few extra pounds by remaining indoors all day, one thing that should not be deprioritized by the virus is communication with loved ones. Are you concerned about your co-parent’s sudden drop in communication? Or has communication between you and your ex become high-conflict due to added economic pressure? Read on for some legal tips for how to best navigate co-parenting in the time of Coronavirus.
Focus On The Facts. A simple way to prevent a conversation from escalating into a fight is to keep the focus only on the logistics of time-sharing and parenting, while citing relevant facts or updates brought on by the evolving Coronavirus situtaion—this is not the time to criticise your ex’s “new fling.” If you’re concerned whether your ex is observing the most critical protocols regarding COVID-19, reference the most authoritative content you can find, such as the Center For Disease Control & Prevention. Pointing to the most up to date assessments is a stronger position of influence then simply sharing your opinion of what the other parent “ought to do!”
Agree On A COVID-19 Plan. Look at this current time period from the perspective of a crisis, similar to a hurricane, and not another opportunity to rehash past arguments. Remind your ex of your shared goal to protect the children at all costs. This begins with ordinary and routine behavior, like making sure the kids fully wash their hands and observe proper social distancing. It’s also important to follow through with school recommendations, like making sure the kids follow through with lesson plans and homework. You may need to re-negotiate who does what throughout the week to maximise what is best for the kids. Remember, it’s only temporary.
If Your Ex Picks A Fight… Let it go. If you encounter hostile messaging, communication or threats, be the calm one and realign the conversation to parenting. This may mean you refrain from defending yourself from an attack, and that’s ok. Taking the longview here, you’ll soon realize that the added stress during this period is testing everyone’s patience, it’s more than just the usual hostility. When you check your phone or email only to find a mad-rant from your ex remember you’ve got a choice in how you respond. Choose to meet rage with clear and concise responses; zero in on crucial information regarding your kids and their well-being. Respond directly as necessary, but maintain a neutral tone—you can be firm, but not aggressive. If a fight is unavoidable, at least you get to avoid blowing up on each other in-person, and most importantly, not fighting in front of the kids.
Consider Legal Action, If & When Necessary. Ideally a mild fight with your ex should not escalate to the point that lawyers need to get involved. However, if a custody order is not being obeyed, or you find justifiable evidence that your children are being put in harm’s way, seek legal counsel immediately. A Virtual Consultation with your lawyer is the best way to take control of the situation as it unfolds. Keeping in mind that your case will be delayed more than usual due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic, our legal team will take swift action to escalate your case and get it before a judge as soon as possible. We’ll also look at Mediation in order to avoid court while improving your ongoing circumstances. And if unemployment or change in your general circumstance is an issue, our team will move aggressively towards Post Judgment Modification, to recalibrate and ensure you are on stable ground.
With over 30 years of combined experience, Jason Brodie Esq. and Joshua Friedman Esq. will guide you toward realistic goals and provide committed advocacy toward achieving them. They are known throughout South Florida for dedicated client service, tenacity, and success in complex divorce litigation involving property division, child custody, and spousal support.
To get a better understanding of the qualities our reputation is built on, contact our office in Boca Raton to schedule your initial phone consultation (561) 392-5100