After a divorce, sharing custody of your child or children with your ex-partner is already tricky enough. Between coordinating schedules and trying to maintain consistency across two households, many parents struggle with co-parenting even in ideal circumstances. But, when you add the stress of an unprecedented global health crisis into your previously established custody arrangement, it’s all too easy to feel like you’re in over your head.
While there are still many uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, health officials recommend social distancing and face masks to slow the virus’s spread and stay safe. However, with physical distancing regulations in place, many co-parents are unsure whether they need to adjust their parenting schedule until the crisis is over temporarily. If you are trying to make tough custody decisions during these challenging times, here are few special considerations for two-household families.
Questions for parents to ask
When asking whether you should alter your custody agreement to keep your family safe, do not consider your previous parenting plan. Instead, you and your ex should determine what changes must be made immediately to keep everyone at home healthy. This could mean that your kids will end up spending more time with one parent over the other, but it’s essential not to let this stand in the way of what is best for your children.
Here are a few key questions to ask if you need to adjust your child’s visitation schedule:
- Is it still safe to continue sending the child back and forth between homes?
- Is one parent better able to support homeschooling than the other?
- Does one parent have a job deemed essential or that involves more contact with the public?
- Are there other members of you or your ex’s household that have frequent contact with the public?
- Are any household members in a high-risk group for COVID-19?
- Does one parents’ home have more space or better access to outdoor spaces where children can play while maintaining social distancing?
The bottom line
Navigating the changes brought forth by the pandemic has been a difficult adjustment for everyone. However, by setting aside your differences with your ex and determining what is best for your children, you can ensure you get through these challenging times together.