Parenting time during the coronavirus outbreak!
By Shari´ Morris
During this quarantined time, we are all experiencing, it is natural to wonder how your parenting time will be affected. Before making an already stressful situation worse, here are a few tips and advice on how to handle exercising your court ordered parenting time:
- First and foremost, please heed all warnings regarding keeping your child and yourself safe during this time. If you are exchanging your child be sure to minimize contact with others so as to reduce the risk to you or your child.
- Remain flexible with your co-parent when it comes to the needs of the child but remember to try and keep as much normalcy for the child as possible. If one parent must leave the home for work and the other one does not, consider allowing the other parent to exercise more parenting time for the sake of potentially not transmitting the virus to the child or any other family members living with the child.
This also applies if one parent does not have adequate childcare, food and/or educational amenities, while the other one does.
If both parents are adequately equipped to handle the quarantined child, maintaining the court ordered parenting time should continue as scheduled. Parents should also consider being flexible and allowing additional parenting time if the co-parent is requesting. This can be helpful to both the parent and the child so that they both get a break from the monotony that can occur.
- When normal parenting time disputes arise, the police are usually the co-parent’s first line of defense. Considering the emergency our community is under, I advise that each parent utilize every effort (this means above and beyond the normal efforts) to attempt to resolve the dispute before involving the police to mediate. Be sure to heavily weigh the pros and cons of involving the police before calling.
- Last, if you cannot come to an agreement and the police are unable to provide you with relief, you will have to wait for any remedy, unless it is an emergency, until the courts resume normal business operations.
Best Advice: Try to avoid conflict as much as possible! Conflicting parents will only cause further stress and confusion to the child at this time. Remember what’s important: you and your child are alive and healthy! Try to keep it that way.