It goes without saying that the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19) is presenting an unsettling and challenging time for individuals across the globe. People are grappling with economic consequences due to employment interruptions and working hard to create a schedule that ensures continuity in their children’s lives.
For individuals who are coparenting and following a parenting time schedule whereby their children split their time between two homes, the current set of circumstances may present a unique set of challenges and considerations. Since there has not been a global incident of this magnitude in recent history with which to compare these recent set of circumstances, there is no model of how divorced or separated parents should handle these challenges.
To the best that you are able, you should continue to adhere to the parenting time schedule that you have already been following. This will provide your child or children with a level of structure and consistency especially given the extended absence from their schools, friends and everyday routines. However, it is also important to be flexible and work together as employment interruptions and childcare needs may force alterations to established schedules. It is understandable that during this time necessary modifications may be in the best interest of your child and children in order to safeguard them or other members of your family from exposure to the virus. Communication is always important as you continue to coparent, and open dialogue is especially crucial during a time like this.
If current work obligations have changed speak with the other parent and work together to develop a workable schedule for your child or children. Then be sure to stick with that schedule in both of your houses. Defining a schedule will help maintain a balance between staying current on homeschooling assignments and recess/free time for your children. While every teacher is handing out assignments and lesson plans in varying ways, a schedule that lists specific times for academics and times for free play will help both you and children structure your days in the coming weeks.
Discuss with your former spouse or partner what rules you will implement in your respective homes to adhere to social distancing so that your child or children are being sent a consistent message by both parents during this time.
Recognize that it will be a learning curve on which everyone is adjusting. Be patient. Be kind. Cooperate with each other understanding that perfect may not be attainable and that you should continue to work together as parents to further your child or children’s best interests.