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There are often disputes between parents over visitation schedules even when everything is going according to plan in the outside world. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has raised a particularly important question for families split between two households: does the co-parenting schedule stay the same?
The original court-ordered schedule is still valid, however, it’s ideal for everyone involved to maintain some flexibility with your co-parent. Especially if either parent is diagnosed with COVID-19 or they work in an environment with a higher risk of exposure, try to work together to develop creative solutions for how your children can maintain meaningful contact. For instance, consider scheduling a Zoom video call for that parent to help your kids with schoolwork.
Even when everything is status quo, having similar rules across co-parent households is helpful for children. But especially now, keeping consistent social distancing rules and restrictions is a matter of public health. Make sure you work with your co-parent to establish which rules are key and also the best way to explain the current situation to your children.
In unpredictable times, it’s important to be considerate to your co-parent. However, if the other parent is being uncooperative, do the best you can on your end to make things smooth for your children. Follow the terms of your existing agreement as closely as possible. If you must stray from the order for any reason, consult with your attorney first to make sure you have something in writing to protect your actions.
In that vein, it’s important that any changes made to your existing arrangement are in writing and specify upon which conditions everything will return to the planned schedule.
If you need any guidance regarding your custody schedule or issues navigating the co-parenting relationship during this time, be sure to give our skilled family law attorneys a call.