Despite reasons to not get along, many co-parents manage to have an amicable relationship following their divorce or separation. You do not have to be friends with your co-parent but do need to communicate and cooperate with each other, which allows you to focus on making decisions that are best for your children. A crisis such as the one the world is currently experiencing can test your patience as a co-parent because of the way it disrupts your normal routine and creates uncertainty. It is important to continue to cooperate with your co-parent during any crisis for the sake of creating stability for your children. Here are a few suggestions for co-parenting during our current crisis:
- Put Health First: The most important thing for you to do right now is to protect the health and safety of everyone in your household. This may mean following public health guidelines and taking extra precautions at home. If you have not already, you should talk to your co-parent about what actions you believe are necessary to protect your children.
- Assume That Your Parenting Plan Is Unchanged: You worked hard to agree on a parenting schedule during your divorce. A public crisis does not necessarily mean that your schedule will not work. Try to stick to the same schedule, and adjust it when you know of conflicts. There is no need to throw away your previous work.
- Be Adaptable to Changes: A public crisis will disrupt a parenting schedule in some cases, whether it is due to travel restrictions or a change in your work hours. When you know of a schedule conflict, talk to your co-parent immediately about ways you can adjust your parenting schedule. Remember that your children’s wellbeing should be the top priority in any decision you make.
- Show Compassion: Both you and your co-parent are likely under immense stress, such as from losing your job or feeling stir-crazy while stuck at home. This may affect your mood when talking to each other. If your co-parent seems agitated or hostile, try to respond with calmness and compassion.
- Find Distractions: It is unhealthy to be fixated on a crisis by constantly watching the news and talking about it. More importantly, your children need an escape from stress. Find activities that you can do together while at home, such as watching a movie, playing a game, or sitting outside.
Contact a St. Charles, Illinois, Divorce Attorney
If you need to adjust your parenting plan, it may be helpful to get the changes in writing in case you later disagree on what those changes were. A Kane County divorce lawyer at Goostree Law Group can modify your parenting plan to meet your current needs. To schedule a free consultation, call 630-584-4800.