Caring from a Distance: How to Co-Parent During Quarantine

family staying together

The rapid spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to remain at home until everything is well under control. The Colorado government plans to end its stay at home order soon, but it still recommends strict social distancing. This quarantine period is tough for everyone, especially people who are co-parenting.

The current situation makes it difficult for divorced couples to spend time with their child on scheduled visits. The risk of catching the virus, or unknowingly passing it on, is just too high. But it’s still important to be there for your kid during these trying times.

How should you and your ex-partner deal with co-parenting during the lockdown?

Use of Technology

Video calling is the safest choice to make during the quarantine period. Use free video chat platforms, like Skype, Zoom, and even Facebook Messenger to communicate with your kid.

Playing with them is also easier than ever, as family-friendly video games on computers and consoles almost always have an online multiplayer feature.  Quality time is quality time, whether it’s physical or virtual.

Be as Transparent as Possible

If you live in a state that just lifted its lockdown, you could visit your kids. But make sure you’re as transparent with your ex-partner as possible about your recent travel history. This way, you two can work out if it’s safe for your child to spend time with you. And if you’re showing symptoms, it’s best to tell your ex that you won’t be able to visit because of your condition.

Working remotely

Consider Living With Your Co-Parent

Another compromise you could make is to stay with your co-parent and child during the quarantine. This way, you can watch over and take care of your child around the clock. However, this decision depends entirely on your relationship with your ex-spouse.

If you separated in good terms, then a few weeks of living together shouldn’t be a problem. But if you’re still experiencing intense conflict, don’t go through with it. The heightened emotions brought about by the quarantine and potential arguments may create an unhealthy environment for your kid.

Consult With Your Family Lawyer

If you run into a disagreement with your former spouse about, for example, parenting time, you could still reach out to the courts during lockdown. Some are still open for select motions. And no matter which state you live in, California or Colorado, family courts will put the child’s best interests first. But make sure to reach out to your divorce lawyer before deciding on modifying any agreement between you and your ex.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a significant shake-up in family life. The challenge of social distancing and self-quarantine efforts do add to an already difficult situation as a divorced couple. But the lockdown doesn’t have to greatly affect or damage your relationship with your children. The physical separation is temporary, although it could take a long while.

Take steps to still stay in touch. Communicate with and engage with your kids through technology. Be open with your former spouse to ensure the safety of your children. Maintain co-parenting efforts. And be guided by your state law when it comes to family law during these trying times.

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