Co-parenting can be stressful in the best of times, and the unexpected challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have thrown a wrench into many parenting plans and custody agreements. Ever-evolving work and school schedules, shelter-in-place orders, and fear of illness have created a lot of stress for families, which can be more amplified if custody arrangements are already contentious.
The family law attorneys at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad understand the strain that these circumstances can put on parents and their children. These tips can help parents avoid unnecessary conflict and stress during these challenging times.
Keep Lines Of Communication Open
When it comes to co-parenting, communication is always important, but during the coronavirus pandemic, it has become more vital than ever. Discuss issues surrounding school, childcare, work schedules, visitation, and your family’s health and wellness respectfully. If you need to make changes to your parenting plan, let your co-parent know as soon as possible.
Regardless of the subject matter, answering all forms of communication with your co-parent in a timely manner is a good idea. If you, your child, or another member of your household gets sick or is exposed to COVID-19, make sure to notify your co-parent and work together to come up with a plan of action that keeps everyone safe and healthy. These are tough times for everyone. A little compassion and understanding goes a long way and can help you resolve child custody issues with minimal conflict.
Balancing changing work and school schedules and hashing out the details of everyday life has become harder for many families. Although formal custody agreements and orders are still in effect, being flexible about parenting time, special events, and other issues can help you find creative solutions that benefit everyone.
If you’re concerned or upset about not being able to see your child as often as you would like, consider talking with your co-parent about changing your arrangement or spending more time with your child once the crisis is over. Try to avoid keeping score — remember that your child loves you and is counting on you to put their best interests first. Approaching these issues in a collaborative manner instead of being adversarial can save you a lot of stress and heartache.
Whether your child is with you or your co-parent most of the time, it’s essential to keep in touch. Daily phone calls or video chats can help you stay connected and keep you or your co-parent up to date on what’s happening in your child’s life. If daily calls aren’t possible, setting days and times for virtual visits can strengthen the parent-child relationship and give you an opportunity to have fun together.
If Issues Can’t Be Resolved, Talk to A Family Law Attorney
If you’re having problems with custody arrangements, child support, or you are concerned about your child’s safety, contact your lawyer to find out the next steps to take. Right now, the operation of family courts varies from county to county, so it’s best to talk with a Pennsylvania custody attorney to discuss your options. Even if the courts are backed up or closed, a lawyer may be able to help you reach an agreement through mediation or other methods of alternative dispute resolution.
Contact A Lehigh Valley Custody Lawyer
At Thomas, Conrad & Conrad, our custody lawyers are dedicated to protecting the rights and interests of children and helping parents find solutions that benefit the whole family. During the COVID-19 pandemic, our family law team is here for you. We serve clients throughout the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos region. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call our Bethlehem office at 610-867-2900. We also have offices located in Allentown, Stroudsburg, and Topton, PA.