How has COVID-19 changed parenting after separation?
Parenting after going through a difficult separation is a challenge for all families. Learning to navigate the new normal and find a routine that works for everyone involves balancing the lives of both parents and children and making sense of a new routine. Finding this balance was a challenge before, but has now been made even more complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the ongoing pandemic, children have been home from school, participating in online learning, unable to attend their evening activities, and see friends. Parents might be dealing with adjusted work hours, job changes, and a lack of babysitters/daycares who are currently less likely to accept new children.
Despite the changing circumstances, the separation agreement remains the most important rule and one that you and your ex-partner must continue to abide by. A separation agreement should have clearly defined parenting times, dates, and restrictions that you both must follow accordingly. It is in the best interest of the children to stay consistent with your parenting agreement and not try to make adjustments or changes due to personal preferences.
If you do not have a separation agreement to follow, there are government regulations that can help set up a temporary or permanent solution to your parenting plan. Consider these government guidelines when setting meeting times, transfers, and travel arrangements. Having a plan, whether it's a legal agreement or formal suggestion, is always in the best interest of your children and prevents miscommunication between all parties.
The last but most important consideration to keep in mind when establishing a parenting arrangement is that you must make your choices with the children as the number one priority. For most parents, this goes without saying, but can be challenging to incorporate in your separation agreement planning. If you're wondering what that means or how to apply this to your parenting arrangements, it may be best to consult a lawyer and find out what works best for your circumstances. There are different considerations for every family. Let us find yours!