The Covid-19 virus has made life incredibly stressful for everybody. However, co-parenting in the time of Covid can add an entirely new layer of stress to parents. Having children going back and forth between two different households can be confusing. Especially since everybody should socially distance right now. Parents hopefully have a crisis plan in place for children. There are several considerations to think about when deciding how to split time. Open communication and modern technology can help you manage this crisis. Hopefully, the pandemic will lessen soon and everybody, including co-parents, can get back to life as normal.
Co-Parenting in the Time of Covid: Put the Kids First
Navigating a Crisis
Co-parenting in the time of Covid is like co-parenting in a crisis. Most co-parents have a plan in place if there were ever to be some sort of crisis. While you and your ex might disagree about a lot of things, hopefully, you can work together to navigate these tough times. Perhaps the stress of dealing with Covid can help you put aside more petty disagreements. If you don’t already have a plan like this in place, now is the time to make one. If ever we face another time like this, you’ll be more prepared. You can choose to continue the current parenting plan you have in place, or temporarily change things.
Things to Consider
There are many things to consider when co-parenting in the time of Covid. Since families are meant to be distancing, you might decide that your children should stay with one parent. Rather than being exposed to germs from separate households, you’ll keep your germs contained. When trying to decide which home the children should live at more, try to put aside your desire to “win”, and instead, focus on what is best for the kids. For example, maybe one parent is more set up for virtual schooling. Or perhaps one parent is an essential worker and comes into contact with more potential exposures. You might keep the children more at one parent’s house if the other has high-risk family members. And finally, consider the outdoor space at each parent’s home. Children need outdoor activities and room to run around now more than ever.
How to Manage
Co-parenting in the time of Covid relies on open communication between parents. Try to take your feelings out of consideration and think of what’s best for your children. And let your ex know if anything changes with your schedule or job. Dealing with a national pandemic requires flexibility from everybody to best adapt to a changing environment. Don’t forget that you can set up Zoom meetings or Facetime with your children when you aren’t with them. If both parents feel that they need to see the children equally, consider yourselves as a “bubble.” Each of you should take the same precautions at home and should be incredibly open and honest about any potential exposure.
Covid is hard for everybody, but co-parenting in the age of Covid can be a huge source of stress. You both want what’s best for your children, so sit down and have an honest conversation about how to handle the pandemic safely. Try to remember that you can use Zoom or outside drive-way hangouts to get some face-to-face time with your kids. There may be one parent who is better equipped to handle the ever-changing school plan or other social matters. In the future, it’s always best to have a plan in place for any sort of crisis. Hopefully, we won’t ever face another pandemic like this, but you’ll be prepared just in case. By communicating with your partner, you can help one another navigate this extremely stressful situation in a way that is best for your children.
Switching from being married to being co-parents after a divorce isn’t always easy. Many former couples struggle with making the transition. While mistakes will happen, there are some co-parenting mistakes you’ll want to do your best to avoid. Doing so will help make your experience a lot smoother…
How-to Avoid Co-Parenting Mistakes: Common Issues
One of the most common co-parenting mistakes is when co-parents start to pick fights. It’s understandable that tensions may be a bit high following your divorce. As such, when you have to meet your co-parent, it can be tough to be totally relaxed. This is especially true if your co-parent is seemingly going out of their way to push your buttons.
A good way to avoid these fights is by waiting until you both cool off to meet in person. Instead, you can keep in touch via texts or phone calls. It’s also important for both of you to recognize when you’re in the wrong. Apologize after saying rude, even if your other co-parent doesn’t, to set a good example for your kids.
Forgetting the point
Another of the common co-parenting mistakes is when co-parents lose sight of their goals. Instead of trying to be good co-parents to their kids, they instead try and gain an “upper hand” over their ex. This ends up causing a power struggle to develop. Now, each co-parent will try and make requests or demands for their own benefit, rather than for the kids.
Remember that co-parenting isn’t a competition. Your kids will need both of you to be positive influences in their lives. If they see you fighting and acting like that, you’ll be leaving a bad impression. Therefore, you and your co-parent need to be willing to work together for the benefit of your kids.
Many co-parenting mistakes are caused by bad communication. It could be that you and your co-parent barely talk to one another. This can end up causing a lot of miscommunication, leaving you or them out of the loop. As a result, this tends to cause a lot of tension and subsequent arguments.
Good communication is crucial to any co-parenting arrangement. As such, you and your co-parent should remain in regular contact. Even just simple texts or calls will go a long way in clearing things up and making sure everyone is on the same page.
Navigated a divorce is difficult enough. When you add children to the situation, every decision gets more complicated. One thing you might be stressing over is whether or not to seek sole custody. In some situations, sole custody is necessary for various reasons. However, in some situations, the children and parents might be better off with a joint-custody situation. Just make sure you know what is driving the decision. Is it for retaliation against your ex? Or is it for the benefit of the children? If you find that you are acting out of bitterness, try to find another outlet for your anger. Every decision you make needs to be in the best interest of your kids.
Is Sole Custody Necessary: Navigating Bitterness and Retaliation
When is Sole Custody Necessary?
Sole custody is necessary for several situations. Sole legal custody means that only one parent is responsible for making decisions regarding the children. If your partner is unfit to do this, you might need to seek sole custody. For example, this could include mental health problems, or substance abuse issues. If there has been abandonment, then you’ll want to seek custody. And of course, if there are any concerns about abuse for you or your children. Another consideration is if your ex is currently in prison or jail.
And finally, if your ex is being relocated to another state or country, it might be that sole custody is necessary. Custody involves making important decisions for your kids. If it will be difficult for somebody to get in touch with your ex, then you might want to make sure it’s just you making the decisions. If they are relocating but will be easy to get in touch with and plan to visit often, then sole custody might not be required.
What is Your Motivation?
If you are considering whether or not sole custody is necessary, ask yourself a few questions. What is the reason why I feel like this is needed? Am I doing this just to get back at my ex? Is this overall, the best thing for my children? Divorce can leave you very bitter. Divorces bring out emotions between spouses that they never realized they would feel. Hurtful things are said, and insults are thrown. If you find that you want to seek sole custody mostly because it will hurt your partner, then you need to re-evaluate. If your ex-spouse is not an unfit parent, then really take a look at your motivations. Depriving children of the chance to have one of their parents involved in their life might not be best for them.
Finding an Outlet
If you debate whether sole custody is necessary and find that perhaps you are acting out of bitterness, try to find other ways to address your feelings. You could try an outlet for your frustration like journaling or a new hobby. Or you could also really sit down with your ex and discuss your feelings. You might even enlist the help of a therapist. If your ex is an able and willing caregiver for your children, then try not to let your bitterness decide your custody
When you are debating whether or not sole custody is necessary, try to figure out your motivation. If you’re concerned at all for the wellbeing of your kids while in your ex’s care, then consider sole custody. And if they are unfit for any reason, it might be necessary. If you are only seeking it to hurt your ex-partner, it might not be the healthiest thing for your kids. Try to find other ways to vent your frustrations. Always try to remember that your children don’t know all the details of your divorce. Your partner may have done hurtful things to you, But your children will probably benefit from having both parents in their lives as long as both of you are supportive and caring.
When preparing for divorce court there is so much to do. You’ll have meetings with your attorney and have tons of legal paperwork to prep. But sometimes people forget to prepare what they’re going to wear to divorce court. First impressions are important, and some judges are more conservative than others. It’s best to play it safe and dress as if you were going for a job interview. Here are some tips to help you look prepared!
What to Wear to Divorce Court: First Impressions Matter
Clothing for Men
When deciding what to wear to divorce court, business attire is best. Wear long slacks with a belt and shoes with matching socks. Also, a collared shirt with a tie should be work. You can choose to wear a jacket or not. However, it’s always a good idea to have one in case the courtroom is cold. Shorts are never allowed, and you should not wear jeans. Ditch the hat as well, and make sure that your clothes fit well and are not too baggy.
Clothing for Women
Business attire is also what women should wear to divorce court. A business suit isn’t necessary, but you should wear dress slacks or a skirt. Make sure a skirt goes to your knees or longer. A nice blouse or even a conservative dress would work well. Make sure that nothing is too low-cut or revealing. Also, make sure that your clothes fit well and are not too tight. Leave the flashy sequins at home and opt for a more neutral outfit. You could be in divorce court for a long time, so bringing a sweater or light jacket is a good idea. You don’t necessarily need to wear heels, but stay away from tennis shoes or flip flops.
The main goal in choosing what to wear to divorce court is to keep things neutral and non-attention grabbing. Try not to wear flashy accessories. If you have a lot of piercings, it might be best to remove some while you go to court. Cover up tattoos as well. Men and women should have clean, neat hair in a polished and neutral style. Also, now is possibly not the best time for very long acrylic nails or blue hair. Finally, keep makeup subtle and unobtrusive. The more conservative you can look, the better.
Having your own sense of style is great! Flashy accessories and dyed hair might be how you express yourself. That’s perfectly fine, but in divorce court, you might be more successful if you tone down your natural flair. Everything you wear to divorce court should be modest and polished. You want to look clean, neat, and dependable. Although you may want to show off your flashy side, you’ll probably benefit in the long run by playing by the court’s rules.
In some divorce arrangements, parents may end up with split custody of their children. Split custody is different than joint custody. This is a child custody arrangement in which one parent has sole custody of one or more children. Then, the other parent has sole custody of the remaining siblings. This arrangement can be difficult for both the parents and the children. If this applies to you, learn how to manage having split custody of your kids.
How-to Manage Having Split Custody of Your Kids: Divorce Arrangements
Having split custody of your kids can be difficult. One of the hardest parts about it is that your kids may never actually get to see one another. If one child spends all week at moms, while the other spends all week at dads, and they switch on the weekend, they will never be together. Going to living with only one parent at a time can be a big change for children. Compound that with also no longer living with their siblings too, and that makes it even more of an adjustment.
On the other hand, there can be some benefits of having split custody of your kids. For example, this could be beneficial if one child is combative or physically or emotionally abusive to the other. In this case, it may be best to have both of the siblings separated. Another example is if one child has special needs. Depending on how severe the disabilities are, one parent may need to solely focus on taking care of the child with special needs. A parent who works away from home full-time likely would not be able to take care of a special needs child in the same way a stay-at-home parent can.
In some cases, if there are large age gaps between siblings, each may prefer to live with a different parent. Another situation is if one parents lives close to a special school that would be beneficial for one child, that child may choose to live with that parent. For example, if there is a really good school of the arts, and a child really wants to be in that program, they may decide to live at the house closest to that school. This could also apply to certain schools for kids with physical or learning disabilities.
There are definitely pros and cons to having split custody of your kids. However, if you make decisions with your children’s best interest in mind, you can manage this unusual situation.
When you decide to get a divorce, you won’t want to rush into things blindly. Rather, you’ll want to take the time to practice good divorce prep. Doing the prep work now will help to make things a lot easier for you in the future…
How-to Perform Good Divorce Prep: Useful Steps
Having the right types of documents is key for your divorce process. As such, you should start gathering these documents as part of your divorce prep. In particular, financial documents are going to be very helpful. Things like tax returns, W-2s, credit card and bank statements, and other similar documents will be quite handy to have.
Still, it’s one thing to just get your documents. You should also be sure that you organize them too. It might be a little tedious to do, and not always an easy task. However, taking the time to do so now is better than trying to do so when the divorce is underway.
Set up your finances
Divorce can be a bit of an expensive matter. Therefore, it’s good to prepare your finances as part of your divorce prep as well. After all, many people experience some financial stress both during and after their divorce. Preparing ahead of time can help reduce or get rid of this stress altogether.
It’s helpful to try and come up with a general budget to figure out where your finances are currently. With this, you can start to add in some potential divorce costs and see the effects. Should your budget begin to show signs of trouble, then you’ll know to start preparing. Limiting your spending and setting more money aside can help you make it out of your divorce in good financial shape.
Breaking the news
While divorce is a personal matter, you’ll eventually have to let those close to you know about your plans. This can be a pretty stressful task, especially if you’re worried about how others may react. Taking some time to plan how you’ll break the news now as part of your divorce prep can make this process a bit easier for you.
Try to come up with a general “script” you’ll use when you’re bringing up your divorce to others. For those close to you, you can go into a bit more detail as they’ll be a source of support to you. Should you have kids, then it’s especially good to plan how you’ll let them know what’s going on.
Most parents think that co-parenting involves moving the kids from one parent’s house to another. However, nesting co-parenting offers a different perspective. This alternative way of co-parenting might just be the sort of thing you and your co-parent are looking for…
Nesting Co-Parenting: How Its Different
What is “nesting?”
Nesting co-parenting differs from other co-parenting plans mainly in terms of where the kids stay. Usually, after a divorce, either one parent will keep the home and the other will move, or both will move to new homes. Then, the kids will go in-between each household depending on the co-parenting schedule they come up with.
With a nesting arrangement, the kids will actually stay at the family home. Instead, it’ll be you and your co-parent who will come and go. So, for example, one week you’ll stay at the home with the kids, and then switch with your co-parent. That way, the kids don’t have to constantly go back-and-forth between two new homes.
Benefits to the kids
A nesting co-parenting arrangement can be really beneficial to your kids. Divorce is a major time of change both for you and them. Having to constantly go back and forth between you and your co-parent’s new homes can be very difficult for them. Ultimately, it can be hard for them to really feel “at ease”, even if they’re with one of their parents.
However, by nesting, your kids won’t have to worry about that. Rather, they get to stay in the home that they’re already familiar with. This helps them feel much more at ease with the situation, and not have to worry about constantly moving and bringing things between homes.
Benefits for the parents
Of course, a nesting co-parenting plan doesn’t just help the kids. It can also help you and your co-parent also. For instance, many couples find it’s cheaper to use a nesting plan. The cost of two separate apartments can be cheaper than if you were to both look for new homes. Plus, some co-parents will even “split” an apartment, with one of them staying there while the other is with the kids.
You also won’t have to worry about difficult transitions in-between homes. Rather, you’ll know exactly where your kids will be. You can even have smoother transitions than usual, such as if you drop the kids off at school in the morning and their other parent picks them up. Just make sure you communicate this to both your co-parent and the kids!
It’s always important to set up good, healthy boundaries after your divorce. However, if you’re going to be co-parenting, then you’ll need some specific co-parenting boundaries as well. These boundaries can really help you have a more pleasant co-parenting experience…
Co-Parenting Boundaries: Key Areas
It’s important to have good co-parenting boundaries for your conversations. Healthy communication is crucial for any co-parenting plan. If you can’t talk to one another, then it’ll quickly cause issues for you both when it comes to trying to co-parent.
Having some boundaries regarding your conversations can help prevent these issues. Mainly, you want to keep your conversations focused on the kids, and avoid trying to pry into their personal life. You might even find it’s better to keep your conversations through text or phone calls as an extra step to avoid tensions.
Pick-ups & drop-offs
You’ll also want to have good co-parenting boundaries when doing pick-ups and drop-offs. While these might seem pretty simple, the truth is they can be more difficult than you think. Seeing your ex again can bring up strong emotions, which could end up causing you to argue in front of the kids.
That kind of fighting can be traumatic to your kids, who might think that they’re somehow responsible for your fighting. Therefore, you should make sure these times are focused solely on having the kids move from one household to another. If you really do need to talk to your co-parent about something, do it later and in private away from the kids.
New partners tend to always make co-parenting a little bit trickier than it was before. If your partner starts seeing someone new, then you probably won’t be too fond of this new person at first. Your ex could act the same should you move on and begin dating first as well.
This is why the best thing to do is set up co-parenting boundaries which limit the involvement of these new partners. After all, your agreement was between you and your ex. Keep these new partners out of it for the most part, and wait until things begin to calm down before either of you try and introduce them properly to the other.
Child custody is the first thing many think about after the initial thought of divorce. Where will the kids spend the majority of their time? All aspects of divorce can seem overwhelming. The thought of spending birthdays without your children can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Let’s discuss the custody types that are common, so you know which type is best for you and your soon to be ex.
Custody Types: The Differences Between Them
Different from the rest of the custody types, legal custody allows a parent to make decisions regarding the upbringing of the child. In most states, joint legal custody is granted. Legal custody allows the parent to make decisions about schooling, religious practices, and medical care. If you exclude your ex from any decision making and you have joint custody, it can result in court visits where a judge will enforce the agreement.
As these are the most common custody types, there may be cases where other agreements or arrangements are made. Also, you should remember that there can be a restriction on custody depending on the fit of the parent. Every case is different, and if you need help or clarification regarding your custody agreement, consult your attorney. We’re always here to help.