With the Governor issuing her Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order on March 23, 2020 many are worried about how the order will impact their parenting time. As parents we know that seeing each parent is important for children. With the current crisis, maintaining contact with both parents will be even more important. Here is what you can do to help minimize the anxiety may be feeling.
The Executive Order does not mean the children will not see the other parent as scheduled.
Parents are still allowed to transport children to and from parenting time with the other parent. The Executive Order is not a reason to deny parenting time with the other parent. However, if your children are sick, communicate with the other parent and find out if the other parent still wants to take the children or if the two of you can work a make-up schedule to minimize the number of people exposed to any cold, illness or virus. Remember a cough, sneeze, or fever does not mean that someone is infected with the coronavirus. The symptoms are similar to the common cold, the flu and other illnesses we have been exposed to before this virus.
Follow your holiday parenting schedules.
Even though it may not be possible to travel to Florida or other Spring Break destinations right now, continue to follow the holiday parenting order in your parenting time order. The children have been looking forward to this time with the other parent. The Covid-19 crisis is not a reason to deny this parenting time. If it is your holiday this Spring Break and Easter, find alternate activities that you can do during the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order. Perhaps, you can pitch a tent in the backyard, go on a hike in a local park with social distancing maintained and photograph spring happenings, or rent a movie to watch and create your movie theater.
Allow the children to have more contact with the other parent.
The children may be worried about the other parent or family members, particularly grandparents, from the other parent’s side of the family. Allow and encourage your children to FaceTime or video conference with those family members. This is not a time to be limiting contact with other family members and it can be done virtually. You can sign for a free Zoom account and schedule designated times for these calls. The children can also record video messages to be sent to family members.
Limit your disagreements in earshot of children.
The normal routine for children has been disrupted. Now is not the time to engage in disagreements in front of children. They will pick upon your anxiety and anger. If you need to have a heated discussion, go outside or try sending it through email or texts. Remember that children may access your devices and read these conversations. If you need to save the conversation, consider saving it to a password-protected file
If you are having difficulty with the other parent in following the parenting time order, do not wait to contact an attorney on what to do. Here, at Melissa Pearce & Associates, we are still working during this time, even though we are doing so remotely. We can answer your questions, brainstorm possible solutions outside of the court, and offer other suggestions to assist you. If you speak with one of our attorneys, call (248) 956-6933 for assistance today.