Co-parenting during a Pandemic Part I: A Brave New Parenting Plan

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.

Parenting during covid-19 is no joke. Whether you’re still living with your ex-spouse home-schooling kids or whether you are trying to navigate the pressures of the pandemic between two homes, co-parenting requires serious forethought and teamwork to make sure everyone is safe. 

You might be grappling with a parenting plan that needs a redo because of the pandemic, or perhaps your parenting plan needs evaluation based on your local West Coast area re-opening schedule. And if you are drafting your first parenting plan, just like most things post-covid, parenting plans don’t look quite the same as they used to.

The mediators at BCS can help you gain perspective on your common interests so the upheavals of covid don’t adversely affect your co-parenting relationship or your kids. In mediation, you can analyze your situation, including a thorough risk assessment based on healthcare protocols and accepted Western States’ parenting guidelines. This evaluation will help you to see how your parenting strategy can be re-assembled or added to if needed. When you mediate, you can avoid unilateral decisions that could cause conflict. The tools used in our mediations include game theory, information theory, attachment theory and child development. We have financial, psychoanalytical and mathematical expertise to guide your budget and childcare decisions in a mindful way.

Adjusting to the New Normal

Covid requires us to catch up to constantly evolving new information. An amended or brand new parenting plan will need to be both specific and extremely flexible to handle whatever the pandemic may throw at it. There may also be particular standards parents can agree on that will remain fixed. Parents may decide to homeschool their kids. They may decide to review the situation at their school. They may agree to stop their kids from participating in certain extra-curricular activities, such as contact sports. The following are some questions and concerns parents may face:

  • Parents may be concerned about their co-parents taking advantage of the opportunity to spend more time with a child, or worried the parent might remove the child to another location or out of the country. Any of these actions can result in serious consequences based on custody agreements and should be discussed transparently, as unilateral actions have consequences for both parents.
  • Parents will need to agree on how their child should be schooled.
  • Parents will need to be considerate and transparent about their covid “pods” and who else they will be interacting with, without restricting each other excessively.
  • Handovers of children should take place in safe, socially distanced locations.
  • Parents will need to agree on safety for play dates.
  • Frequency and type of extracurricular activities will need to be decided.
  • Some special considerations may arise, such as one co-parent who lives with elderly parents or one co-parent who is an essential worker.
  • Parents will need to follow evolving state guidelines, and family court directions, if any.

Who We are and How We Can Help

We are caring, well-educated mediators who often work with clients in San Diego, CA and Santa Clara, CA in the West Coast Area. Our skillset includes applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We strive to efficiently comprehend your situation and its opportunities for sustainable and agreeable resolution. This may include a review of your parenting plan, spousal support calculations, community property equalization, settlement agreement, and all other aspects of your case. We can either confidentially present you with a private analysis, or mediate the conflict with both of you until resolved. Any resolution you come to will be informed by a deeper analysis of the conflict that can be psychoanalytic and/or more financially-focused. Conflict analysis can result in a more optimized understanding of the net community property, which adds value to the overall estate, benefiting you both. If you are struggling in your marriage but don’t want to get divorced, we offer marital mediation that helps you resolve conflicts over a variety of issues from parenting, sexuality, finances, careers, family, spirituality, and more.  Marital mediation is goal oriented, time limited, and practical, and often results in clearly written agreements that are private, but can also be drafted as postnuptial agreements with legal significance if needed.  The sooner you can resolve your conflict, the sooner you can begin to craft a sustainable future for you and your children. We work with individuals from several cultures and countries, and can help with national and international relocation issues associated with divorce. Our safe, socially distanced mediations can be facilitated by Telephone, Zoom, Facetime and other videoconferencing tools. We are available 7 days a week and at urgent notice. Please contact us to see how we can help.