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Co-parenting During a Pandemic Part IV: How Mediation Helps Non-Traditional Families Cope

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.

One thing the Covid-19 Pandemic has done is to force a reckoning on America of what family really means. Can the two adults and 2.5 kids dream really withstand a world where roommates are each other’s de facto family, where people who went on a few dates have ended up quarantining together, and when best friends are making each other healthcare powers of attorney? The pandemic has made it clear that family means so much more than the traditional norm, so it’s appropriate timing that Somerville, MA has made headlines for allowing people in polyamorous domestic partnerships to have some of the rights that monogamous couples do to share healthcare plans and make healthcare decisions for each other.

California and Maine took the lead several years ago in allowing that a child could have a third legal parent. But so far they are the only states to formally extend parenting beyond two people. During the pandemic, non-traditional families may have a harder time than others in coming up with rules that suit everyone but are still covid-responsible. This is why mediation can be a good resource for non-traditional families whether they are staying together or going their separate ways but still parenting together.

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Any family that breaks up due to divorce will naturally become bigger. Partners will seek out new partners who may have children themselves. With polyamorous partnerships, the blended family may be even bigger. The partnership may break up, or one partner might want to leave.

If you live in the West Coast Area in a city like San Diego or LA, you may be aware that your child can have more than one legal parent in their lives. To help you make your agreement fair but covid-safe the mediators at BCS can mediate with you and your ex or exes. You may also want to recognize other people in your child’s life who are not official parents but have contributed to parenting your child or might be genetically related to your child and play some role in their life, such as friends who were surrogates or donors.

Modern families are complex, but those with non-traditional families are much more willing to accept this reality. If so, it’s time to get down to the brass tacks of how you do the practical parts of conscious uncoupling during covid, whether you’re in a non-traditional romantic relationship or a live-in parenting relationship. Luckily in mediation you can come up with flexible solutions that the traditional legal route hasn’t been able to keep up with.

At BCS we are California mediators who approach separations and divorce from a multi-level perspective: financial, emotional, legal and psychoanalytical. It’s important to remember that even if you yourself have worked out what you want for your future, your children’s best interests and developmental age may yet to be considered. Because we are not just lawyers but have psychoanalytical expertise, we can help you analyze the situation to make the best decisions for your child or children. It’s always important to be compliant with California law, and especially during covid. Whenever we mediate we always ensure co-parents are operating with full knowledge of their legal obligations and in compliance with custody and parenting guidelines. During the upheaval of covid this can be more complex. We are California mediators who can help you make the best of the current situation and plan for the future, even though that future is difficult to imagine for most of us right now.

All our mediations are remote and socially distanced. If you are living elsewhere you can also avail of our services, wherever you are.

Who We Are and How We Can Help

The mediators at Boileau Conflict Solutions are caring, well-educated mediators who are skilled in applied financial mathematics, the law psychoanalysis, and game theory. We are familiar with the challenges facing families and parents in the West Coast area in cities like San Diego, CA and Santa Clara, CA. 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. 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 all kinds of families: cohabiting, non-traditional and LGTBQ+. We also work with international families 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.

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