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How to Navigate the Holidays as a Coparent During the Pandemic

Adapting to Everything the Coronavirus Has “Gifted” Us this Year

The coronavirus has forced people worldwide to adapt their daily routines to fit new socially distant, attendance-restricted safety requirements. As such, we’ve become experts in distance conference calls and our children are now well-versed in Zoom class structure. We’ve adapted to changes in grocery runs and have navigated the constantly changing guidelines regarding lockdown and quarantining. Now, it’s time for our adaptability to answer the questions this holiday season poses – questions even more difficult for coparents to address.

Holidays have long been a time for families to come together, rejoice in their love for each other, and partake in favorited traditions. With the coronavirus still prevalent and cases pointing to a second, more dangerous wave of infections, festivities are the latest aspect of our lives that require more consideration regarding how to safely proceed while retaining some sense of normalcy. Consider the following when moving forward in your seasonal gathering plans.

Timesharing During COVID-19

As the coronavirus has dominated the majority of the year, many coparents were presented with a trial-by-fire opportunity to learn how to handle the pandemic while sharing custody. Many reconsidered their timesharing agreements and took steps to amend, either temporarily or permanently, until the risks subside.

Coparenting and custody agreements typically require some proof of unpredicted, unfortunate circumstance before any changes may be adopted. The coronavirus has been a direct cause of many scenarios that qualify for timesharing modifications, such as a job loss or wage cut for either parent, or a parent’s loss of their home.

Certain essential-worker parents have taken it upon themselves to informally and temporarily revamp their parenting plans to protect their children from potential infection. Those facing potential exposure to the coronavirus, either as a medical professional or other frontline worker, are making changes as they see fit to safeguard their family from any risks.

Timesharing During the Holidays

One large takeaway from the coparenting adaptations already made throughout earlier points of the year is the necessity for both coparents to be flexible during these unprecedented times. The holidays are no exception. While families in coparenting structures have predetermined with whom the children will spend the holidays, parents should be open to change in order to do what is best for the health and safety of your children.

Combining and Overcoming Both Obstacles

The combination of these obstacles presents a massive mountain to overcome, but it is not an impossible task. Coparents should:

  • Re-discuss their holiday plans to ensure the arrangements are still viable and practical
  • Continue to practice social distancing and maintain a healthy home as a courtesy to their child and coparent and to avoid the risk of any spread of infection
  • Utilize the digital media that has characterized this year to celebrate virtually
  • Maintain frequent communication as the situation continues to develop and adjust plans accordingly

Grandparents and Extended Family Visits

While getting together with extended family is one of the staples in many families’ holiday traditions, it’s important to consider the risks these trips could pose.

First, many states have reintroduced limits on the number of individuals allowed to gather in-person, making it ill-advised to hold family gatherings as grandiose as in years passed.

Additionally, you must consider the health of your extended family. While visits are a tried-and-true way to spread holiday cheer, respecting the safeguarding of at-risk communities, such as our elders and grandparents, will allow us to resume these beloved celebrations for years to come once the virus has subsided. Consider moving these celebrations to the virtual stage for the time being.

A Changing Dynamic

Technology is already being utilized for school and work, and it just may be the answer to continuing family traditions from a virtual space this upcoming holiday season as well. The Law Office of Jerome P. Ventura has adapted to the new electronic norm and remains available to Pembroke Pines residents seeking help with divorce or other family law matters online. Contact us today to get started.