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Co-Parenting Challenges for Healthcare Workers During COVID-19

 Posted on January 28, 2021 in Parenting

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The divorce process often involves challenging questions regarding how parents will fairly allocate parenting time and decision-making responsibility regarding important issues related to their children’s health and education. Sometimes, these issues must be resolved through trial litigation, while in other cases they can be settled out of court by parents who are committed to working together for the sake of their children. However, even the most cooperative and committed parents have been tested by the COVID-19 pandemic, and divorced parents who are healthcare workers face unique challenges when it comes to co-parenting and acting in the best interests of their children.

Co-Parenting Issues in a Health Crisis

If you or your former spouse works in healthcare, you have likely faced many of the following challenges in your attempts to co-parent effectively in the past year:

  • Interruptions to parenting time - The increased healthcare demands of COVID-19 have resulted in many doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers working long shifts, which may fall within your regularly scheduled parenting time.

  • Concerns about spreading the virus - Healthcare workers are at great risk of contracting the coronavirus due to frequent contact with patients who are infected, and it can be difficult knowing that your kids may be exposed to the virus when you come home, or that they may spread it to the other parent’s home as well.

  • Differences in health precautions - You may find that you and your spouse have different beliefs regarding the importance of safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus or different approaches to enforcing these precautions in your households.

  • Changes to your children’s education - The pandemic has moved education online and into the home for many children, and even students who are attending school in person will likely need to self-isolate at home if they test positive or come into contact with the virus. As a parent, you may find it difficult to balance your work obligations with the need to be home with your children to provide the necessary supervision.

All of these issues may make it hard for you and your former spouse to follow the terms of your parenting plan, but it is important to ensure that your responses to these challenges do not put one parent at a disadvantage. Violating the terms of your agreement could still result in legal consequences, even under these exceptional circumstances.

Whenever possible, you and your former spouse should try to work together to adapt to the changing circumstances and keep the focus on your children’s needs. For example, you can communicate with each other to set expectations regarding health and safety precautions and make sure to inform each other if there may be a possible risk of infection. You can also help each other by being flexible with parenting time adjustments, and by allowing and encouraging your children to communicate electronically or virtually with their other parent when in-person contact is unsafe. 

Contact a Lombard, IL Family Law Attorney

As a divorced parent, it is essential that you communicate with your ex-spouse for the sake of your children. If you have questions or concerns regarding your parental rights or protecting your children’s best interests during the COVID-19 pandemic, the experienced DuPage County family lawyers at A. Traub & Associates are prepared to help you. Call our office today at 630-426-0196 to schedule a private consultation.




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