Coparenting in the Post-Pandemic World
Coparenting between divorced parents during the COVID-19 pandemic proved to be highly challenging. The process of cooperative parenting is not as complex as we experience the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel regarding the pandemic. With that said, coparenting in the post-pandemic world will remain complicated, at least to some degree. There are some strategies that can be employed to advance effective cooperative parenting in the post-pandemic era:
- Continue taking advantage of technology
- Flexibility remains extremely important
- Maintain parenting time schedule
- Enhance communication
- Consider what children desire
The COVID-19 pandemic forced nearly everyone to make wider use of technology, particularly in the realm of communication. While we all certainly desire to put the pandemic behind us, there are some practices that are worth carrying forward into what we hope to be a return to more “normal times.” This includes taking advantage of technology used during the pandemic with greater regularity in today’s world as a means of enhancing coparenting in the post-pandemic word.
There are a pair of particular situations in which using communication technology relied upon during the COVID health crisis makes sense when it comes to cooperative parenting in the post-pandemic world. First, communication between parents can be enhanced by taking advantage of technologies like Zoom or Facebook Facetime.
Second, the relationship between parents and children can also be enhanced and advanced as part of an overall coparenting endeavor with the use of communication tech. For example, between scheduled in-person visitations or parenting time periods, a noncustodial parent and child can use a communication app like Zoom to have what fairly can be called virtual visitations.Flexibility Remains Extremely Important
The need for flexibility when it came to cooperative parenting really hit home during the coronavirus pandemic. The reality is that the level of flexibility that many divorced parents took in displayed in regard to their coparenting efforts during the pandemic is what should have been in place all along.
A key practice that should be brought forward into the post-pandemic world when it comes to cooperative parenting is a commitment to flexibility between parents regarding their child or children. The commitment to flexibility extends to many facets of child custody and parenting time, including cooperative decision making, adjusting parenting time or visitation schedules as needed, and accommodating a child’s desires within the established custody and parenting time framework set forth in the existing order of the court.Maintain Parenting Time Schedule
A corollary of being flexible when it comes to coparenting in the post-pandemic world is the need to maintain a coherent and consistent parenting time schedule. In other words, the schedule created for parenting time with the noncustodial parent in a custody order should not be altered unless there is a solid reason for doing so.
When it comes to the best interests of a child, consistency is crucial. A child is in a better position to thrive not only in a post-divorce setting but in the post-pandemic world when that young person can rely upon established times to spend with each parent.Enhance Communication
The success of coparenting is contingent upon solid communication. In point of fact, communication is a relative element of the different points made in this discussion of cooperative parenting in the post-pandemic world. The bottom line is a concerted effort should be made to maintain and enhance communication between parents and between parents and child of children.Consider What Children Desire
Finally, as we enter into the post-pandemic world, successful coparenting can depend in part on considering what children desire. In New Jersey, a child’s wants and desires regarding child custody and parenting time is not dispositive. Nonetheless, in issuing a child custody and parenting time order, a judge may consider to some degree a child’s preferences. The age and emotional maturity of a child underpin the role a young person plays in matters surrounding custody and parenting time.
On a related note, successful coparenting in the post-pandemic world is more likely when parents consider the wants and desires of their child or children. As noted, a moment ago, that input from a child needs to be taken in context with the age and emotional maturity level of that young person.
If you face issues surrounding child custody, coparenting, divorce, or a related matter, the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen. You can reach our firm by calling 201-845-7400.