The devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic seem to be fading. Countries across the globe are tiptoeing out of the hard lockdowns that were enforced by the world’s governments, as a desperate measure to prevent the pandemic from overwhelming the global national health systems.
Unfortunately, the virus swept through many countries resulting in more than 6.2 million infections and just under 374,000 deaths. However, the good news is that the worst is over for many countries, including the USA, UK, China, South Korea, Germany, and other EU nations.
COVID-19, divorce, and co-parenting
Statistics, quoted by the family-institute.org website, show that circa 50% of all-American children will live through their parents’ divorce. Thus, these children will have to get used to co-parenting arrangements.
Most parents can manage the parenting relationship themselves and navigate their way through the disagreements that are bound to occur from time to time. However, there are post-divorce relationships that are toxic, and a neutral third-party is often required to help negotiate and resolve sticking points between the parents. While this scenario is not ideal, especially for the children, because they inevitably get caught between the warring parents, it is not unique and unheard of.
Therefore, the question that begs, how do parents manage the co-parenting, visitation, and custody arrangements during and after the COVID-19 pandemic?
Let’s answer this question by considering the following scenario:
I am the co-parent of triplets, two boys and a girl, and I had to flee the marital home just before the kids’ second birthday. In summary, the children’s father threatened to burn the house down. The long and the short of it is that he couldn’t deal with the financial, emotional, and physical pressure of being a father to three babies of the same age.
When filing for divorce, I consulted a child custody visitation lawyer near me to help with these negotiations as we could not agree on custody, visitation, and guardianship arrangements. In my mind, I didn’t believe that the father should get custody and guardianship, never mind visitation rights, because he was potentially dangerous and might hurt the kids.
It was a long battle, and, in the end, I was awarded custody and control as well as guardianship of the children. He was awarded residual custody, guardianship, and visitation rights. Because the children were so young when we separated, a social worker was contracted to supervise the father’s visits and ease them into a relationship with their father.
While this was a particularly stressful time for everyone, including the children. And, if I am honest, the children were sometimes caught in between our fights about petty issues. However, looking back on this whole period, the children definitely benefited from having a relationship with their father. They spent 50% of their vacations with him, traveled a lot, and experienced life in a way I could never have offered them. And, as young adults, they now have a healthy relationship with both of their parents.