If you are co-parenting your children, then you already know that situations like this are not really covered in your divorce or custody decree.
The AFCC (American Family and Conciliation Courts) and the AAML (American Association of Matrimonial Lawyers) issued a joint statement this past week with guidance for co-parents. You can read it here.
It’s good guidance, but it is also what co-parents who are thinking about the best interest of their children would do anyway. Even if exes have trouble with each other, many can come together in difficult times and do right by their children.
What if you aren’t in that situation?
If you have a co-parent who is not insightful, what do you do? He or she may not care enough to even read the joint statement, much less follow the advice in it. Think about it: How many times has your ex caught you off guard because you expected him or her to do the right thing and he or she didn’t? Even now, the person may not. So what should you do?
Follow this advice
Act according to the above guidelines, even if your ex doesn’t. Try to be understanding, follow the decree, be reasonable, and err on the side of caution when it comes to keeping your children away from others, to protect them from getting infected.
Offer to come together for the sake of the children. You never know when an ex will have a change of heart. This could one of those times when a co-parent may surprise you a be his or her best self. Offer him or her every opportunity to do so.
Don’t be completely caught off guard if your ex tries to take advantage of the situation. What’s the old adage? Expect the best, but prepare for the worst? Know that he or she may do something, like make accusations or file in court.
Remember: What is going on is temporary, and it is important to keep that in mind. Your children need you to do what you can and focus on what you can control. If you need help with managing it all during this time, reach out and I’ll be happy to work with you.
Stay the course and don’t give up!