The dangers of COVID-19 present special, even dire problems for single-parenting, co-parenting and extended family parenting. Two recent articles cover many of the issues with sensitivity, insight, and practicality.
“I Never Felt Like a ‘Single’ Parent. Then the Coronavirus Hit.” sums up what so many have overlooked during shelter-in-place orders. It quotes social psychologist Bella DePaulo that fewer than one in five U.S. households consists of married parents and their shared children.
For example, single parents, parents who share custody with a non-resident parent and blended families with children who regularly visit other parents, make up the majority of families.
Co-parenting presents some of the most difficult problems
Single parents with little family support face two dire scenarios. One is how to protect the children if the parent develops Coronavirus symptoms. The other dilemma is how to deal with the need to work and keep your children safe. Some areas have provided childcare for hospital workers with children. Other necessary employees don’t have that benefit.
Co-parents often face even more complex difficulties. For instance, what do you do when your child has a great relationship with both parents and one of the parents is a step-parent to a child to visits them regularly? Your child’s exposure is, at the least, quadrupled. Your exposure, plus other parent’s exposure, plus visiting child’s exposure, plus other parent’s spouse’s exposure. Additionally, you could add your spouse’s exposure and the family where the co-parent’s step-child lives.
“Navigating child custody in the time of coronavirus” looks at both the practical solutions families have adopted and at some of the child custody legal issues. It is well worth the read. Two of our family law attorneys also have some practical advice to guide you. Check it out.
If you do need help with keeping your child safe, make an appointment to meet with one of our attorneys by phone or video.