If you’re worried, so are you kids. Keep them away from any arguing between you and your spouse. It’s likely that their schools are closing or is already closed. This may mean that you, your spouse, and children are all living under one roof. Whether you and your spouse are living together or separate, do your best to keep your children calm.
These modifications are temporary. Try to effectively work on communicating with your spouse. If your children are still in day care, determine a schedule that works best for both you and your spouse.
If you and your spouse have a co-parenting agreement in place, do your best to follow it. If your child gets COVID-19 or if you or your spouse gets COVID-19, speak with your attorney and spouse about how to move forward. If you get COVID-19, determine the best way to keep your child safe. If you don’t have a co-parenting agreement, work with your spouse and attorney to determine the best course of action.
Have these discussions now. Be proactive. Determine a course of action for the future to prevent further panic in the unfortunate event that you, your spouse, children, or someone else in your home, gets COVID-19. If you have more than one child, go through several scenarios with your attorney and spouse. Where will the child who does not have COVID-19 stay? Where will the child who has COVID-19 stay?
If you or your spouse lives with a parent, or someone else in one of the high-risk categories, discuss where your child should stay. Is it best for your child to remain in your home? Is it best for your child to remain with your spouse? Remember, these are temporary adjustments that can save time, money, and frustration in the future.
If your child’s school closes, the school closure will typically be viewed similar to a Monday holiday. If you have a child custody agreement, look to see if there’s a provision that better explains this issue. What does it say about how to handle things when the kids are sick, when there’s no school, or when there’s a single-day holiday? This can give you some guidance.
Right now, it’s important to explore the “what if’s” with your spouse. Take precautions and attempt to plan for the future. Create multiple plans with multiple options. Most importantly, speak with your child. He or she may be just as concerned as you. If you can help him or her remain calm, you’re moving in the right direction.