How Can I Settle Co-Parenting Issues When Staying-at-Home in Illinois?

 Posted on June 02, 2020 in Child Custody

DuPage County divorce lawyer COVID-19 child custodyOver the last few months, it may have become increasingly difficult for you and your co-parent to properly follow your court-approved parenting plan. You both want to fulfill your parental responsibilities and ensure that you can spend a fair amount of parenting time with your kids, but you also do not want to put anyone’s health or safety at risk. Conflicts in these areas may be even worse if you and your co-parent have different philosophies regarding the Illinois Stay-at-Home Order. Governor Pritzker deemed from the beginning of the order that it is essential for parents to honor their court-ordered parenting commitments, but under certain circumstances, doing so might not be a good idea. Here are some things to consider while you both adapt to the “new normal” as co-parents during a crisis:

What to Consider When Addressing Co-Parenting Conflicts

Perhaps your co-parent refuses to wear a mask in public as ordered by the governor, or your co-parent has accused you of not keeping your home sanitary enough during these challenging times. Before getting into a heated argument about these issues, you may want to consider some of these main points when addressing each grievance:

  • Remain calm. Heated arguments will not do anyone any good. During a crisis such as this, contentious disputes can be even more detrimental than under normal circumstances. It certainly will not help your children if they witness any of that behavior, since they likely already dealing with enough stress.

  • Always keep your children’s best interests in mind. Even if you truly believe that your house is “clean enough” or that you and your children do not need to wear masks, you should still err on the side of caution, especially if your co-parent is particularly adamant about specific issues. Just as you did during the divorce process while you were making decisions about child custody, you both need to make compromises based on what is in your children’s best interests. Right now, their health and safety should be your top priority.

  • Consider risks and resources equally. Under normal circumstances, your children may have needed to travel to see the other parent often, and they might have been required to take public transportation or travel by air. If you, your children, or the other parent feel uncomfortable with that idea, then you will need to think about alternative means of communication and visitation, such as video calls. In addition, if your house is inhabited by “higher-risk” individuals like grandparents, you might not want to bring the children around too often. If either of you or others in your household spend significant time in public, then your home might not be the safest environment at this time. However, while you are weighing these risks, you should also consider the benefits and resources. For example, if your Internet connection is more reliable, or if your neighborhood has more open spaces for safe public activities, your home might be a better option for your kids during these unprecedented times.

  • Call your lawyer for help. If you and your co-parent cannot make any headway on resolving your co-parenting conflicts, if you need advice in general about what what you should do, or if you and your co-parent have agreed to update your parenting agreement with some modifications of child custody orders, reach out to your lawyer to get legal guidance and make sure your rights are protected.

Contact a Wheaton Parenting Time Lawyer

In times of crisis, tempers may flare, and finding common ground can seem impossible as you try to successfully co-parent your children. No matter how different your approaches to parenting are, you have the option to revise your parenting plans or make verbal agreements about temporary changes to child custody arrangements. Whether you are seeking modifications to your current child custody orders or need help addressing concerns about your children’s safety, contact a DuPage County family law attorney at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.


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