Family & Relationships How divorced parents are handling the coronavirus pandemic and rethinking custody arrangements

19:35  26 march  2020
19:35  26 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

Epidemic Vs. Pandemic: What Exactly Is the Difference?

  Epidemic Vs. Pandemic: What Exactly Is the Difference? They're both pretty terrifying—here's what to know about each.That word—pandemic—is enough to induce widespread panic, and with good reason: According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic is the worldwide spread of a new disease. "A pandemic is when an epidemic spreads between countries," says David Jones, MD, PhD, a professor of the culture of medicine at Harvard University.

  How divorced parents are handling the coronavirus pandemic and rethinking custody arrangements © Mario Tama/Getty Image
  • As daily life grinds to a halt, divorced couples with children must re-evaluate custody arrangements for safety and decide what level of precautions to take with their children.
  • Divorced parents say they've had to have conversations with their exes about hand-washing and social distancing.
  • Relationship therapists say patience is necessary, while a lawyer specializing in cases involving children told Insider custody routines will likely have to change.

Sabrina Guler lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her two daughters, ages 14 and six. Her daughters live with her, and her ex, the father of her 14-year-old, drops by to visit when he wants to.

15 Quick & Easy Kebab Recipes

  15 Quick & Easy Kebab Recipes We’ve rounded up some kebab recipe combinations that are flavorful and fast to make. Just remember to soak wooden skewers before using them!

Even though the exes are on the same page about protecting the kids, Guler still had to have a conversation with her ex-husband about taking precautions. "He knows I'm a little more neurotic about germs," she said. "I say, Hey, this is what I do at my house. In the past we've not been very aligned on the same values and he's been a little more relaxed than I am, but on this, we're very much aligned."

But for Guler, an executive assistant, navigating childcare during the outbreak has been surprisingly manageable. "One thing we do agree on is keep the children safe," she said. "They play in the backyard with each other. They do lessons online. He washes his hands when he comes in. We have family dinners. He does grocery pickup like I do. He's never done that before, by the way."

27 Totally Insane Travel Photos You Won't Believe Are Real

  27 Totally Insane Travel Photos You Won't Believe Are Real Some landscapes are so majestic, you'll think your eyes are playing tricks on you. But these travel photos aren't optical illusions. They actually do exist!

Guler's other ex-husband, who lives in Florida, wanted to see his six-year-old daughter as cities around the US start to go on lockdown. "He works in the hospitality industry," said Guler. "So we have agreed that now's not a good time." 

Guler is one of many divorced parents figuring out how to co-parent with schools closed indefinitely and the government suggesting people self-isolate. As daily life grinds to a halt, carefully decided custody arrangements are now in flux, and parents must have difficult conversations with their exes about staying safe and hygienic so children aren't endangered.

Relationship counselors say divorced parents should take it month by month

For couples who've undergone turbulent divorces, this is a nerve-wracking time. "Maybe mom or dad is worried that the kid isn't getting great care when they go over to the other parent's house," Rachel Sussman, a licensed therapist who runs Sussman Counseling, told Insider. "That person might be a little more worried right now."

Add These Biscuits to Your Baking Bucket List ASAP

  Add These Biscuits to Your Baking Bucket List ASAP Because you can never have too many biscuits.

Still, Sussman says she's seen a lot of her divorced clients handling the outbreak with aplomb. "I've seen divorced parents having good conversations about coronavirus, talking about work schedules, if the custody agreement they have make sense to remain in place," she said.

Parents may have to have delicate conversations with their exes about taking health precautions so as not to endanger the kids. and given that public health experts don't know how long this outbreak could last, this could have a long term effect on child care arrangements. Sussman suggests couples take it month-by-month instead of thinking of the long term.

"You might not have a great working relationship with your ex-husband or ex-wife, but they're afraid too," said Sussman. "They're worried about the kids, they're worried about their income, and the more everyone can help each other out, the better it can be."

a young boy playing with a fire hydrant © Getty Some parents are re-evaluating their custody arrangements

The pandemic is already causing divorced parents to rethink how they split custody.

Outdated dining etiquette that should make a comeback

  Outdated dining etiquette that should make a comeback These days, meals are often dine-and-dash affairs. We snatch a latte and a muffin and call it breakfast, grab burgers in drive-thrus or maybe cook a quick and easy dinner and scarf it down while watching the news. But there are still 24 hours in each day, and you’re doing yourself a favor if you slow down, breathe a little and actually enjoy your meal. It’s unlikely that we’ll ever return to the Emily Post-directed era of shrimp forks and place cards, but here are some mannerly mandates from the past that we wouldn’t mind seeing make comebacks.

Allison Helmer, a nurse working as a clinical business systems analyst, has custody of her eight year-old son, and her son's dad comes to visit him once a week. After the coronavirus outbreak, Helmer considered canceling those visits.

Helmer says she will still send her son to visit his father this weekend, but if the pandemic gets worse, she would consider stopping the visits. "If I found it was really high risk then I probably would have been able to say no because I do have the custody," she said. "I think he understands and he would be reasonable in that situation because that's about everyone's health."

Kaajal Pandya, a sales director at eMarketer (owned by Axel Springer, the company that also owns Business Insider), has a three-year-old son named Dylan. On an ordinary week, she and her ex split custody. During the week, Dylan is on Long Island with her ex, while Pandya has Dylan for the weekends.

But Pandya, who is currently working from home, now has Dylan full-time because her ex's new girlfriend is a nurse, and Pandya doesn't know if she's been exposed to people with coronavirus symptoms.

"I don't want to expose my son to that so I decided to keep him here," Pandya said. "It is a little taxing, doing all of this on my own. Not having much help is a little bit of a stress factor."

'See you real soon': Disney World officially closes its doors amid coronavirus; more Disney closures announced

  'See you real soon': Disney World officially closes its doors amid coronavirus; more Disney closures announced As Disney fans waved goodbye to Disney World on Sunday, the company announced several hotels, dining and shopping experiences would also shut down. The additional closures include Disney-owned and -operated locations Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California, and Disney Springs in Orlando, Florida, both of which will shut down Tuesday. Non-Disney tenants in those locations "will make decisions on whether to continue or adjust operations," read an announcement from Disney Parks shortly after midnight Monday morning. Walt Disney World Resort and Vero Beach Resort will close at 5 p.m.

Some parents are coming up with creative solutions to their custody quandaries.

Jessica Chaves works at a bank and has two kids, ages three and five. She and her ex have a 60/40 custody split, where she gets the kids 60% of the time. But for a few days, Chaves has been trying something new out. Her ex-husband now works from the kitchen table in her Long Island City apartment along with her. They both share childcare duties equally, with one parent picking up the slack while another is on a conference call in a bedroom.

At the end of the day, her ex goes home to his apartment three blocks away. He comes back in the morning.

"We're kind of just winging it," she said. 

News to stay informed. Advice to stay safe.
Click here for complete coronavirus coverage from Microsoft News
Usual custody routines will continue to shift

Social distancing and school shutdowns has caused many divorced parents to shift their ordinary routines to alternating weeks or two-week schedules to minimize disruption for the children, family law attorney Robert Wallack told Insider, adding that he's seen several disagreements about where children should be staying during the outbreak.

Cara Nuttal, a partner at UK Law firm JMW Solicitors, says the courts will view anything that happens in regard to your childcare in context, and the biggest thing that can harm someone in the long-term is a refusal to be sensible and focused on your child.

If visitation isn't possible, due to quarantine or concerns about a co-parent's levels of risk, Nuttal suggested a video call or a message could work in lieu of a visit.

3 ways the coronavirus is impacting child care

  3 ways the coronavirus is impacting child care Coronavirus quarantine measures are impacting child care workers and parents alike.To date, an estimated 8.1 million students have been displaced by coronavirus school closures in an effort to contain COVID-19.

"The usual routine will almost certainly change," said Nuttal. "It's easy to get angry and frustrated when precious time with children is cut short or canceled, but generating bad will and resentment won't help once the crisis is over." 

RELATED VIDEO: Coronavirus special measures causing issues in family custody cases [Provided by KIII-TV Corpus Christi]

13 long-lasting fruits and vegetables you can stock up on that aren't canned or frozen .
Our food reporter's list of long-lasting fresh foods to buy for anyone limiting trips to the grocery store in the wake of the novel coronavirus.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks
usr: 1
This is interesting!