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On Behalf of | May 25, 2020 | Announcements |

At BOTTIMORE & ASSOCIATES, P.L.L.C., we understand the strains and opportunities of co-parenting – magnified by the Coronavirus – COVID-19 – Pandemic. For help, please click on the Links below:

  • Governor Inslee’s Proclamation Regarding Child Visitation and Remedial Services – Click Here
  • How to Co-Parent During the Coronavirus Pandemic – Click Here
  • Co-Parenting During a Pandemic – a Webinar – Click Here
  • AFCC Guidelines for Parents Who are Divorced/Separated and Sharing Custody of Children During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Click Here

We are committed to assisting our Clients and others in this time, and we offer the following guidelines in the hopes that we can provide some ease during this difficult time:

  1. BE UNDERSTANDING – The Pandemic may bring on unexpected financial hardships considering many businesses being shut down and unprecedented involuntary unemployment. The parent paying Child Support may not be able to pay the full amount of Child Support at this time. Schedules will also change as people find themselves out of work. This may result in a change in visits/time spent with the children now that one parent finds himself or herself unable to work.
  2. BE FLEXIBLE; YET, FOLLOW COURT ORDERS – The excess free time in the children’s lives – with no school – and the possible free time in parents’ schedules could result in changes to your Parenting Plan. We do not suggest changing the Parenting Plan – permanently – to adjust to the times. You should still follow all court appointed schedules; however, if there is a date or time that you feel should be shared with the other parent, feel free to do so. Be creative and flexible with the time being spent with the children.
  3. BE MINDFUL – Remember, in these times, everyone is struggling in his / her own way. Be mindful of how you communicate with your co-parent, as well as with your children. Lashing out at your coparent during a pandemic when there is an overwhelming sense of uncertainty will not help any situation. As for the children – continue to educate them in a way that is honest about the seriousness of the situation, yet, does not induce fear. Keep them away from mainstream news outlets and allow them to ask questions, while giving honest answers about anything they need.
  4. COMMUNICATE – In times like these, it is better to overcommunicate than to be silent. Be open to your other co-parent about your expectations when it comes to visits – sanitation protocols, who the children will encounter, etc. Allow each other to give feedback and problem-solve when different situations arise.
  5. STAY HEALTHY – Practice safe and clean habits that are consistent with each household. Comply with all State guidelines regarding sanitation and exposure out in the public. The most important thing during this time is having all family members stay healthy.