How To Navigate A Difficult Decision for Your Family
This month, I was requested to chime in on a family mediation topic concerning co-parenting amid a pandemic. Many parents that are separated but have worked out a custody agreement are experiencing significant issues when deciding whether to send their kids back to school or not. One parent may not see the same risks the other parent does, causing a divide between them and a tug-of-war battle with the children in the middle.
Now, we use family mediation during a separation to help with areas such as parenting arrangements, spousal support, or division of assets. With the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it has created a whole new set of potential problems for co-parents living in different households. Disagreements on whether or not to send children back to school may be the hardest to work through since the separation began.
So, how do you navigate your way through this decision with your co-parent when you both think you have the children’s best interests at heart?
The most vital thing to keep in mind for any conflict between parents is that it can only find a resolution with an open and honest conversation. These conversations can often help to uncover underlying feelings and concerns about the issue that can be worked through as a co-parenting team, rather than two individuals butting their heads and getting nowhere.
But, what if you still aren’t able to come to an agreement regarding an issue like this? As family mediators in Saskatchewan, our job is to help facilitate these conversations and get both parties talking and communicating effectively for the best interests of the whole family. Don’t fret, private mediation isn’t the only avenue to resolution. The Ministry of Justice also has resources that can help separated parents traverse their way through difficult conflicts.
Whether you have a good relationship with your co-parent or not, the needs and safety of your children should be at the forefront of your mind. We can too often get lost in conflict and disregard what is really at stake and how it may affect those around us. Conflict is an opportunity for creativity and change in a co-parenting situation. Have that open conversation and you’ll soon find yourself on common ground where all the needs of your family are being met.
The full radio interview with Stefani of The Morning Edition can be found below.
Every situation is different. This blog post is not intended to provide legal advice. Contact us for further help on your unique parental dispute.
Artwork by Megan Hewson. View her work at https://www.instagram.com/megheworiginals/