STAY INFORMED & MODEL GOOD BEHAVIOR
To best ensure the safety of your children, it is important that you monitor and stay up to date on the latest developments regarding COVID-19 via reliable news outlets. Adhere to all CDC and local/state recommendations by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands regularly and disinfecting surfaces and frequently used objects. Since we all know that children are observant, be sure to model good behavior which includes implementing good hygiene practices and remaining calm during this time of crisis.
This is not a time to panic. Have an honest age-appropriate conversation with your children about the pandemic, but do so in a calm and optimistic manner. Ensure your children that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep them safe and that these steps should result in a faster return to normalcy. Encourage your children to ask questions as it is better they receive information from you rather than social media or unreliable sources that could result in unnecessary alarm.
TRANSPARENCY IS KEY
While it may be difficult, communicating with your co-parent and remaining transparent about any potential exposure or confirmed case of the virus is key to protecting your children. Both parents should be on the lookout for any symptoms including fever, cough and shortness of breath. Learn more here .
BE FLEXIBLE & UNDERSTANDING
During this challenging coronavirus pandemic, now is a good time to be more flexible, understanding and accommodating with your former spouse, as doing so is in the best interest of your child. Work with your co-parent to create a plan to address potential scheduling or financial issues that may arise as schools, as well as many businesses, close or cut back on staff. Parents receiving child support should be mindful of the situation and do their best to help create solutions instead of causing additional stress or hardship. Keep in mind that if you are unreasonable and attempt to prevent your co-parent from spending time with their child during this unprecedented time, family law judges will take this matter seriously if concerns are raised in later filings.
ENCOURAGE PARENTAL BONDING
While it can be a stressful environment with children out of school and many parents working from home, take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy more quality time with your children and build a stronger bond. Encourage closeness by planning a game night together, watching movies and even video chatting with the parent who is not able to be present. How you react in a time of crisis is something your children will remember, so do your best to remain calm, positive and ensure them that things will improve in the near future.
Schiller DuCanto & Fleck LLP is committed to continuously providing excellent client service, which is why all three of our offices in Chicago, Lake Forest and Wheaton, Ill. will remain open. We are monitoring the situation closely and are available to provide courthouse updates and answer your questions or concerns. We wish you and your family good health during this difficult time.