On March 20, 2020, Governor JB Pritzker issued a “Stay at Home” executive order. This introduces new questions for “Stay at Home” coparenting, surrounding parenting time, healthcare, and education.
The Legal Solutions team understands that you have questions regarding COVID-19 and the impact it has upon your family. Remember, through your children, you are family forever AND children’s best interests are served by having parents who love them and can work together to keep them safe.
Reasonable people can, and do, disagree about how to approach the current pandemic crisis. This is true for families with married and unmarried parents alike. Keep in mind that this is stressful for all and it is our responsibility to do the very best we can to care for one another.
Per the Governor’s order, our team is excepted as an essential service and we will continue to work at our office during this time, however we find it prudent to best serve our clients and our own families by only offering remote meeting options pending further advice to the contrary. Click here to schedule an appointment: https://lawbhh.com/contact/
How “Stay at Home” Affects CoParenting Time
We have been clearly told to STAY AT HOME. However, Governor Pritzker’s Executive Order outlines exceptions in Paragraph 5. E. allowing us to leave our homes, “To take care of others”, which includes family members, such as our children, including transporting them between parents for “court ordered” parenting time.
CoParents should follow their parenting schedule while honoring the stay-at-home order. , try to avoid reinventing the wheel, while also keeping in mind the need to be creative and flexible in providing care for your children while they are not attending school. If your plan provides for shared responsibility and shared time, then, absent extraordinary circumstances, at this time, at least in Illinois, the expectation is that coparents follow their judgments or other court orders pertaining to parenting time.
Remember, courts encourage parents to agree to times other than what are delineated in the parenting plan. If there is a disagreement, most courts require mediation prior to seeking judicial intervention. Parents may also opt to work with a Parenting Coordinator for unbiased assistance in making decisions for the children. For information about remote mediation sessions or parenting coordination services, contact us by phone or text at 630-888-0017 or via our website at https://lawbhh.com/contact.
How “Stay at Home” Affects CoParenting Healthcare
As coparents, if you share decisions about health care, you continue to do so amid COVID-19 and the Stay-at-Home Executive Order. Be respectful of one another’s views, but heed directives from the government as well as the CDC (Center for Disease Control): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
Mental health services, including therapy and counseling are an important component of general health care. Some mental health professionals continue to meet with clients in person, subject to recommended precautions.
Mental Health services are considered “essential” under the Governor’s order and therapists are permitted to use approved telehealth platforms in order to meet with clients remotely per prior order.
If you are having parenting disagreements, seek out a therapist who can assist with coping skills and strategies for improving coparenting communication.
National Alliance on Mental Illness: https://namiillinois.org
American Academy of Pediatrics: https://www.aappublications.org/news/2020/01/28/coronavirus
Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
How “Stay at Home” Affects CoParenting Education
As of this writing, the public schools in our area are closed at least until April 7, though our school district has carefully worded their announcements to provide for preparations in the event that the closures need to continue beyond that time frame.
CoParents following the Stay-at-Home Executive Order should share in responsibility for the education of their children. It is a good idea for parents to communicate regarding any e-learning requirements that may exist.
At this point, parents should prepare to continue facilitating e-learning for their children continually, in the event that the time frame of the order is extended. This may require creativity and flexibility in terms of the current court-ordered parenting time schedule.
Illinois State Board of Education: https://www.isbe.net/covid19
As of late, the coparenting landscape has been completely reimagined. From healthcare to education to everyday decisions, coparenting is more of a team effort than ever before. When needed, the Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions team is here to provide compassionate assistance.
For assistance with Stay-at-Home coparenting, please reach out to the family law firm at Bruckner Hernandez Legal Solutions.