It’s back to school season in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg region and this year brings a school year unlike any other due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are so many changes for students from modified learning schedules and different educational structures to altered extracurricular activities and cancelled athletics. Every family is going to experience something new this year and it’s going to be hard. This is especially true for blended families and those with shared parenting agreements.
As families nationwide get ready for the school year to resume, it’s a new experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many things like school schedules and learning methods will change, yet some other things will remain the same. For most school systems, that includes students’ health assessments and up-to-date vaccination records. While vaccinating children may be a non-issue for some families, for others it may be a decision that doesn’t come easy. This is even more difficult in shared parenting situations when co-parents have different perspectives, opinions, and concerns.
Thousands of demonstrations are taking place nationwide as part of the Black Lives Matter movement. These protests most recently sparked after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Many demonstrations and protests are carried out peacefully nationwide. Others, like some in Charlotte, have turned violent and led to riots. This all comes as COVID-19 is still a concern, especially with large crowds. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve spoken with separated and divorced parents who have teenagers planning to take part in these events. Some parents are concerned about their child’s safety and are questioning their attendance. As a Mediation and Collaborative Law divorce attorney, they’ve asked me how they should handle these types of situations with their teens and co-parents.
I recognize that with the constantly changing COVID-19 situation, this is an unprecedented time for everyone—a time filled with much uncertainty. For parents working through a separation and/or divorce, this ever-changing environment adds another layer of potential anxiety to an already uneasy landscape. Add co-parenting to the mix and emotions can become overwhelming.