Required

Covid-19 Maricopa County Family Courts Close

Hi there. It’s Billie Tarascio from Modern Law and today we’re talking about the very, very relevant issue of co-parenting and homeschooling your children when you are in a split household. So, many parents in Arizona have an equal parenting time schedule, or a parenting time schedule, where kids are with both mom and dad during the week, or week on week off. And now we’re being asked by the schools to homeschool our children. We’re being asked by our employers to largely work from home, although some people still are supposed to be going into work, but their kids are at home. We don’t have childcare providers because they’re being told to stay home.

We’re in a real interesting situation and right now the biggest conflict I’m seeing is when you’ve got two parents who don’t agree on how to handle the coronavirus threat or exposure. If one parent allows the children to go play outside and play at the park, and another parent is completely opposed, that could be an issue. Or my daughter’s preschool is open, which means she could go, and if one of us and wanted her to go to preschool and the other one wanted her to stay home, that could be a real issue of disagreement.

There’s also the issue of how to homeschool these kids that we have. They’re at different levels, they need different things. I’ve got four, two teenagers and then a first grader and a pre-K kiddo, so coordinating with our co-parents on how to administer medical and school, this is one of those times where co-parents are put to the test. And then there are parents who are living in the same house who are really struggling to come up with these answers. At least if you’ve got conflict between two parents but they don’t live in the same house, largely each parent gets to decide.

So if, if my ex husband wanted to send Julia to preschool, there really wouldn’t be anything I could do to stop her. Some parents are trying to get emergency orders from the court, and the court will hear emergency motions, although I don’t know what they would do in that particular case. And it probably depends on the judge and the timing, as more and more states approach lockdown, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arizona ended up there, and that of course would change the way that the judges might handle this particular situation.

So more than anything else, we’re in this time of uncertainty. We need communication and collaboration and creative problem solving. It’s something that we can help with if you need help, if you need a mediator, if you need somebody to talk to you about your situation, we’re happy to do consultations via video, just like this. I’m using the same program that I’m talking to you here. It’s free, it’s accessible from your computer or your phone, and it’s almost like having a real life meeting. That’s all for now. Stay safe, stay healthy, and happy co-parenting.