Throughout my career as a licensed mediator and attorney, I’ve worked with many families as they navigate the divorce journey. I know the impact divorce can have on a child, especially when it comes to mental health. I’m also a mother who experienced divorcing with children. I know firsthand how it can affect them. That’s one of the many reasons why I advocate for out-of-court divorce options like mediation and collaborative law.
Halloween is typically a favorite holiday for my family, although this year is expected to look much different thanks to COVID-19. As our children have grown up, October was always a month that we all looked forward to for festive fun.
It’s hard to believe we’re approaching the fall and winter holiday season. It’s even harder to believe that we are still dealing with the implications of COVID-19 as we prepare to celebrate the holidays. For many families, the concepts of social distancing and smaller gatherings will have an impact on how they attend and/or host Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day. For families of divorce, this time of year often presents challenges.
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.