It may feel like Scrooge had something to do with the Omicron variant, as many of us are finding long-awaited vacation plans and holiday gatherings scuttled—due to a positive test result, exposure to someone with COVID- 19, or the sudden onset of symptoms. The current reality this holiday season is that you will need to be prepared to pivot on the fly. Some tips and best practices are below.
Wishing everyone (minimally stressful) warm and happy holidays!
MASTERING THE ART OF THE HOLIDAY PIVOT
- EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Even the boosted are getting sick, so try to manage expectations for you and your kids.
- SET CO-PARENTING CONTINGENCY PLANS WITH YOUR EX. Have 2–3 scenarios mapped out for vacation division (travel insurance, agreed upon make-up time, and how potential quarantine obligations will be handled).
- LIMIT THE NUMBER OF FRIENDS AND RELATIVES THAT YOU’LL ENCOUNTER. Take into consideration each person’s health and risk tolerance before trips or in-person celebrations.
- TEST AND TRACE. Keep tabs, take at-home tests in advance of and the day after each social gathering and ask your co-parent to do the same.
Stacy D. Phillips
As we mark one year since the first shelter-in-place orders were imposed, there is practically no part of divorce that the COVID-19 pandemic has not impacted. In too many ways, the frustration at our lack of control over the events of this last year and now well into the first quarter of 2021 has exacerbated the emotional, psychological, and legal wars of separation and divorce. A particularly active battlefield where control becomes a constant tug-of-war has been the highly charged disagreements that come with fights over child custody.
With tensions as high as ever, I have taken note that many of my divorce cases that would normally settle are not settling—not just the ones involving custody. Moreover, as tensions are higher than usual, parents who are separating or divorcing are now, all too often, using disagreements over their children to score points against their ex-partner. Making matters worse, these unhappy couples have often been stuck in the same household without the normal boundaries between life and work or they may be living in separate homes but do not look at COVID-19 protections the same way, causing an accelerated unraveling.
Keeping sane during a custody fight is not easy, and especially so during COVID-19. It requires positive thinking, setting aside pettiness, and finding creative solutions that are in the best interest of your children. Despite the ongoing uncertainties of managing this school year, securing vaccine appointments for loved ones, and worrying about our health and safety, there are many ways to keep your cool during one of life’s most stressful and unfortunate circumstances.