Support during the COVID-19 Pandemic:
Mediators can offer support through virtual guidance during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The Coronavirus is generating hurdles for all American families and there will be financial issue to address. Families will need to change alimony or child support because of a loss of employment. These changes will happen during a time when the courts will be unavailable.
In this daily changing environment, it might be hard for co-parents to deal directly with issues regarding their children. Mediators can help guide the new reality that the COVID-19 Pandemic will have on co-parenting. Co-parents need to be flexible in light of new issues like prolonged school closures, travel restrictions, working from home and the need for first responders to work extra hours. Co-parents need to realize that inevitably there could be a loss of overnight parenting time and other schedule concerns affect parenting time. In this time of crisis it is important for co-parents to be flexible while adhering to government guidelines like curfews and Stay at Home orders, while remembering that parents do not have to sacrifice their rights.
Here are some sites with helpful information to answer many questions:
Official COVID-19 site of the State of New Jersey https://covid19.nj.gov/
As of March 18, 2020 the courts in NJ are essentially closed and Civil Arbitration and Early Settlement Panel sessions postponed https://njcourts.gov/notices/2020/n200319b.pdf?c=NDP
Child support payments are still being processed but NOT in person https://www.njchildsupport.org/Health-and-Safety
Fannie or Freddie and F.H.A. loans have suspended foreclosures and evictions https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/OCHCO/documents/20-04hsgml.pdf
Many lenders have offered loan payment deferment https://www.aba.com/about-us/press-room/industry-response-coronavirus#_ga=2.131232460.2133286675.1584454853-584369691.1522093352&_gac=1.187710042.1580914976.Cj0KCQiA7OnxBRCNARIsAIW53B94OE1K7vrIjuDXsFgefy0bxLTfMoesAaHXVlXIyG680GZ1dFqUUAEaAjeYEALw_wcB
Talking to CHILDREN: It is important to talk to children calmly and honestly about COVID-19.
Guidelines from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/talking-with-children.html
From the National Association of School Psychologist:
NYU Langone: file:///Users/suzanneenglish/Downloads/How_to_Talk_to_your_Child_About_Coronavirus.pdf
All Families should have a COVID-19 plan but families that co-parent especially need to prepare https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/get-your-household-ready-for-COVID-19.html