Co-Parenting & the Return to Office

July 13, 2022
Gary Direnfeld

Article written by Gary Direnfeld

After almost two years of a work-from-home lifestyle, people are seeing a shift back to the office. With kids out of school for summer break, parents of young children are facing a particular challenge—especially when it comes to co-parenting.

Co-parenting can be difficult at the best of times and hurdles such as this don’t make it any easier. In these types of instances, separated parents will need to use communication and cooperation to accommodate one or both co-parents as they transition back to the workplace.

Keep reading for some co-parenting tips to adapt to new workplace expectations.

Co-Parenting Tips to Ease the Transition

  • Approach your Co-Parent as soon as possible. It is important to reach out to your co-parent as soon as you get the news that you will be returning to the office. This allows you both time to think through the implications of the change together. Depending on the relationship between you and your co-parent, communication can help you determine the degree to which you can support each other through this transition and others in the future.
  • Don’t Rush. Rather than rushing to solutions, first generate as many options as possible together. Sometimes a rush to do things one way can blind people to other creative solutions. With several options to choose from and a solution you both can agree to, implementation can be easier.
  • External Mediation and/or Facilitation.If you have a rockier relationship with your co-parent, it may be wise to turn to a lawyer for help. They can act as a facilitator and/or mediator and help you agree on how you will adapt to this change together.
  • Facilitating your Child’s Independence. Depending on the age and maturity of your child or children, the return to the office may be an opportunity to facilitate their greater independence and self-reliance. Building in systems of accountability and communication with check-ins can go a long way to helping the process.

Independently Resolving Matters:

In some cases, you may already know that you cannot work with your co-parent. This is common and you shouldn’t feel alone. Be sure to discuss your situation with your kin, friends, and even your workplace to develop a range of solutions from which to choose. A solution will present itself, just remember not to rush!

COVID has undermined certainty on so many levels in life as we knew it. Better outcomes will be achieved with greater flexibility of thinking and planning. Including your kids in these transitions can help them cope and teach flexibility too. These are the life skills we all must count on to move forward these days. This shift may feel intimidating, but remember you are not alone.