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PSA: How to Survive Hurricane Michael with Your Co-Parenting Relationship Intact

Hurricane season is stressful, and the decision of whether to shelter in place or evacuate can be painstaking—even more so when you share a child who may or may not be with you at the time. We at Dadvocacy® have handled timesharing issues during Hurricane Irma and those that came before, and we’ve put together a list to help you as you navigate your co-parenting relationship while keeping your child’s best interest at the forefront during Hurricane Michael.

  1. Now is not the time to demand strict adherence to the timesharing schedule. Once schools and roads begin closing, it is best to minimize exchanges of the child.
  2. Focus on developing a safety plan for your child and work with your co-parent to discuss the options. Watch your tone and do not argue over whose house is safer or who has the best hurricane snacks. No judge is going to entertain a hearing over hurricane timesharing issues so long as the decisions made during the emergency circumstances were reasonable—even if they interfered with the timesharing and access schedule.
  3. Do not involve police in timesharing disputes when there is an imminent natural disaster. Emergency response teams should be focused on keeping the general population safe.
  4. Use your common sense regarding whether to evacuate. If one of you can evacuate with the child, but the other is staying local, it may be best to let the child go with the evacuating parent. Update your co-parent before anyone else as to travel progress if evacuating.
  5. Exchange contact and location information so that you can be reached in case of emergency. Even if you normally wouldn’t share your girlfriend’s phone number with your co-parent, it may be a good idea to do so in the event of a hurricane. Cell towers go down and some providers will have service while others do not. You may wish to download the Zello app for post-hurricane communication. Expect reduced phone contact with your child as cell phone power is rationed.
  6. Share the cost of emergency supplies/lodging expenses for your child.
  7. If at all possible, do not argue with your co-parent or panic, especially in the presence of your child. Remember that you are modeling calm, sensible behavior that helps your child learn how to storm; it’s neither a catastrophe nor a party.

Call today to speak with an experienced Dadvocacy Attorney at (305) 371-7640.

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