Five Tips for Co-Parenting Your Sick Child

Family dynamics can always fluctuate, but if one thing remains constant, it’s the parent’s love for their children. Even in cases where marriages don’t work out, this love remains constant. Co-parenting is common; it allows children to experience a healthy, positive environment even if their parents have separated. 

However, co-parenting is no easy task and requires a lot of open communication and trust. One of the most challenging and confusing scenarios can be if your child gets sick. During an illness, it can be difficult to figure out how to accommodate visitation schedules and other activities, alongside providing your child with the best healing environment. 

So keep reading below if you’re interested in learning how to co-parent proactively when your child is sick. 

  1. Get in touch with the necessary resources 

Getting in touch with the experts is vital whenever your child is sick so you can provide them with the best care. However, in some cases, your child may face a lifelong condition that can impact their quality of life. In these situations, it’s even more important to ensure that both parents are on the same page to ensure that your child receives the best care. Moreover, in some cases, you may be eligible to take legal action if experts determine that your child’s condition was caused by medical negligence. 

Cerebral palsy is one of the conditions where both parents must be on the same page and understand the routes to take. Although, in some cases, cerebral palsy may have developed before birth, in most cases, it occurs due to entirely avoidable childbirth mistakes. Cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition and requires stable financial resources to take care of. So look for the right lawsuit resources that can help you bring closure and get the financial compensation necessary to care for your child. 

  1. Keep things positive 

In many cases, co-parenting can be less than ideal, with two exes having to see each other regularly. When your child is sick, the environment can become even tenser, and if you aren’t on good terms with your ex, there can be immense negativity. Many parents tend to start blaming the other for the child being sick or getting hurt, which creates an environment that is not conducive to recovery. 

Instead of engaging in petty squabbles, you want to focus on your child getting the best care possible and healing in a positive environment. Children can be even more sensitive to such issues when they’re sick, and the added stress can impact their recovery immensely. So instead, try to ensure you’re both on the same page and can put aside your differences for your child. 

  1. Make sure both parents are updated 

In some co-parenting setups, one parent is often more involved or updated than the other. Visitation schedules can also vary, with some giving primary custody to one parent and secondary to the other. While these schedules can work perfectly in a normal situation, parents must be equally involved and updated when their child gets sick. If one parent is clueless regarding the child’s medical history, there can be serious issues for your child’s recovery. 

In general, we advise that parents be on the same page regarding the child’s medical history before anyone gets sick. This ensures that both parents know exactly what to do in an emergency. Medical history can include vaccination schedules, allergens, health conditions, current medication, and more. Moreover, if your child has a chronic condition, both parents must devise a plan in case anything ever goes wrong. This can ensure that your child gets the immediate attention they need even in the absence of one parent. 

  1. Communicate about schedules 

Normal co-parenting schedules divide the time children spend with both parents evenly. However, while such schedules work perfectly in a normal situation, you may need to suspend them when your child is sick. For example, if they’re very sick, they may need to skip school, stay in a hospital, or get bed rest. In such cases, your child may be too weak to be shuttled between two parents and may not have the energy to partake in any activities either. 

In such a scenario, it’s important to lay the foundations for parenting schedules in emergencies beforehand. If you’ve clearly outlined the changes that can occur when your child is sick, adjusting can be easier when the problem arises. However, even if you haven’t put together a changed schedule beforehand, documenting any deviations can be useful later. You may stick to the regular visitation schedule if your child is well enough. However, in some cases, you can even have the other parent step in for caretaking. At the end of the day, it’s all about regular, proactive communication to ensure your child’s benefit. 

  1. Trust each other 

In co-parenting schedules, one of the most common issues is trust. Dissolving a marriage can bring a lot of resentment, and both sides may have unresolved problems. While you might give in to sharing time with your child in a normal situation, you might feel extra protective when your child is sick. Many exes often feel that the other is incapable of caring for a sick child and can feel on edge about trusting their child to them in such a vulnerable state. 

However, it’s important to remember to be objective and take a step back to reassess. If you feel your ex has a history of not caring for your child and isn’t just generally unreliable, you need to communicate that with them. Then, if you feel like they’re still not caring for your child, you may take a step further and report them to the relevant authorities. 


Co-parenting can be tricky to navigate, especially when your child is sick. However, it’s important to remember that your shared love for your child ties you two together. Keeping this in mind can make working towards this common goal easier and help you give your child the best possible environment to grow up and heal in. 

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