Dear Christine,


I’m a divorced dad who remarried, with a son and a stepdaughter. When shelter-in-place hit and school was canceled, everything changed.
We all started working at home—or not working at all. Though we have successfully established a new custody schedule so that there is less back-and-forth between houses, we still have a lot of conflicts. We don’t agree about whether it’s okay to go outside, who can enter the other parents’ homes, or how the new schedule might affect child-support payments, among other things.
I’m concerned about routines and schooling and the emotional atmosphere in the other households. My stepdaughter’s parents don’t care much about school and are treating the closure like a vacation. My ex-wife is very anxious and never hesitates to express fear in front of my son, which I don’t think is very good for him.
How can we negotiate these differences? Can we all get on the same page, or is that just impossible?

Divorced & Confused

Dear Divorced & Confused,

Oh, how I hear you. Blended families like yours and mine—where kids go between households—can’t follow the mandate to shelter in a single place of residence. So, the safest