It has been almost a year since the novel coronavirus came to America, and we are still on high alert. Those who share custody are running into major parenting issues. They are under heightened stress, worrying about finances, health, and staying safe for themselves and their kids. These concerns are very real, and we know you have questions. Remember, the answer is not to make a hasty and impulsive decision that may create more tension and fall outside your court orders.
Our firm is on your side, and although there is no easy answer to any parenting question, we are here to provide guidance during these unprecedented times.
Can I Deviate From My Parenting Plan During the Pandemic?
One of the biggest questions we’ve received is whether parenting plans still need to be followed in the midst of the pandemic. We understand that parents have genuine concerns about whether the other parent is safe and for their child’s safety. Others disagree about how to handle outside visitors to the home or take children to public areas as restrictions begin to relax.
As you make decisions, always keep in mind what is in the best interest of the children. Therefore, withholding a child from their other parent because of fears they might get sick likely will not hold up in the eyes of a judge. Your kids have had their lives disrupted as well, and they need the support of both of their parents now more than ever. It’s important for them to have the love and support of both parents whenever possible.
You should speak to an attorney if you have any concerns about your current custody arrangement, but you should continue to follow it until it is legally modified.
Work Out a Creative Solution
Before heading to court, we recommend finding a mutually agreeable solution with the other parent. You may find it beneficial to go through negotiations between an attorney or a mediator to create the most equitable arrangement possible. We know no one wants to lose precious time with their child. For example, it may be better to keep the kids with a parent working from home rather than an essential worker and making that time up later. If you and your co-parent can agree to modify your arrangement, one of you can always set up daily FaceTime or Zoom calls to check in with each other.
Our team is here to help you craft a creative solution that keeps your child safe while preserving your rights as a parent.
Create a Provisional Plan
No one expected 2020 to turn out this way, but now that you understand the struggles that come with a pandemic, you can create a thought-out plan. Have you discussed what will happen if someone in either household is infected? Are you sending the kids back to school, and do you agree? It’s a good idea to figure these things out before it’s too late.
Do You Have Questions About Custody?
Not everyone has an easygoing relationship with their co-parent, and sometimes an agreement is impossible. We know how frustrating this situation can be; rest assured, our team is here to help. We can help facilitate negotiations, modify your existing order, or enforce your current order. You want to do everything you can to protect your children, and we do too.
Do you have questions about child custody? Call Fenchel Family Law at (415) 650-1112 to schedule your virtual consultation today.