Co-parenting is challenging even when there isn’t a pandemic, but in the time of COVID-19, it can be especially stressful. Many separated or divorcing families have realized that their child custody arrangements no longer work for them at this time. The pandemic may even have exacerbated existing issues or created new ones.
That said, how can divorced or separated families navigate these trying times while making sure that everyone stays safe and secure? Here’s what you need to know about child custody concerns in the time of COVID-19.
What if the noncustodial parent has contracted COVID-19?
Individuals who have contracted COVID-19 are required to quarantine for 14 days. Virtual visitation through Facetime or Zoom is the preferred method of staying in contact for the health and safety of the child, the other parent, and the community. If someone in the household of one of the parents has contracted COVID-19 and the parents cannot reach an agreement in the best interest of the child, consult with your divorce lawyer or family law attorneys before deciding whether visitation should be allowed.
What if the noncustodial parent is at greater risk for COVID-19?
Some parents are at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 because of their workplace environments. For instance, the parent may work at a school, in a hospital, health clinic, grocery store, or another high-contact area. While the noncustodial parent may be at greater risk for contracting the virus, this doesn’t necessarily mean the noncustodial parent won’t take the proper precautions to keep their child safe such as social distancing and wearing a mask.
Unless a court order is made, the noncustodial parent in this case still has the right to visitation. Of course, if you believe that the noncustodial parent isn’t taking the proper safety precautions and isn’t acting in the best interest of the child, you can seek a court order to modify the noncustodial parent’s visitation rights. Consult with your divorce lawyer before you make any decision about whether to file a court order. In up to 29% of custody cases, decisions were made without any third party or court involvement.
Are you looking for a low-cost divorce lawyer to help your family during these trying times? The experienced divorce lawyers at the Affordable Divorce Center have you covered. For more information about mediation services, child custody, and other family law issues, contact the Affordable Divorce Center today.