How Divorced Parents Handle Custody and Coronavirus

Parents around the U.S. are advised to practice social distancing, avoiding travel and grouping social conditions to help lower the chances of Coronavirus catching and spreading. But determining whether to deal with COVID-19 based quarantines can be difficult for parents who are separated and transfer their kids between two households as part of a custody agreement.

When millions of people around the world practice social isolation and self-quarantine, they isolate themselves from all of their immediate family members. Nevertheless, the concept of “immediate family” is not clear for divorced or separated parents who share custody of their children.

Under normal circumstances, co-parenting is full of challenges. It is twice as difficult to try to maintain a stable family relationship with your ex during a global pandemic.

Below are some tips on how to co-parent during this global health crisis

  1. Be flexible

Many parents are out of work, some work at home and others in fields such as health care and other essential services face long, erratic hours. With all this upheaval, it’s really important to play nice with your ex.

If you are living with a high-conflict partner who wants clear boundaries and laws, the name of the game during the COVID-19 pandemic is compromised and working together for the wellbeing of the children and your own safety.

Most of the children still feel nervous and anxious. Getting their parent’s problem-solving and becoming a cohesive team would make all the difference with the way they’re moving through this crisis.

  1. Be prepared to modify child support in the cases of a job loss

Many parents are currently making child support modifications due to widespread job loss. If this is something you like to do, have some formal arrangement with your ex.

When you are unable to agree, consider filing a petition with the court to maintain the right to change the amount of compensation you are paying back to the date your income reached.

If you need to have this discussion with your ex, approach it as compassionately as possible.

  1. Think twice before sending the fiery message

Maybe don’t send the angry text about the trip that your ex took right before your condition got worse. Think about how you say statements, how they are going to be interpreted, how they are going to be preserved for future litigation.

Regardless of how right you are, the other person is suffering too. We all do. Fear of the unknown creates tension and now is the time that you could use your support and reassurance to the person you want to have a child with.

  1. Get the custody arrangement modified in writing

Since so many working lives are upended, some exes agree to terms that are somewhat different from those set out in their custody agreements. When you are changing your custody agreement, consider getting it in writing, particularly when you think your ex would benefit from the parenting plan that has been updated since the outbreak.

  1. When you and your ex are at odds about who has the children. Then follow your court orders. But if one parent is allowed to have COVID-19, then behave fairly

Don’t risk the children being subjected to COVID-19 just to follow the custody plan. If you and your children are exposed to the virus, be vigilant with your husband, share the details and, if possible, keep the children until you are certain they are not sick or carriers.

  1. Be Generous

Try to give the parent that missed out makeup time, if at all possible. Family law judges require fair compromise where it is practicable to do so and should consider seriously the questions posed in future complaints regarding parents who are unyielding in highly rare situations.

  1. Be Creative

Around the same time, it will be foolish to think that nothing would change when people are told not to travel and to shutter holiday destinations like theme parks, museums and movie centers around the world.

Additionally, some parents will have to work additional hours to help cope with the crisis and other parents may be out of work or work for a while. Plans always need to adjust. Encourage closeness to the adult who does not see the infant by mutual books, videos, sports, or Skype.


About Author: 

At Smoak Law, P.C., our Family Law Lawyer in Salt Lake City insists on the specific interests of each of our clients while presenting a family law situation. The choices taken in our law offices will impact the rest of your life, so it’s vital to our family law firm that we find the best result possible for your full family law requirements.

Our divorce attorney in Salt Lake City will lead the way by offering the legal advice you need to push your new life forward.

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