Navigating Child Custody and Quarantines
The aftermath of divorce is always difficult, but the coronavirus is making it even more so. People are expected to distance themselves socially, while others are in quarantine either recovering from the virus, or hoping they do not become sick after coming into contact with someone that has tested positive for the illness. These are certainly extraordinary and difficult times, and the current environment is leaving many people with child custody arrangements with questions. So, what do you do with the children if one parent is self-isolating or in quarantine? How do you navigate the hurt feelings that are likely to accompany not being able to spend time with children, or the other parent? Following the tips below will help.
No Visits when Someone is Sick
Whether a child is sick or a parent, there should be no visitation when someone is sick, regardless of what a child custody order says. When a parent is sick, the children should not be exposed to them, which would place them at risk. If a child becomes sick, everyone should focus on helping them get better, not running them in between houses just to fulfill a custody order. Right now, the health of everyone is the main priority, even if an illness also brings disappointment.
Few people today have tried to navigate a pandemic before, let alone the children that are currently going through it. Kids today are scared, have had their normal routines completely disrupted, and are looking to their parents to provide calm amidst the storm. It is crucial that both parents provide this. Panicking about the current situation is not going to help the children remain calm, and fighting with a former spouse is only going to add tension to an already difficult situation. Both parents must remain calm and reassure their children that at some point, things will return to normal.
Today, people are looking to connect any way possible. When children cannot spend time physically with one parent because they are sick, self-isolating, or in quarantine, they should still be able to spend some virtual time with that parent. Use FaceTime, Skype, phone calls, and texts to allow the child to still connect with a parent, even if they cannot be with them physically.
Make Up for Lost Time
When one parent loses out on visitation time because of self-isolation or quarantine, that time should be made up once it is possible. Whether that means just waiting for 14 days to confirm that someone is not sick, or waiting out an illness someone suffers from, parents should always allow kids to spend more time with a parent that they have had to self-isolate from once that isolation or quarantine period is over.
Have a Child Custody Issue? Our Florida Family Lawyers can Help
When there is a divorce in a family, it always raises several issues. In the times of a pandemic, things become even more complicated. No matter what your child custody issue is, our Tampa family law attorneys at All Family Law Group, P.A. are here to help. We know how complex these issues are, and how contentious they can become. If you need a custody order modified, or you are preparing to go through these hearings for the first time, call us at (813) 672-1900 to schedule a free consultation and to learn more about how we can help.