While the drama may have been absent during your amicable divorce, there certainly is no shortage these days with the coronavirus pandemic upending our daily lives. A mandatory state-wide quarantine, along with school and daycare facility closures, has put even the most solid co-parenting relationships to the test. As we know, custody agreements are generally tailored to each co-parent’s daily schedule. So what happens with your child’s custody schedule when the world is in crisis mode?
COVID-19 has caused a dramatic change in our routine and with that being said it is highly likely that COVID-19 has seriously disrupted your current custody agreement because let’s be honest, who would have thought to incorporate a nationwide pandemic into the equation? This has many co-parents asking how to handle following their existing custody agreements. The simple answer is – if you can, stay as compliant as possible with the most recent court order or custody agreement regarding your child.
The more complicated answer is why were are here. While you want to stay as compliant as possible with the current parenting plan, this may not be feasible for a lot of parents at this time. Take a look at your current schedules and compare how they have been impacted by COVID-19. For example, if one parent is an “essential worker” and the other parent is not, it may be in the child’s best interest to modify the custodial schedule to better accommodate the child’s needs.
If you both are able to agree to slightly different terms (in light of the COVID-19 pandemic), consider getting the changes in writing. One way to do this is have a mediator or attorney draft a document outlining the amended temporary schedule (or permanent if you agree on continuing these changes).
If you’re having a difficult time navigating custody with your co-parent, remember that there is help available. Call Jacobson Family Law to speak to a professional about options to get you on the same page.