The current global health crisis has changed so many aspects of American life. From stay-at-home orders to social distancing, coronavirus has truly changed our world. Almost all parents have had to adjust to a new normal with the advent of distance learning and parenting during work hours. However, for divorced parents with co-parenting arrangements, these circumstances have presented even more challenges.
Obstacles and Difficult Questions
Many parents with shared custody found themselves wondering what to do during shelter-in-place orders. Should you follow the custody plan? What if one parent is concerned about the other’s exposure as an essential worker? Could you, the essential worker, lose access to your children? What if one parent has no problem taking the children out or letting them play with friends while the other feels more cautious or is a member of a vulnerable population?
What if you didn’t follow the custody agreement during shelter-in-place? Does the other parent deserve back-time now?
If you chose to divert from your custody agreement due to the health crisis, it is up to you and your co-parent to determine a resolution and a way forward. If you cannot, discussing your options with a family lawyer maybe your best option. Custody arrangements are binding, but if you don’t follow the guidelines, there are no guarantees. None of these questions have easy answers.
Communication, cooperation, and compromise will serve you well right now.
Governor Gina Raimondo’s current guidance states that all custody agreements stand and should be adhered to. If one parent takes issue with the arrangement, the co-parents should seek a resolution together. Family courts are available to assist in emergency situations where a resolution doesn’t seem possible.