Covid-19 is stressful for divorced parents sharing custody of children who may not see eye to eye when it comes to social distancing to keep the family safe. One parent’s efforts to limit trips to the store or avoid socializing with people outside the family are meaningless if the other parent does not take the same precautions during their parenting time. Not surprisingly, custody disputes have erupted involving parents who do not feel comfortable letting go of the kids for a weekend concerned that the other parent will not keep the kids safe.
Although parents may feel uneasy, they are expected to follow existing custody orders during the pandemic, and it is important for parents to work together so kids can feel safe and secure. When parents have differing levels of concern about Covid-19, families are encouraged to defer to the perspective of the parent with the most concern to alleviate their fears, which will also make kids feel more secure. Parents should discuss their concerns openly and try to reach an agreement to protect their children in both parenting environments.
If one parent refuses to take precautions, exposing children to unnecessary risks, or, in cases where a parent refuses to allow children to see the other parent fearing the worst, it is important to speak to your attorney to find a solution that serves the best interests of the child. It may be necessary for you to take steps to enforce your custody order or seek a modification to the order depending on the circumstances which may include:
- A parent refusing to exchange the child or not allowing the child to leave the home out of safety concerns
- A parent making unwise custodial decisions when there is a risk of infection or someone in their house has been exposed to Covid-19
- Conflicts arising because of changes in the exchange routine because of school closures
- Other concerns that may arise as a direct result of the pandemic related to parenting time
No doubt about it, the Covid-19 pandemic is a challenging time for parents and families. If you need help with child custody issues during Covid-19, do not hesitate to contact the Lake county family law attorney Ronald L. Bell & Associates for immediate assistance at 847-495-6000.