Can COVID-19 Affect Custody of your Child?

The COVID-19 pandemic brought about many drastic changes to our lives that we could not have expected. With children out of school, many parents are working from home or are out of work, and the differences in how we can get the things we need for our households, families needed to quickly adapt to the new “normal.” One issue that could complicate the situation even further is shared custody of your child.

Does a pandemic negate your time-sharing order and schedule? Can you decide to keep your child at your home all of the time instead of allowing them to go with their other parent? It is natural to have many questions in this unprecedented situation, and you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced Tampa child custody lawyer if you have concerns.

Maintaining Your Time-Sharing Schedule

First and foremost, public health orders related to COVID-19 are not intended to negate any existing child custody orders. If you and your child’s other parent are able to maintain your schedule, it is best to do so. Many parents are struggling with having children out of school, but it is important for parents sharing custody to do their best to make their regular schedule work. There might be, of course, extenuating circumstances that make this very difficult, impractical, or unsafe.

Work Schedules

If one parent is considered to be an essential worker, they might not be able to stay home and watch their child during the day. If you are scheduled to have your child when they would usually be at school, and you need to work, it can cause a childcare problem. It might be best to adjust your schedule temporarily to accommodate this temporary situation. You and the other parent should discuss the matter and, if you can agree to changes, you can implement them temporarily and return to your previous schedule when possible. Working together and cooperating is important to make child custody schedule adjustments work.

Health Risks

Some parents or children might be high-risk due to preexisting health issues, which means they should limit their contact with others as much as possible. This might mean that the child should stay with one parent only for the time being. You should still make sure that you maintain a visitation schedule with the other parent via FaceTime or similar apps. If one parent refuses to make efforts to minimize health risks to the child, speak with an attorney about a possible emergency order.

Consult with a Tampa Child Custody Attorney about Your Concerns

At the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., we understand that unexpected circumstances can call your child custody schedule into question. You do not want to risk consequences by failing to abide by your order, and you should also have your child’s best interests in mind. It is best to seek assistance and advice from an experienced time-sharing attorney who can provide guidance about your options. Call 813-227-9642 or contact us online to speak with our legal team today.