When you have a child custody order, it will include a parenting plan that sets out the specific details of the shared custody arrangement. Specifically, it should have a timesharing schedule that mandates when the child will live with each parent, how the child will be transferred between homes, and more. However, with the COVID-19 quarantine and social distancing measures in Florida – and throughout the U.S. and the world – many parents are finding that they need to adjust their parenting plans, at least temporarily.
Child Care Concerns
While most people in the Tampa area are staying at home most of the time, there are still essential workers who need to leave to go to work on a regular basis. With schools closed for the rest of the school year, parents will need to supervise and care for their children at home. If you are a working parent right now, childcare might be a serious issue. If one parent is not working and the other is, you might want to tweak the timesharing schedule, for now, to allow the non-working parent to watch the child each day. This can prevent additional costs or health risks of third-party childcare.
Some children are more susceptible to COVID-19 and its complications due to respiratory issues, immune deficiencies, and other pre-existing health problems. If this is the case, you want to limit your child’s exposure to outside germs as much as possible. You might decide that the child will remain quarantined in one house to reduce their risk, and the other parent might need to conduct visits via video conferencing apps for the time being.
Concerns about the Other Parent’s Compliance
While parents should continue to follow their parenting plans during the quarantine whenever possible, it takes the cooperation and compliance of both parents to keep the child and other household members safe. If you are strict with your social distancing, hygiene requirements, and sanitization of your home, it will mean very little if your child is then allowed to have playdates and see non-household members when they are with their other parent.
Parents should maintain regular communication about compliance with health orders and recommendations, and you should talk to your child about what is happening at their other home. If you believe that the other parent is putting your child at unnecessary risk, you should discuss your possible options with a Tampa child custody and timesharing lawyer. In dire situations, it might be possible to obtain an emergency timesharing order.
Contact a Tampa Family Law Attorney about Your Concerns
It is natural for parents to have concerns about timesharing during these uncertain times. It is best to stick to your existing parenting plan when possible, though we know that complications can arise that make this impossible or risky. Never hesitate to call the Law Office of Mark G. Rodriguez, P.A., for help and guidance regarding your parenting plan. Call 813-227-9642 or contact us online for a consultation today.