Coronavirus has changed all of our lives, and it is especially impacting families who share child custody.
Nola reports that in addition to a stressful pandemic, Louisiana parents are battling questions such as:
- Which parent can better minimize virus risk?
- Should a parent who’s treating coronavirus patients be allowed to visit or live with their child?
- Is school closure equivalent to spring and summer breaks?
- What about supervised visits since most third-party services are closed?
Besides tension and anxiety among parents, another significant concern is over disrupting routines for children in the midst of so much uncertainty. This is important because younger children especially tend not to handle change very well.
Adding to the complexity is the lack of universal rules regarding custody and visitation in light of COVID-19.
So, as a parent who shares custody of your child in Baton Rouge, what can you do to make this time as harmonious and healthy as possible?
What Counts As A Valid Reason For Change In Agreements?
Nolo points out some strong arguments for requesting a modification of custody agreements:
- your ex has been exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 patient
- your ex is displaying symptoms of COVID-19
- your ex has a high-risk job and is frequently exposed to COVID-19
- your child is high-risk for COVID-19
Tips For Keeping The Peace…And Keeping Your Child Healthy
- Make your child’s best interests a priority, even if it’s far from your ideal. Remember that the whole point of custody is to prioritize your child’s welling.
- Professor of family law Marcia Zug suggests that it might not be helpful to equate the COVID-19 pandemic with other types of emergencies that are covered in your custody agreements. Instead, parents should seek to work together and provide for the best interests of their children, whatever that means.
- Remember to treat your ex and your children with respect and fairness.
- Keep records. Contact the other parent in writing (by text or email) when explaining concerns and proposing solutions, advises The Conversation.
- Help your child stay in touch with their other parent. Use FaceTime, play games via video, or watch a movie simultaneously, suggests The Atlantic. Consistent interaction with both parents – even if virtual – will help children find a sense of security when they need it most.
- If parents cannot agree, it is essential to protect children from the disagreement and tension. Don’t argue or discuss frustrations within earshot of your children, advises The Atlantic. Children are already abnormally anxious during this time, and they don’t need additional tension.
Need Legal Support?
While the world is facing a lot of unknowns, one thing is for sure: we’re here for you. If you have questions regarding your custody and visitation agreements in Baton Rouge, or are concerned about your decisions leading to legal repercussions, contact the family law team at Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf by calling 225-343-2205 or messaging us online.
3960 Government St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806