How to Handle Parenting Time in FL During a Pandemic
Posted By Law Offices of Robert Stepniak
Most things are disrupted during a pandemic, including how parents share time with their children. Consult with a family law attorney for help navigating your parenting plan.
The vast majority of daily life for the average American is disrupted right now. People cannot leave their homes to go to school or work, let alone for activities like going to the mall or the movies. For parents who are separated or divorced yet share parenting time of their children, navigating parenting arrangements and time-sharing can be complicated. Here are some tips for how to handle parenting time during the pandemic.
Stick to Your Parenting Plan as Normal
While it may seem odd to continue with things as normal while the world is being turned upside down, sticking to your parenting plan as you normally would can help to provide a sense of structure, and is also what is required under the law. Indeed, many courts around the country have stated that all parenting orders are to be followed unless modified. This means that, assuming it is possible, you should stick to your regular schedule of spending time with your child, transporting your child to your ex-partner’s, etc. during a pandemic.
Have an Honest Conversation About Social Distancing Expectations
While you may be responsible for sticking to your normal parenting plan as scheduled, doing so can be hard if you are concerned about social distancing and the risk of your ex, your child, or yourself contracting the virus. If your child will be spending time with both you and their other parent, it is important to have an honest conversation with your ex about what social distancing really means to each of you. If you are worried that your ex is not engaging in social distancing and is therefore putting your child and anyone your child comes in contact with (including yourself) at risk, this may be reason to call an attorney and seek a modification order.
Protect At-Risk Children and Other Vulnerable People
Child time-sharing agreements and parenting plans are meant to be focused on the child’s best interests. However, what was in a child’s best interests pre- and post-pandemic may be different. If your child is considered a high-risk individual--for example, if they have asthma, an autoimmune condition, or another health condition--it may not be safe for them to be moving from home to home. Consider other people in your life with whom your child may come in contact, such as an elderly grandparent. Modifying a parenting time arrangement may make sense during this time. However, note that you and your ex-spouse will need to do this together; you cannot simply do whatever you think is best without a legal modification.
Call Our Florida Family Law Attorney Today
If you have questions about your parenting plan and modifying a time-sharing arrangement during the COVID-19 pandemic, call our family law attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Stepniak today. Our law firm is here to support you during this difficult time.