The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause panic across the country. On top of the stress that everyone is feeling regarding their health, divorced and separated parents have even more issues to deal with during this time. Due to the government’s recommendation of social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, parents who share custody of their children may struggle with how to handle this pandemic.
Social distancing and shelter-in-place rules do not directly affect custody agreements, so parents should continue to follow their current arrangements. Keeping the same routine may present valid concerns among parents, which include:
- Your ex-spouse was exposed to someone with COVID-19
- Your ex-spouse works in a high-risk job
- Your ex-spouse is frequently exposed to COVID-19
- Your ex-spouse is exhibiting symptoms of the virus
Due to these apprehensions, parents may want to change their current custody agreement during this pandemic. The health and well-being of your children should always be of utmost concern and it may take some adjustments to keep them safe.
How Does the COVID-19 Virus Affect Children?
COVID-19 is highly contagious, causes severe respiratory complications, and can be fatal for those with underlying chronic health conditions. Despite the signs that children are fighting off the virus well, it is still a very dangerous illness that is high risk for those with other health complications. If your child has asthma or is suppressed in anyway, they are more likely to experience complications if they contract the virus.
How to Handle Custody Agreements During the Pandemic
If you are concerned about sending your child to your ex-spouse’s house during the COVID-19 pandemic, talking about your concerns is the best option. Temporarily changing your custody agreement to meet the needs of your children could keep them safe and healthy during the pandemic. If you choose to change the terms of the agreement, offer alternatives to the parent to ensure they are still keeping in contact with their children. Alternatives to consider include:
- Scheduling make up visits to keep it fair between parents
- Scheduling phone and Face Time calls
- Being creative with how your child communicates with your ex-spouse by sending letters or cards for a break in virtual communication.
What to Do When Parents Do Not Agree
Sometimes, the suggestion of a temporary custody change may not settle well with the other parent. If this is the case, the best solution is to contact a family law attorney who can offer advice and a legal solution to parental disagreements. If a child’s health is fully at risk, there are emergency temporary child custody orders that you can obtain. A lawyer and your state’s court system will determine if custody modification is necessary during this time.
Baltimore County Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Clients with COVID-19 Concerns
If you believe that a temporary change in your custody agreement is necessary throughout this pandemic, contact the Baltimore County divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC for legal advice. Our skilled legal team will help you keep your children and family safe during this time. Call us today at 443-589-0150 or contact us online for a free consultation.
Located in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we serve clients throughout Baltimore, Baltimore County, Bel Air, Bentley Springs, Columbia, Freeland, Hereford, Hampton, Westminster, Essex, Monkton, Sparks Glencoe, Parkton, Phoenix, Pikesville, White Hall, Carroll County, Harford County, and Howard County.