Holiday Visitation & Parenting during COVID-19

The holidays can be a frustrating time for many families and co-parents going through custody disputes. Many divorced parents have concerns about how safe their child might be and if the other parent is taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously. There are instances in which one of the parents works in the front lines (e.g., medical professional), in which case there is a possibility of increased exposure. Additionally, there are also situations in which one parent feels safe with the child traveling to another state to visit the parent while the other parent may prefer for the child to stay home and isolate. The coronavirus pandemic has altered many plans, and parents are facing a multitude of new and complicated issues. If you are concerned about the coronavirus (COVID-19) and your child’s visitation schedule during the holidays, to ensure that you and the co-parent are able to resolve the matter efficiently, there are steps that you can take.

In amicable relationships, divorced parents are able to smoothly and efficiently come to an agreement as to what would be best for the child. Conversely, for divorced parents who are estranged, making changes to custodial arrangements has the potential to exacerbate the situation by digging up “old wounds” and “making an already stressful time even harder.” Nevertheless, during these uncertain times and with the holiday season approaching, mediation can help provide a roadmap of what visitation will look like. A mediator can help divorce parents have specific and temporary agreements on parenting arrangements during the pandemic. It is important for parents to communicate and protect the best interest of the child. Having a mediator or a family law attorney can help minimize the impact of parental conflict on a child.

Below are some concerns and answers to child visitation complications because of the coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • What if holiday visitation presents a risk to my child? If you are concerned that the holiday visitation schedule may affect your child’s health or may put him or her at risk, it is in your best interest to speak with a family law attorney. Your experienced and skilled family lawyer can help you determine the best course of action to take if your co-parent is unwilling to work out some form of agreement.
  • What if the co-parent is not taking the necessary precautions? In the situation that a parent has the coronavirus or is acting recklessly – going outside without a mask, having large group gatherings, not following safety protocols – it is crucial to seek legal counsel. Your attorney can help you determine if you can file for a child custody modification. Having a skilled family lawyer by your side can ensure the most favorable outcome.
  • How can mediation work during the pandemic? As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, getting people together is a difficult task. Also, many courts have suspended their in-person contact and gone virtual. Currently, parenting plan mediations can be held over video conferences.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Shana E. Thompson help our clients resolve child custody issues. Our compassionate and skilled attorneys can guide you and provide you with the resources necessary so that your child’s health and safety is of priority.

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