As much of the country faces shutdowns and stay in place orders, many separated and divorced parents are learning to cope with the ways child custody must also evolve. In Tennessee, schools are remaining closed until at least the end of April as COVID-19 continues to sweep through the nation. But when it comes to child custody, how should parents handle the needs of their child and the agreements set forth in child custody plans?
Be Understanding and Available
Right now, parents are not only concerned with the well being of their children but about their employment and other matters which have been disrupted by COVID-19, too. This is a hard time for everyone, so being understanding that this situation is rapidly evolving is important.
In addition, if your ex happens to be an essential worker and they don’t feel comfortable with your child being in the home due to the likelihood of the virus spreading, be available to take on your child for additional days, even if this is not part of the agreement.
You and your ex need to both remember, as stressful as this is for you, your child is likely having a hard time adjusting to this new normal.
Allow Makeup Time
Once this has passed, as it will with time, make sure you are flexible with your ex. This may mean allowing for some additional time with your child once the mandates have been lifted or allowing more shared time together.
You want to make sure that your child is able to have a relationship with both of you, so parental alienation doesn’t become a legal battle later on.
Be as Compliant as Possible
You have a custody agreement for a reason. Do follow your agreement as closely as possible. While you may not have a pandemic plan set forth, work with your spouse to come up with an agreement on how you will navigate custody at this time.
Be Creative in Custody
Activities have been canceled, public places are closed. There are only so many movies you can watch. Try to come up with creative ways to allow your ex and you to both spend time with your child. Whether it is through video chatting, extending phone calls and other methods of communication, make it be known that you want your ex to have a relationship with your child, no matter how you both need to figure it out.
CDC guidelines and state mandates are changing almost daily now. Be sure you and your ex stay up to date on proper protocol, regulations and more. This will give you as a family unit the power to make the most responsible choices for your children as the world navigates this uneasy time.
If you have questions regarding child custody in Tennessee during COVID-19, call us today.
Our Nashville Child Custody Lawyers Can Help
Our child custody lawyers understand how difficult this situation can be. If you have questions on child custody during COVID-19, contact the child custody attorneys at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC today for more information.