Co-Parenting Through The Covid-19 Crisis
In a million years, parents, attorneys and judges probably never considered parenting during a pandemic. Yet, here we are. As Santa Clarita’s “Go to” Certified Family Specialist, I am
being bombarded with calls from parents asking how to handle co-parenting in the time of Covid-19.
If you are currently involved in a child custody case, have a prior custody order or divorce decree that establishes custody, or if you just aren’t sure what legal rights you have when it comes to child custody and Coronavirus, I’ve got the answers.
If you have joint legal custody, you need to be taking to your ex spouse about the new “distance learning” you will each implement in your homes. If classes are online, you and your co-parent need to have a plan for how school work will be completed and who will be responsible for making sure your child attends online classes. It is super important that you and your co-parent communicate about your child’s education. When special projects are assigned, you and your co-parent must share this information and figure out an action plan for completion.
Failing to keep your co-parent informed, could result in a motion being filed against you for violating the legal custody requirements of your court orders.
As it pertains to medical issues, with Coronavirus, the flu, and allergies in full swing, it is super important that you maintain your child’s health. It is also essential that during these trying times, information about your child’s medical needs, and health is shared freely between co-parents.
This is not a time to hoard information or refuse to communicate. If you need to make an appointment with a healthcare provider, notify your ex as soon as possible.
Talk to your co-parent about plans in the event your child becomes ill. If your ex is making medical decisions without notifying you and without your input, they might be violating your custody rights.
If you have a court order for physical custody and visitation, the Order remains in place ABSENT a new court order changing it. If you have agreed to modify your court ordered visitation or custody time, by a verbal agreement, you better get it memorialized in a Stipulation and Order. If your ex is withholding custody, you can file a motion with your family court judge asking for him or her to be held in contempt. A parent cannot refuse to facilitate an exchange because of current closures or fear of spreading the virus.
You have the right to file a motion with your family court judge if you cannot work out your issues with your ex. Courts are setting up hearing dates despite the court closures. For more information, please call Certified Family Law Specialist Denise Lite at 877-317-8080 to set up a consultation appointment.
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