COVID-19: Family Law Guidance and Court Updates
As precautions surrounding COVID-19 increase, separated and divorced parents are uniquely impacted by the new normal. In an effort to provide guidance and assistance in these uncharted waters, we encourage our clients and prospective clients to follow this best-practice guideline for communicating regarding your child(ren)/grandchild(ren), managing custodial schedules, ensuring harmonious transitions and sharing information about their children, including providing health updates and other issues affecting their children.
- BE cooperative with one another to the extent possible. Whatever acrimony or history you have with your co-parent, please put it aside; everyone is tasked with facing the day-to-day concerns related to COVID-19 without any prior guidance or experience.
- DO inform your co-parent and medical providers of any health issues related to your child or children, and especially if any household member may have come in contact with COVID-19.
- DO have a discussion about how your/their continued exposure to the public may impact your custodial schedule, if you or your co-parent works in a hospital, or other essential designated place of business,
- DO make efforts to reach a consensus with your co-parent and compromise as much as possible.
- DO NOT assume anything about the other parent’s household or exposure.
- DO NOT unilaterally make decisions regarding an existing physical custody schedule.
- DO memorialize any changes to your regular custody schedule in writing (e-mail, text or correspondence between the parties or, if preferred, through counsel, shall suffice or with a designated communication application such as APP Close or Our Family Wizard).
- DO consider how you would feel if you were in the other parent’s shoes.
- DO communicate about changes to employment and related schedule changes in a timely manner.
- DO contact your counsel when in doubt, especially before making any unilateral decisions.