A plethora of businesses in Auburn, AL, are encouraging employees to work from home while many others have lost their employment or are working on a part-time basis. For divorced parents, this situation can create opportunities to spend more time with their children. They may be able to schedule parenting duties to allow the child to be cared for one of the parents, instead of being in the care of nannies, sitters, or extended family members.
According to public health experts, the best way to limit the spread of the virus is to follow social distancing protocols. During this pandemic, parents in Auburn, AL, should make a joint effort despite the challenges that come with a divorce. It is best to avoid gamesmanship during these unprecedented times, and not keep a detailed record of how many overnight stays the other parent had or to contend that the closure of schools should be treated similar to summer vacation.
Voice your concerns and remain amenable to new arrangements. Offer the other parent reassurance that any reduction in the parenting time will eventually be made up. In the meantime, they can interact with the child through increased video chats, phone calls, and other types of non-physical contact.
Legal experts suggest keeping records, which include engaging with the other parent by writing (via email or text), raising your concerns regarding the current child custody plan, and proposing a feasible solution. On top of this, it will be meaningful to encourage the other parent to offer their suggestions and views on the proposal. The interests and concerns of either parent should be addressed in any COVID-19 custody arrangement.
Today, adults and children alike are undergoing a stressful time due to the coronavirus pandemic. Parental altercations can only add to a child’s stress. At this time, children require more reassurance and stability, particularly regarding their connection and contact with loved ones.
Courts will Look out for the Child’s Best Interests
Each relationship and ex-relationship is distinct, and it may be challenging to agree. Some ex-spouses may prefer the judicial system to sort things out, which is now less possible compared to normal times.
At present, the courts are still functioning remotely or partially. However, after the coronavirus crisis ends, the courts in Auburn, AL will resume full function.
When courts resume full operation, judges will undoubtedly be happy with parents who have collaborated to identify the best interests of their child and taken measures to protect their safety, health, and well-being. As expected, judges won’t be pleased with parents who put their own interests ahead of their child’s and were unwilling to cooperate with a reasonable and concerned parent.
The Outcomes of Violating a Court Order
If the parents are unable to arrive at an agreement, the path gets more complicated. Shared custody orders and agreements were made when the current crisis was unforeseeable. But disobeying a court order is a risky proposition, even with solid reasons. In Auburn, AL, courts may reduce custody and visitation for parents who interfere with the custodial rights of their ex-partner.
Parents who are concerned about the health and safety of their children may be amenable to taking chances and may hope that when the pandemic ends, courts will concur that their decision was in the children’s best interest. However, this is a huge gamble, and irrespective of the consequences will likely involve substantial legal expense and time battling in court.
Child Custody Settlement in Auburn, AL
For ex-partners locked in a dispute over child custody matters, there are other alternatives to blatant hostility and conflict, as well as waiting for courts to reopen and settle matters.
Ex-partners seeking to work out pandemic-related custody matters can seek help from family court mediators who remain available. The specific circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic are unforeseen, but parental contention about children’s well-being and health are common. Mediators are experts in these matters and can enable families to arrive at reasonable decisions.
A mediated agreement, even attempts at arriving at a resolution, offers a current and objective record of the parent’s situation, thinking, and concerns. Such records may help courts understand who was being rational and accommodating in seeking changes to the custody arrangement, and who wasn’t.
In the US, residents are repeatedly reminded that in the effort to fight the spread of COVID-19, the decisions taken today will have direct consequences on our personal and collective welfare in the future. While this warning is not particularly geared towards separated or divorced parents, it is just as meaningful.
The custody decisions that parents make in the next few weeks impact not only the immediate well-being and health of their children but also their future custody agreements. Courts do not look kindly on parents who put forth their interests before their child’s. When the pandemic ends, it is not presumptuous to believe that this will ring even more true.
In the last few months, the circumstances around many custody disputes have changed significantly. But the safest option, as always, is to cooperate.
Consult with a Competent Family Law Attorney Today
The coronavirus pandemic has led to uncertainty in all walks of life, and custody agreements are no different. In the current scenario, it can be a tightrope walk to ensure the health and safety of your child while making sure that you are not impinging on the rights of the other parent. If you find yourself in a pandemic related custody-dispute with your ex-partner, the experienced family law attorneys at Alsobrook Law Group can guide you on the most beneficial course ahead. For a free initial consultation, call today at (334) 737-3718.