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Will the COVID-19 Pandemic Affect Child Custody Issues in My Divorce?

Posted on in Child Custody

TX family lawyerThe COVID-19 crisis has affected everyone in the United States, and while vaccines are currently being made available, the pandemic will likely continue to affect people and families throughout 2021 and beyond. Because of this, parents will want to make sure they are following the proper measures to protect themselves, their children, and other loved ones. If you are a parent who is currently going through a divorce, you may have already had to address a variety of complex child custody issues, and COVID-19 may have complicated these matters even further. Fortunately, by working with an experienced attorney, you can take steps to protect your parental rights and ensure that your children can remain safe and healthy.

Child Custody for Those Affected by COVID-19

Many families are able to avoid COVID-19 infections by following social distancing guidelines, staying home whenever possible, wearing masks when in public, and making sure all family members wash their hands regularly. However, there are some cases where family members may need to take additional precautions due to increased risks of infection. For example, if a parent works in the healthcare field and is regularly exposed to those who have been infected, they may need to take additional measures to ensure that they do not inadvertently spread the virus to their children.

If a parent becomes infected with COVID-19, or if another person in their household is infected, they should be sure to quarantine themselves and follow all necessary restrictions to ensure that they do not spread the infection to their children. This may mean that they will not be able to have their regular visitation with children. Parents may need to make special arrangements in these cases, such as by having “virtual visitation” with children through video conferencing apps like Zoom or planning to adjust schedules in the future to make up for lost visitation time.

During the pandemic, parents will generally be required to follow an existing child custody order. However, if a parent is concerned about their children’s safety, they may request a modification of these orders, or they may ask the court to put certain requirements in place. For example, if one parent learns that the other has been in contact with someone who was infected with COVID-19, they may ask for a restriction on that parent’s visitation time until they have quarantined for two weeks. In other cases, a parent may ask the court to require both parents to follow all guidelines for preventing infections while their children are with them.

Contact Our Austin Child Custody Lawyers

If you are worried about your children’s safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may want to take steps to address these issues in family court and ensure that both you and the other parent are taking the proper protective measures. At Powers and Kerr, PLLC, we can help you determine how you can take steps to protect your children while also making sure you can maintain positive family relationships and provide for your children’s ongoing needs. Contact our Austin, TX family law attorneys at 512-610-6199.

 

Sources:

https://www.nbcwashington.com/investigations/shared-custody-raises-covid-19-concerns-as-kids-travel-between-households-for-holidays/2487742/

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/COVID-19/Pages/Co-Parenting-Through-COVID-19.aspx

 

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