How Custody and Time Sharing Is Affected by Children in Quarantine or Virtual Schooling

April 15, 2021

If you share custody of or visitation with your child, COVID-19 has almost certainly thrown a wrench in your usual arrangements. Between quarantines, virtual schooling and health and safety considerations, the pandemic has made it difficult for parents to share custody and visitation. No one wants to run afoul of a court order, so whose rules supersede the others? If you’re unsure of what to do, the best course of action is to call your family law attorney in Miami, FL.

Here’s an overview of how parents are navigating these murky waters.

Sharing custody and visitation during a pandemic

For the most part, courts seem to be handling these issues on a case-by-case basis. In some situations, they have had to issue an emergency court order to accommodate these unusual circumstances. These are some of the issues that have cropped up:

  • One parent can’t accommodate virtual schooling: Most families are finding virtual school a struggle, even if one or both parents already work from home. When the parents are separated, it can be even more difficult. Childcare options are particularly limited, since providers are afraid of becoming ill. Even if the parent is working from home, it’s difficult to supervise children and get your own work done at the same time.
  • Strict quarantines: In the early days of the pandemic, many states and municipalities enacted strict lockdowns and quarantines to prevent the spread of the pandemic. Even now, this can present a problem. Although Florida’s COVID-19 rules have been far more relaxed than those in many states, parents who live in different states may have trouble sharing custody when lockdowns are in place.
  • Alternating spring breaks: What happens when the parents are supposed to trade every other spring break? Since we’re coming up on the second spring break of the pandemic, it may be possible for parents to trade off now—but last year, it may have meant one parent missed out on their regularly scheduled holiday time. That’s disappointing to any involved parent.
  • Parents laid off during the pandemic: Layoffs and furloughs have been quite common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only does this present an issue with paying child support, but it also impacts a parent’s ability to see their child. A lack of steady employment affects a custody arrangement on a number of different levels.
  • Travel restrictions: Finally, parents may not be allowed to travel to see their kids. This is upsetting for both parents and children, but it also raises issues of whether one parent should contribute additional financial support. In some cases, parents may return from abroad and be expected to take the child for their time—but they need to quarantine first. In others, the parent might not be allowed to reenter the country until the pandemic is over.

All of these problems can be devastating when all you want is to see your child. If you’re having custody and visitation problems, contact the Law Offices of Granoff & Kessler to speak with a family law lawyer in Miami, FL.

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