Child Custody Issues Amid Coronavirus
Although you may not normally question the time your child or children spend with their other parent, during the current coronavirus pandemic, there may be new concerns. If the other parent works in the health care industry or is a first responder, you may want a temporary modification for the safety of the children. If a parent is not following CDC and Florida guidelines for social distancing, then this may be a valid concern as well. You have the right to evaluate the current parenting plan and reach out to your family lawyer to discuss those concerns and to decide whether a modification to your time sharing plan is needed.
The Child’s Welfare Comes First
In any custody issue the courts look at the child’s welfare before anything else. That means if you can prove that the other parent is not putting the safety and welfare of the child first, then you have a case for modification. You and your family lawyer can discuss your concerns and contact the other parent’s attorney to request a modification, or you can file this with the courts directly. Remember, changing the custody plan should not mean ending contact. With today’s technology, there are plenty of ways your children can spend time virtually with the other parent if needed.
We are all hoping that the current situation due to COVID-19 is a temporary one and that health care workers and other first responders will soon be out of danger. With this in mind you and your attorney can state that the modifications to your time sharing plan are temporary. These may be revisited every month or quarter, or you may have a specific end date written into the agreement. If you are a first responder, you can initiate this change as well. Putting your child’s welfare first shows that you are a good parent. Remember, these changes are not forever, only until you and the other parent feel it is safe for the regular time sharing plan to be re-implemented.
Even though the court system is not operating at normal capacity, you can still move forward with modifications to your child custody arrangement. The easiest way to do this is for you and the other parent to come to an agreement out of court and have your family lawyer file it for you. You can also go through mediation or even the court system if the other parent does not see their situation as potentially dangerous for your children. Wagstaff Family Law Office has experienced family lawyers on staff ready to help you with your time sharing agreement. Call us today at (727) 584-8182 or fill out our contact form.