Stay-at-home orders are tough on everyone, especially if you have children at home with you who are restless or who might not understand what’s going on. The situation can become even more stressful if you are in a shared custody arrangement with your child’s other parent. This only adds to the concern and uncertainty, and it is important to navigate this type of situation carefully.
First, it is important to recognize that stay-at-home orders are not intended to disrupt current custody orders. If possible, you should maintain your existing schedule, and each parent should be prepared to care for your child – including any homeschooling responsibilities – while they are out of school. It is important to be open about all activities to ensure your child’s other parent is complying with social distancing and stay-at-home recommendations. Parents might also need to be more flexible with scheduling due to the need for 24/7 care and supervision of your child at home.
Some children have health conditions that make them high-risk to COVID-19, so you want to take extra precautions in this situation. Try to have an open and honest conversation with your child’s other parent about what is best for your child. Are you exposing them to unnecessary risk by switching houses back and forth? If so, perhaps you can decide that your child will stay with one parent for the time being. Visitations and activities can be set up using FaceTime, Zoom, or other teleconferencing technology with the parent who is not living with the child. In this situation, it is important to put your child’s needs first and ensure their safety and well-being are protected.
It is the unfortunate reality that some people are not taking stay-at-home orders as seriously as they should. Many people are trying to bend the rules, which puts everyone in the household at risk. For example, you can keep your child home around the clock to protect them, but those measures mean very little if the other parent allows your child to have a playdate with cousins or hosts a BBQ at their home with several people over.
If you suspect – or know – that the other parent is putting your child at risk, you should discuss your options with a child custody lawyer in Annapolis. It might be possible to obtain emergency custody orders in certain situations to ensure the best interests of your child are upheld through this crisis.
At the Law Office of Patrick Crawford, we know these are challenging and uncertain times for many families. We are ready to provide legal counsel and representation regarding child custody and other family law matters using teleconferencing and other technology. If you have concerns about your situation, you should not hesitate to discuss them with our experienced Annapolis child custody lawyer. Call (410) 216-7905 or contact us online for assistance.