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The Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Child Custody Plans

With unprecedented stay-at-home orders and social distancing recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Texas and across the United States, it is not a surprise that many parents are stressed and confused about sharing child custody. First, public health orders are not intended to automatically disrupt or halt existing child custody arrangements and schedules. Parents should try to stick to their same schedules if it is possible. However, there are some circumstances under which it might be necessary to make adjustments, and parents should try to keep communication open and cooperate with one another as much as possible.

Parents’ Work Schedule

Usually, when parents are at work, their children are at school. However, with schools out for the remainder of the school year, it can be difficult if one parent is an essential employee and still has to report to work. Setting up childcare is only increasing the risk of exposure, so if one parent cannot care for the child during the day, it might be best for the parent who can stay at home to primarily watch the child. You might also temporarily change the schedule to workdays with the non-essential parent, and non-workdays with the essential working parent. It is important to be flexible to save the cost and risk of unnecessary childcare.

If Someone is High Risk

Some children or parents might have preexisting conditions that put them at a particularly high risk of contracting COVID-19 or experiencing serious complications of the virus. If this is the case, it is extremely important to limit their possible exposure to germs from outside the household. This might make it safest for the child to stay at one home while the risk persists.

While one parent might not like the idea of not having their child at home for a while, there are many other ways that you can set up visits. Video chat and conferencing apps such as FaceTime are a popular option to stay in touch. A child can play games, read stories, and hang out with their other parent virtually if it is necessary to keep the risk of infection low.

When One Parent is Not Cooperative

If one parent is being extremely careful with social distancing, disinfecting the home, and hygiene, they might be concerned if the other parent is doing the same. If the other parent has gatherings at the house or takes the child to a playground, it negates all of the careful efforts to keep the child safe at the other home. If you learn that the other parent is not following safety recommendations, you should discuss your possible options with a Fort Worth child custody lawyer.

Speak with a Fort Worth Child Custody Attorney About Your Concerns

At the law office of Kyle Whitaker, we are prepared to help people in Fort Worth address child custody concerns during this stressful time. Contact us online or call 817-332-7703 if you have questions related to child custody or any type of family law matter.