Will Your Custody be Affected if You're a Parent with COVID-19?
Navigating shared custody is difficult enough during a pandemic, but the situation becomes significantly more complicated if one parent starts showing possible symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19. If this happens, how exactly will it impact your child custody arrangement?
The guidance from Texas courts so far indicates that existing child custody schedules should remain in place when possible during the coronavirus crisis. Parents should work together to try to make shared custody work if possible, while ensuring that your child stays safe and healthy. This can change quickly, however, if one parent believes they have COVID-19 or get diagnosed.
If You have COVID-19
If you start to exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus or you receive positive test results, you should take action regarding your custody arrangement. You should always speak with your doctor and your child’s pediatrician to determine the best course of action.
If your child has been primarily living with you, doctors might recommend that your child stays quarantined with you in order to protect others from the possible spread of the virus. If your child has been living with their other parent for the past few days or weeks, it might be best for your child to stay with that parent until your symptoms are gone, and you have quarantined for the recommended period of time.
In many situations, you can decide the best course of action with your child’s other parent on your own. You can decide that it is safest to alter your custody arrangement temporarily due to your illness. Then, once you are able, you can resume the regular custody schedule without having to go to court.
If the Other Parent has COVID-19
If your child’s other parent has COVID-19, you might need to agree to an altered schedule due to their illness. If the other parent is refusing to admit they have symptoms or will not alter the custody schedule as needed, you should discuss your options with an experienced custody lawyer. There have been some situations in the news in which one parent has obtained an emergency custody order if they believe that shared custody is too risky for their child, and the other parent will not cooperate.
While emergency orders might be available in certain circumstances, it is almost always preferable to work together to protect the health of your child. Keep lines of communication open, and never conceal possible exposure to or symptoms of COVID-19. This can keep custody matters in your control instead of the court’s.
Consult with a Fort Worth Child Custody Attorney about Your Situation
At the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker, we are helping clients address complicated custody issues during the COVID-19 crisis. These are unprecedented times, and many legal issues might arise. Do not give up your custody rights or put your child at unnecessary risk. Instead, seek help from a skilled child custody lawyer in Fort Worth. Call 817-332-7703 or contact us online for a consultation today.