In these unprecedented times, many divorced parents are feeling stressed and confused about their parenting plans. Whether you feel like the stay-home orders make it impossible for you to comply with your plan, you need to adjust the plan because one parent faces exposure to the virus in their job, or you’re facing any other issue navigating your plan, we understand how frustrating this can be. That’s why we’re dedicating today’s blog post to answering our clients’ most frequently asked questions about navigating their parenting plans during the COVID-19 pandemic!
Since courts are closed, does my parenting plan really even matter anymore? Can I just throw it out the window since things have gotten so crazy?
Your parenting plan still matters! You should absolutely be following it unless you and the other parent agree to do otherwise. That being said, circumstances may make following it the letter difficult or unsafe. If following the parenting plan creates a direct safety issue and the other parent will not agree to alter, then you can seek emergency relief from the court. The court would prefer that parents cooperate to find workable solutions. You and your co-parent may need to get creative, and your children will benefit from seeing their parents work together to keep everyone that they love safe. This is a teachable moment for parents to model positive problem solving.
If my parenting plan is intended to coincide with school vacations, how do I interpret it? Does school closure count as a vacation?
We recommend following your school district’s originally planned schedule. Conduct the timing of visits/handoffs as if school were still in session.
It is not safe for my children to be with me because I work in a hospital or somewhere else that exposes me to the virus. What should I do?
Remember that your co-parent wants to keep your children safe just as much as you do! They will likely be more than willing to keep your children with them to avoid exposure risk. We understand that it is a huge emotional challenge to keep separate from your children to keep them safe. We recommend connecting with them in other ways. Try reading a bedtime story over Facetime or watching a movie with them via Netflix watch parties. It may not be quite the same, but technology offers us many opportunities to connect remotely and it is certainly better than nothing!
My situation is unique! I need guidance, but I haven’t been able to find what I’m looking for online.
At The Law Offices of Mackenzie Sorich, we understand that every family situation is different. It can be hard to find the answers that fit your particular concerns, especially in an unprecedented time like this. If you need guidance regarding your parenting plan, we are here to help. Contact us to schedule your complimentary 15-minute phone call.