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Visitation and the Coronavirus: How to deal with family issues during the COVID-19 Pandemic

What if the other parent refuses to self-distance?  What if he/she intentionally exposes our children to the threat of transmission of the Coronavirus?  What if they still consider this risk a hoax?  Is visitation mandatory during the pandemic? What if I live in a state where we have mandatory shelter-in-place rules?  What if the other parent lives in a hot spot?  What if someone in the other parents’ household has been infected with the virus?

Court Ordered Visitation during the COVID-19 Pandemic

These are all valid questions.  First, if you have a parenting plan, visitation schedule, or Divorce Decree, you should know that failing to follow it puts you at risk of a possible contempt action.  However, balancing that with the safety and protection of your children requires you to consider your children’s bests interests, which is how the family law judge will make determinations of whether any canceling or withholding of visitation is justified.

You should never take advantage of general chaos to withhold parenting time.  Yes, most Courts are closed.  However, you should always consider your children and their need to have the involvement of both parents in their lives.  Always call your attorney immediately for advice.

My child is sick, but not with the Coronavirus

If your son or daughter is sick with something other than COVID-19, the child should be exchanged as normal unless your Parenting Plan says otherwise.

Communicate everything about your child’s illness to the other parent, in writing, whether it is through text, by e-mail, or if you are required to use the Family Wizard app, document everything.   Provide the other parent with information about symptoms, medication (when and how often). If you take your child to a doctor or clinic, immediately tell the other parent, including all diagnoses. Tell the other parent where you filled the prescriptions. Share the child’s prescriptions and the over-the-counter medications.

In addition to common side effects, Risperdal causes serious adverse effects which have been extremely dangerous to many different people.These side effects can be permanent, humiliating, and increase the risk of death.

Breaking quarantine: Should I travel to exchange the children?

At the end of the day, parents considering withholding visitation or cancelling a visit on the other parent’s weekend must start with evidence that demonstrates the risk of transmission posed by the visitation schedule. This might be evidence in the form that the other parent or a household member has contracted the virus. If you have evidence that parenting time creates a measurable risk of transmission that parent should bring those concerns to the attention of a judge as soon as possible.  Many courts are available for emergency hearings.

If you have been question about the protection of your children during this pandemic and feel as though you need the advice of an attorney, contact the experienced family law attorneys at the Harrelson Law Firm at (501) 374-2210 for guidance.

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Steve Harrelson
Steve Harrelson
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