There is a lot of uncertainty throughout the world right now during this unprecedented pandemic caused by Covid-19. As we continue to navigate the unknown and deal with societal changes that could represent some new norms, many parents are having real concerns over how to effectively co-parent during this pandemic. As I try to tell my clients, the most important thing that parents can do during this time is to try to have effective communication with their co-parent. Now I know sometimes that is a lot easier said than done, but effective and regular communication regarding the issues that we are all concerned with now, including finances, schooling, child care issues and getting the essentials we need from day-to-day, can help assist parents in ensuring that their children are being taken care of during these times.
In cases where the Court has already entered a final judgment, a parenting plan should breakdown timesharing schedules, but if your case is still pending, you may not have that clarity. If you are a parent that does not have your child the majority of time, then it is possible you are being denied timesharing during the Covid-19 pandemic. If that is the case, then what options do these parents have at this time? Any parent can always file a motion in court to enforce timesharing or present any other issue related to a child that is being affected by this pandemic. While the hearing may not take place in person, many courts will hear the disputes over telephone or video if the parties can agree on conducting a hearing in such a way. If a parent is being denied physical timesharing, then virtual timesharing should, at a minimum, take its place, if not increase during the length of time that timesharing cannot occur.
If you are being denied reasonable contact and access during Covid-19, most Courts will take these denials of timesharing very seriously. The Court has broad powers under contempt and enforcement proceedings to fashion remedies to make sure that a parent who is being denied access will get that made up, whether that is by extended timesharing over the summer or holidays, or when the stay-at-home orders are lifted. If you are being denied access, it is important to understand what rights you have during these very uncertain times to continue having the ability to access and parent your children for as long as Covid–19 continues to be a significant issue for our society.
If you have questions about Covid-19 and your family law case it’s important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to discuss your specific case and circumstances. Attorney Russell J. Frank is a partner at CPLS, P.A., and focuses his practice areas on family and marital law. Contact Attorney Frank today at email@example.com to discuss any family or marital legal issues you may be experiencing.