Custody, Visitation, and the Coronavirus/Covid-19
In South Carolina we are now in the third week of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis; incrementally, more and more of our State has been shut down. How do parents who are operating under a custody/visitation order handle these uncertain times? This is a question many people are grappling with, and an issue the family courts are going to have sort out after all of this is over.
Each case is different, so I cannot give out blanket advice on how to handle the situation, but I will offer a little insight on how parents should handle these times. First, I never advise clients to violate court orders. Second, assume that you are going to have to answer to a Family Court Judge for any actions you take now that contradict a current Family Court Order. Do not use the current situation as sword to get what you want, for I can assure you that a Family Court Judge will not look kindly upon you when this is all over.
This is the time for open lines of communication with the other parent of your child. If you or someone in your household is diagnosed with Covid-19, or exposed to Covid-19, you need to notify the other parent and make plans for what is in the best interest of your child. That may mean that your child resides with the other parent temporarily, or that you temporarily forego your visitation. If this type of situation occurs, both parents need to insure that any missed parenting time is made up. If the visiting parent has to forego visitation because of a Covid-19 issue, the custodial parent must insure that time is provided for the visiting parent to make up the missed visitation. Furthermore, make sure that the child is made available for virtual visits utilizing FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom.
Most importantly, remember your children are watching you. Your children are looking to you for guidance, security, and reassurance.
Posted in Divorce and Family Law