Co-parenting During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The novel coronavirus pandemic has brought with it a variety of new challenges for families, and parents are finding themselves scrambling to adjust to having the children at home while maintaining work life and home life. However, for divorced parents who are co-parenting their children between two homes, a whole new set of challenges has arisen. With orders to shelter in place expanded throughout the state of Florida, the ability to maintain their regular co-parenting schedule has become a concern to many parents.
Many divorced couples who share time with their children are wondering what they should be doing. Should they continue to split time between homes or keep their children sheltered in one place? Are they ignoring orders to stay at home if they continue to follow the guidelines of their parenting plan? Can there be legal ramifications based upon their decision?
Although this can be a very confusing predicament, the best thing for parents to do is try to maintain the same co-parenting schedule they had before COVID-19 turned everyone’s worlds upside down. Because the stay at home order issued by Governor DeSantis does not apply to timesharing arrangements and parenting plan agreements unless you have proof of a reckless situation or if one parent is sick, you should put the needs of the children first. As long as everyone in the family is comfortable moving forward, it is best to stick with the agreement as best as possible.
Always keep in mind that when this is over, the courts are going to be open and operating. Therefore, be prepared for a situation in which one parent might be entitled to makeup time to avoid any issue of contempt on either side.