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Creating a Pandemic-Proof Child Custody Agreement

Child custody agreements may not be the same since the COVID-19 crisis hit, but parents can follow certain tips to make theirs pandemic-proof.

Parenting during the best of times is the hardest job in the world but parenting during a public health crisis poses its own set of challenges. For parents who have already gotten a divorce, it has shone a light on just how outdated their child custody agreement is. The child custody agreements of yesterday do not outline terms for homeschooling, quarantine, and other issues specific to COVID-19. Fortunately, parents can work to change their child custody agreement, and the below tips can help.

Consider Work Schedules and Health Concerns When Dividing Time

There are many factors you must take into consideration when dividing time with your child between you and your former spouse. During the pandemic, you will have even more to consider. If you or your ex have health concerns, modifications may have to be made for quarantining while the child is going back and forth between homes.

If a health concern arises, such as if you or your former spouse starts to develop symptoms of COVID-19, you should include provisions for this situation in your child custody agreement. Or, if you or your ex is a front-line worker, you may be putting in more hours and your agreement should also reflect custody arrangements in this situation.

Make a Contingency Plan

The pandemic has showcased just how unpredictable life is, and if you or your ex miss out on time with your child due to sickness, quarantine, or work schedules, you should each try to make up for that time. Virtual visits through Skype, Zoom, and other platforms are more common than ever today. If either of you misses parenting time, your agreement should state that you can spend time with your child virtually instead.

Include Pandemic Restrictions

The public health guidelines for your area are fairly easy to find and your agreement should require both you and your ex to abide by them. For example, if travel to a certain area is restricted, your agreement should state that you are each prohibited from taking your child there. Additionally, if you or your former partner are going to socialize, see friends, or take part in extracurricular activities, your agreement should state that certain measures, such as social distancing and mask-wearing, are also to be taken.

Create a Separate Schedule for School

The pandemic has blurred the lines between activities outside of the home and those that happen inside. You may be finding it difficult to put work aside at the end of the day if you have been working remotely. Likewise, time spent in virtual school should not count as parenting time, as it would not in a normal school year. Create a schedule for parenting time, and a separate one for school, so neither parent loses out on quality time with their child.

Call My Tennessee Family Law Office Today

The world has been in a state of constant change lately but fortunately, you can take steps to try to change your child custody agreement along with it. If you are ready to take steps to make modifications to your agreement, call me, Judy A. Oxford, at my Franklin family law office or fill out the online form to schedule a consultation so I can help you further.