Is It Ok To Violate My Parenting Plan Due To Safety Concerns Regarding COVID-19?
The most important thing that I want to remind you is please do not violate your current parenting plan if at all possible. Remember, a parenting plan is a court order and it must be followed unless both of you agree to change it in writing. That being said, this is an unprecedented time where parents, understandably, have heightened concern for the health and safety of their children. Additionally, due to travel restrictions and health safety guidelines, scheduled visitation may be difficult if not impossible to adhere to.
If a parenting plan must be adjusted during this time, leaving one parent’s time cut short, it is important to be both flexible and understanding. Please communicate with each other and attempt to come up with a mutually agreeable solution to make up for that time that that non-custodial parent is missing. For example, arrange for the non-custodial parent to have a set time, or many times during the day, where they video chat with the child. Let them read books to the child, play video games together, or simply engage in phone calls. Help to keep the child as involved with the non-custodial parent as you possibly can during this time to make up for that lack of physical, in-person time.
If one parent is concerned for the safety of the children due to the coronavirus while the children are going to another parent’s home, again, I urge you to please, discuss this together. Come up with some sort of agreeable solution. Remember that your child’s parent wants nothing but the best for your child. So it’s best for both of you to come together during this time to try to come up with agreeable solutions to manage visitation during this very difficult period in our lives.
If, however, one of the parents is concerned for the child’s safety, aside from the potential health concerns but more so due to abuse or neglect during this time, it’s important for you to do one of two things:
- Reach out to the court with an emergency motion to try to change the custody and address these issues immediately.
- Reach out to child protective services so that they can investigate and be involved in this situation if, in fact, you have fear that your children are being abused or neglected.
Most of all, remember that the parenting plan is a court order and any decision that you make to violate that can result in judicial consequences for you later on. So please, be careful how you abide by this order and if you choose to violate this order.
If you have questions or concerns regarding child custody and visitation, or any other family law related issue as it relates to the COVID19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your particular situation in detail. To schedule a consultation, reach our office at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.