The health and safety of your children are always your first priority. But what happens when this affects your parenting time?
Efforts to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic are rapidly affecting every aspect of life. With the emergency closings of schools, businesses, daycare programs, and even courts, parents are scrambling to find workable solutions during these uncertain times. But many questions remain: Should we continue our parenting time schedule as if nothing has changed? What if my ex-wife won’t give me the kids? Am I giving up my rights if I am forced to give up parenting time? Luckily, our knowledgeable Attorneys have put together the following list to help you and your family get through this crisis in one piece.
5 Things to Do While the Courts Are Closed
- Don’t delay. Address problems before they arise.
We’ve all heard it said many times: “The best defense is a good offense.” Get ahead of potential problems by developing contingency plans for various “what if” scenarios. For example, what if Michigan schools close for the rest of the school year? What if you or the other parent cannot work from home? What if the COVID-19 scare continues through summer vacation? Effectively prepare yourself for the up-coming phases of “social distancing” by calmly and rationally thinking through likely scenarios.
- Communicate with the other parent.
This is a stressful time for the whole family, including the children. Convey a sense of stability by showing the children that mom and dad have a “back-up plan” for parenting time. Start by comparing your schedules to figure out what is reasonable for the time being, and look for ways to make up missed time when things eventually go back to normal. Rest assured; you will NOT lose your rights by agreeing to temporarily modify your parenting plan during this time of crisis. Rather, such action will set your family at ease and perhaps even earn you kudos with the court.
- Follow Court Orders & Document Deviations.
We do not live in a perfect world, and people do not always get along. If the other parent refuses to work out a reasonable solution, then your “default mode” should be following court orders (to the best of your ability) and noting whenever the other parent deviates. Remember: Avoid fighting in front of the children, and always be willing to communicate if the other parent changes their tune.
- Document Everything.
Always document changes in your co-parenting plan/routine, whether you and the other parent are getting along or not. Think of it as your legal job to “build your case” for make-up parenting time and the like by keeping a clear record of everything that transpires. Furthermore, your attorney will love you for it.
- Contact an Attorney.
Do you still have questions? We remain committed to supporting you during this public health event. Call 248-356-2326 to set up a phone or video consultation with an ADAM Attorney today.