How Does COVID-19 Affect My Custody Rights?
The pandemic has had a stunning effect nationally, and its impact can be felt in nearly all aspects of our daily life. The spread of COVID-19 has created countless stresses, from unemployment and housing instability to tensions over how to enforce custody agreements under these new circumstances. With remote learning models, varying mandates, and staggering health concerns, it may seem impossible to continue business as usual, even when it comes to custody.
Does My Custody Agreement Still Apply?
Yes, your Florida Parenting Plan still holds, even if a stay-at-home order is given. Regardless of how circumstances change, both parents are still required to adhere to the terms of the parenting plan unless they mutually agree otherwise. If you and your co-parent are able to mutually agree to a temporary change for the best interest of the child, you do not need to go to court or have any formal revisions made. However, it is still advisable that you talk to an experienced Florida Family Law attorney or document the agreement, so that the other party cannot later try to claim that you unilaterally violated the agreement, which could result in you being held in contempt of court.
Adjustments for E-Learning
The shift to an e-learning model is requiring many parents to make temporary adjustments to their custody agreements. Changes caused by the pandemic have caused upheaval in many long-standing dynamics. For instance, a parent that used to work full-time may now be unemployed with plenty of time to devote to e-learning, while the other parent may be a front-line worker with longer hours and more exposure risk. Factors such as these may require revisiting the existing agreement, and seeing how it can be adapted to fit the current circumstances. When having these conversations and seeking solutions, ensure that you are focusing on what is in the best interest of the child.