COVID-19 has turned the world upside down for many of us, and as of 8:00 a.m. on March 26th, the residents of Mecklenburg County are under a ‘Stay at Home’ order through April 16th. According to the County’s website, the order will require residents to remain at home except to seek medical treatment, buy food, or exercise outdoors.
The order has understandably left many parents who share custody wondering how they should handle their current custody arrangement. The first thing to understand is that the order does not supersede or nullify your rights and responsibilities under your existing custody order. You should do everything you can to comply with your child custody arrangement and stay on schedule. That said, there are certain pandemic-related considerations of which you should be aware.
Working Together To Stay Healthy
It’s important to understand that social distancing only works when everyone is on board. For this reason, you should communicate with your child’s other parent about the measures you are taking to keep you and your family safe. According to the experts, that means no playdates, staying six feet away from others, and avoiding crowds. Furthermore, it’s critical that your child’s other parent is practicing social distancing when he or she does not have the kids; otherwise, it could lead to exposure for both your child and you.
What To Do If Your Spouse Is Not Complying With The Guidance
If you suspect or know that your spouse is not complying with the guidance, there are certain steps you can take to protect yourself and your family. The first thing you should do is talk to a lawyer about your options. In some cases, you may even be able to obtain an ex-parte emergency custody order that allows you to have temporary full custody of your child. Ex-parte means that your child’s other parent does not need to be in court for the order to be granted.
What To Do If Your Child Is High Risk
In the event that your child is at high-risk for COVID-19 complications due to an underlying medical condition or a compromised immune system, it’s likely for the best that he or she stay in one home to minimize the risk of exposure to the virus. You may be able to come to an informal agreement with your child’s other parent to institute virtual instead of in-person visitations or other measures that will limit your child’s time outside of the house. With today’s technology, it’s certainly possible to encourage and foster a continued and meaningful relationship between your child and his or her other parent without in-person visits.
Call Us Today To Schedule A Consultation With A Charlotte Child Custody Attorney
At Blood Law, we are committed to helping parents and families navigate this unique and challenging time. If you have any questions or issues related to child custody or other matters related to family law in the time of COVID-19, do not hesitate to call our office today. To schedule a case evaluation with a family law attorney in Charlotte, call our office today at (704) 286-0570 or contact us online.