How Will Parenting Plans be Impacted by the Coronavirus?
Crystal Collins Spencer, founder of Spencer Law, wants to assure everyone that the office is taking your safety very seriously as we all confront the unprecedent COVID-19 virus. We are open for appointments and keep our office sanitized. If you prefer, we can schedule your appointment via conference call or video conferencing.
Parenting and the Coronavirus
This winter COVID-19, a virus that we have never seen, descended on countries around the globe. By February, cases were showing up in the U.S. and public health officials determined that since there is no vaccine and we have no immunity to this novel virus, social distancing, washing hands, and using masks and gloves was the best remedy to stop the spread of this highly contagious virus.
TheFlorida Department of Education decided to close all schools in the state after the spring break. Most families have had to adjust one way or another. For many, the dining room has become the classroom where children can do their homework or receive lessons virtually through their school district.
We hope you and your co-parent are on the same page about stopping the spread of COVID-19. Spencer Law realizes some of your plans for co-parenting might have to be adjusted to best serve the safety of the children and all family members.
Parents are now multi-tasking as never before. While some still work remotely from their computer, they take on the job of being a teacher, keep the kids entertained, out of trouble, and away from others. Since children are basically social creatures, that is an exceedingly difficult task.
Couple that with being a single parent, and the demand on parents is something no one ever expected. Until we know otherwise, children too can contract the virus, so social distancing is very much advised.
While we can’t be certain just how long schools will be closed, the goal is to open campuses before the fall season. In the meantime, long-distance learning has been implemented with a degree of success.
For now, the most organized parents seem to be coping the best. If you do not have to return to work but can focus on your children, you will want to oversee the following:
* Time with virtual education – Most school systems have adapted well to this type of learning even offering one-on-one Zoom meetings with the child alone and with the classroom as a whole.
* Time Outside – this can be accomplished by taking a walk, a bicycle ride, or finding a nearby green area to commune with nature. This is especially helpful to children who have a very short attention span.
*Time for Projects- This can include learning how to cook, making something like a doll house, a wagon, or a tent. Get creative and encourage their creativity.
At this time of social distancing, custody orders should not be altered unless you and your ex disagree.
Generally speaking, the courts will not alter visitation unless you have valid concerns such as:
- Your ex is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19
- Your ex has been exposed to COVID-19 or has been with someone confirmed to have the virus
- Your ex has a high-risk job that likely has led to his exposure such as working in a prison or a meat packing plant.
If your child has an underlying health issue such as a preexisting condition or autoimmune issues, it would be a risk to send him or her to be with the other parent and the court may agree to modify visits for a period of time. Spencer Law may be able to help you seek a temporary change to custody if you cannot agree on your own. FaceTime, cards, text messages can also be arranged with the other parent as possible substitutes for an in-person visit.
We hope parents agree about the seriousness of this virus and you do all you can to keep your kids safe and healthy.
Until everything opens up again, Spencer Law can still file your case electronically and we are available for consultations electronically as well. We are still fully operational and ready to serve the needs of our clients. Call our Pensacola office at 850-795-4910 or message us online for a consultation.