Essential Travel includes, “Travel required by…court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.
We are operating in uncharted waters as far as what to do and when to do it regarding getting out of the house. However, generally speaking the Court expects you to abide by its Order unless it is unsafe to so do. The Court then expects parents to act reasonably, communicate and make reasonable accommodations.
COVID-19 is NOT an excuse to be a terrible parent.
There are a lot of ways to interact safely; in-person, ( so long as it is safe to do so), Facetime, Zoom, telephone, email, text, video and other electronic means.
Matthew Thompson is a Child Custody lawyer and encourages parents to be reasonable and not try to take advantage of these circumstances. Do what you believe is in the best interests of your child.
We are getting many questions concerning Custody and Visitation schedules and exchanges of children during this time. The first advice to give is to use common sense and follow the recommendations of authorities.
From the CDC,The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person. Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. If the necessary precautions have been taken, no one in either home is sick or showing symptoms, and no one in the home is in the vulnerable class, visitation exchanges should take place as ordered.
If someone has been exposed to the virus or showing symptoms or is traveling from an infected area, be SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE! Try to avoid travel and exposing other individuals to the virus. While children are resilient and may be asymptomatic, they can still spread the virus to vulnerable persons.
If visitation exchanges are not possible, utilize FaceTime or video chats to maintain daily contact with your children. Parents need to work together for the safety and well being of everyone, which calls for flexibility and access, whether direct or remotely through technology.
Chad King is a Child Custody lawyer in Mississippi and reminds parents that being reasonable is not a weakness.
Supervised visitation is Ordered in rare circumstances, but is typically when the parent has had significant issues with illegal substances, run-ins with law enforcement, severe defiance of prior Orders or mental health issues. (Or a combo of the above)
These parents, of course, have the right to see their child, but the Court’s obligation is to make sure that it is as safe as possible.