Guidelines for Parents Sharing Custody During Social Distancing

A parent buckling their child into a car seat

How Can I Maintain My Custody Agreement and Social Distancing Orders?

Between Iowa Governor Reynolds and the Iowa Department of Education announcing that all sports activities and school districts and nonpublic schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year, parents are tasked with keeping their child learning and active through the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this challenge can become even more difficult for parents who are separated or divorced.

Keep reading for tips to ensure that your custody agreement is maintained even during the current health pandemic and social distancing orders.

Stay Compliant With Court Orders

Though the pandemic may have caused your daily schedule to change, it is important to operate within the confines of your child custody agreement. If an issue does arise which makes you unable to care for your child on a specific pre-arranged day, be sure to speak with your child or children’s other parent as soon as you are able to. The Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court issued clarification on child custody/visitation orders on March 30th, 2020. You can read the clarification here.  Additionally, some court decisions deem that a child custody agreement must remain the same, even in the event that school districts are closed. This means that you should not withhold visitation simply because of COVID 19.

If you find yourself questioning the terms of your custody agreement, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, speak with your attorney to help shed light on any questions you may have.

Communication With Your Child’s Other Parent

With jobs reducing their hours and laying off their employees, many parents may experience a change in their financial situation due to the pandemic. For parents paying child support, it is important to at least pay a portion of your monthly payment, even if you can’t pay the full amount due to a change in your work situation. For parents that receive child support, it is equally important to remain understanding.

If your child or children’s other parent will miss a parenting day with your child, try to compromise and provide a make-up date if possible. This communication will benefit not only you, but your child as well. In the event of doctor ordered quarantining, video chatting and telephone calls help the child, or children maintain contact with the other parent.

Follow CDC Guidelines and State Mandates

It is important to stay up to date on all CDC and state-provided guidelines on social distancing and other health measures throughout the pandemic. This will help keep you and

your child safe while practicing good health habits too. Whatever actions you take in your household, try to have your co-parent mirror the same in theirs. This includes handwashing, regularly cleaning surfaces and other frequently used objects, and practice social distancing.

Child Custody Attorneys in Des Moines, IA

At Family Law Solutions of Iowa, our attorneys are happy to provide legal advice with attention to the individual details of your case, as well as go over the best possible legal options available in order to reach a solid resolution. If you believe the other parent of your child is violating your parental rights, we will defend your rights and help you find a solution.

Call our office today at (515) 305-3474 to discuss your child's needs.

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