Visitation in the age of social distancing

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.

Missouri parents may be feeling especially stressed lately. We are are living in unprecedented times, and families may feel like each day there are new restrictions and guidelines that can affect daily life. For parents that have a visitation order, spending time with a child may suddenly be a difficult decision.

In many places, the courts are closed except for emergency situations. Many households have had to change the weekly routine on the fly, particularly where schools are closed and parents may be working from home. If a parent is still working outside the home, child care arrangements may be necessary for a child who is suddenly home all day.

Attorneys from many states report that clients are doing their best to handle the current situation, and when it comes to visitation, it may be tricky. A parent that is ill or working outside the home in an industry that has a high risk of getting ill may be hesitant to pick up his or her child for scheduled visitation. Many are choosing to engage in parenting time remotely, via video chat or similar method.

A Missouri parent that needs to establish, modify or enforce a visitation order may be fearful that simply “working it out” with the other parent might not be a legally safe option. Some parents express concern that when life gets back to normal, the children affected may not understand why the schedule changed, or why they suddenly went weeks without the visitation they were used to. To prevent confusion, a parent needing to make a change in a current custody arrangement may want to contact an attorney. An attorney can help address proposed temporary changes in these uncertain times that are in the best interests of the children involved while also protecting the parenting rights of the client.

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