This pandemic has been hard on everyone. It has affected every aspect of American lives from work, school, business to how we shop. Social distancing seems to have slowed the spread of the virus, but how should you handle things if you are divorced and have children, and therefore, visitation rights?

Unless you and your ex agree to an alternative plan, or a judge changes your order, you should continue with your visitation schedule as always. Social distancing and shelter in place orders do not directly affect visitation rights.

The courts are making it clear that denying visitation or disobeying orders during this time will not be tolerated. To do so, may result in a contempt of court charge and all the attorneys fees that will go along with that. 

If you have concerns about the well-being of your children during this time, you may communicate with your ex to come up with a plan to reduce the risks to your child. For divorced and separated parents, this can be a challenge, but having such a plan will keep everyone a little safer.

If you have a legitimate concern that sending your child to your ex’s home could pose a risk to the child’s health, you may want to ask your ex to agree to a temporary change to your custody schedule. There are other ways to assure that the child has contact with both parents:

  • Keeping in touch through letters, email and text messages
  • Scheduling daily phone calls, FaceTime sessions or other “virtual visits”
  • Scheduling make-up visits for another time

If you are having problems negotiating this with your ex, contact an attorney who will be able to help you iron out these issues.

If you have legal questions, please consult our Online Legal Directory to find an attorney in your area.

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