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Communicating With Your Ex About COVID-19 Custody Issues

During a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, family becomes more important than ever, especially for children whose schedules have been disrupted by long-term school closures and the cancellation of other activities. Parents who are divorced or live apart for other reasons know the importance of maintaining healthy communication through difficult situations. Though this situation is unlike any other, some of the skills developed through previous discussions of custody and visitation arrangements might contribute to everyone’s well-being.

With quarantines, the closing of many businesses and the ever-present health threat, conversations about parenting issues among former partners should focus on:

  • Safety — No matter where you live or what your relationship is like with your ex, both parents’ primary focus must be on their child’s safety. A parent’s occupation, travel between homes, living environments and others who might reside with a mother or father all could increase a young person’s exposure to the virus. This might mean hard decisions and tough conversations, but the determining factor should always be the health of your child and the people around him or her.
  • Flexibility — Strong parenting plans set forth fair, clear terms regarding custody and visitation. Each side should know their rights and understand the consequences if they don’t fulfill their obligations. Though well-crafted agreements address predictable contingencies, it’s likely that your order does not account for a situation where all “nonessential” activity is shut down for weeks or months. As a parent, seeing your son or daughter is essential however, and states have differed as to whether custody arrangements override a stay-at-home directive. Even if you believe the law is on your side, finding an open court could be very difficult. Unlike almost any other circumstance, this pandemic presents a parenting challenge that must justify temporarily breaking from the established custody framework.
  • Technology — Using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to maintain frequent, meaningful contact can help get parents and children through these difficult times. If it becomes necessary to consult with an attorney or engage in a conversation before a mediator, you can also take advantage of technology to do so.

Whether your best solution involves online visits, preparations for extra visitation time when the pandemic eases, or negotiations for a temporary parenting plan modification, a knowledgeable family law attorney can advise you on strategies that suit your circumstances and needs while protecting your children.

Contact a thorough family lawyer to schedule a meeting

Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P. A. assists clients with various family law issues. For a consultation regarding your issue, please call 651-760-7524 or contact the firm online.

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  • "Tori had a thorough understanding of my situation and made excellent recommendations to resolve my concerns. She was persistent on communication and handled everything in a very timely manner. I would definitely hire her again in the future if needed." - M.K.

  • "With Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A., it is like having a family physician. They are all knowledgeable, thorough, comforting, and the only call I need to make for all my legal needs for many years to come. No matter what the matter, I totally trust their advice and commitment to me and my family." - J.N.

  • "Mary from APH Law helped me thru a difficult divorce. She and the entire staff was there for me every step of the way helping me on what to do next. They listened to what I wanted and helped me achieve what matter the most to me in the divorce settlement." - Dana C.

  • "I chose APH after my initial consultation with Mary. I felt my best interest would be represented. The entire process went excellent, the attorneys and staff communicated effectively and efficiently with me throughout the process as they needed to. Being new to the legal process and verbiage, they walked me and talked me through the next steps and the jargon, I felt completely comfortable and represented. I hope I never have to use legal services again but if I do I will call Mary at APH Law and know that I will be taken care of." - Jeff M.

  • "Divorce is a time of emotion and stress. Mary Pfeifer , My lawyer was professional and compassionate. She was very informative through the process. Her insight helped me in my decisions. She worked hard to obtain a settlement which was fair to both parties. Though, I hope I won't need her help again. It is reassuring to know a good person that is willing to help." - Rod S.

  • "I first came to Ms. Jacquelyn Lutz of Appelhof, Pfeifer and Hart in October of 2016. It was definitely the worst time in my life and she compassionately spoke with me about my options. Ms. Lutz thoroughly explained the laws, statutes, process and what to expect going forward. What was supposed to be one case, turned into three intricate cases that took a huge toll on me and my family. Ms. Lutz represented me in court on all three cases with a vast knowledge of the laws and how to proceed accordingly. During all three cases she kept me informed, calm, gave me resources to utilize, and (most important) gave me a realistic view of what may come next. Ms. Lutz knew each case required a great deal of knowledge and creative thinking on how to legally proceed forward with each case. My family and friends are forever grateful for the amazing representation by Ms. Lutz. I highly recommend Ms. Lutz for anyone needing or considering superb representation for any kind of family law. " - M.H.

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