Holiday Travel and Custody Issues During COVID-19
COVID-19 has made child custody issues much more complicated this year. To keep everyone in your family safe, you and your ex may have had to comply with the rules imposed by your local and state governments as well as the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
As the holidays are upon us, however, you are going to need to figure out how you can spend as much time with your kids as possible while keeping everyone healthy.
Here are some holiday travel and custody issues that may come up during COVID-19:
One Parent May Live in a COVID-19 Hotspot
There are second waves of COVID-19 spreading throughout the United States. Hospital beds are getting filled up and resources may not be available to help everyone. If your ex lives in a COVID hotspot, you may be concerned about your child visiting them during the holidays.
One Parent Doesn’t Want to Fly
Let’s say your ex lives out of state and the only practical way to get to them is to fly with your child. However, you don’t want to be around the crowds at the airport and in a packed plane. This means that your ex may not get to spend time with your child throughout the holidays, or they might have to travel to you.
One Parent May Have COVID-19
With the second wave here, your ex might have contracted COVID-19. Even if they feel fine, you would rightfully not want to let them come around your child until they’ve fully recovered and quarantined for the required amount of time. If this falls during the holidays, it could become a contentious issue.
One Parent May Have Health Issues
While COVID-19 is generally not deadly for those who are young and healthy, it can be very harmful to someone who is immunocompromised. If you or your ex has health issues, this must be taken into consideration during holiday visits as well.
One Parent Isn’t Taking COVID-19 Seriously
Your ex may not be taking the virus as seriously as you are. Perhaps they go to parties and don’t wear a mask or they’re inviting people over to their house and not following social distancing guidelines. You are afraid of your child being exposed to that environment and may want to keep them home with you until the outbreak dies down.
What to Do About Child Custody Issues
If you are having any child custody issues around the holidays, the first thing to do is reach out to your divorce lawyer. They will be able to guide you in the right direction so that you aren’t hurting your chances of keeping your current custody agreement in place.
For example, if you withhold your child from your ex without communicating with them, it could look bad if/when you go back to family court. You need to act responsible at all times, which means you try to reach an agreement with your ex-spouse, in writing, about what you’re going to do this holiday season.
You, your divorce lawyer and your ex will hopefully be able to work out a temporary agreement for these times. Perhaps you or your ex could do a Zoom holiday celebration with your child or agree to drive to one another instead of flying. Maybe you could talk to your ex about the risks of not following CDC guidelines and how that could be harmful to you and your child. Remember to always speak logically and to not get too angry because this is a sensitive situation.
If your ex is not cooperating, you could inform the family court about the situation and explain how your ex isn’t being careful or putting your child first. You could seek a temporary order to protect your child. However, the courts may not be functioning in full capacity in your area, so it could take some time to get this done.
No matter what your particular situation is, the best first step is to call your divorce lawyer for guidance.
Contacting The Cate & Brough Law Firm
If you are having issues with child custody and holiday travel this year due to COVID-19, reach out to The Cate & Brough Law Firm for help today. We can answer all your questions regarding your child custody issues and help you come up with a workable plan for this holiday season. Contact us today for a personalized consultation.