Being divorced or going through the process can be stressful at any time, especially when children are involved. But being away from your kids creates an added layer of anxiety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The epidemic has thrown much of our world into chaos. With so much uncertainty present, it’s essential to stay focused on what matters – keeping your children safe.
How can COVID-19 affect custody rights?
The virus has affected virtually every part of our lives. Georgia’s legal system remains under severe restrictions, creating a logjam of cases when courts eventually resume normal operations. That makes cooperation an important commodity between co-parents when considering:
- Court orders: Violating a custody order can bring severe consequences. However, during the pandemic, parents should be more flexible and focus on the child’s health. For instance, if one parent is infected or has been exposed to the virus, parents should work together to modify the agreement.
- Best interest standard: Courts make custody decisions in the best interest of the child. If you change an order, bear in mind that you’ll likely need to prove this to a judge. Consulting an experienced family law attorney can help protect your interests as well as your child.
- Being prepared: One way to uphold the best interest standard is by showing that your home is ready for pandemic parenting. That means that the child does not risk infection and that you are equipped to provide the emotional, social and psychological support they need.
- Staying calm: While it may be easier said than done, keeping a cool head may be just what kids need during such a chaotic time. Parents who have lost their jobs may carry around much more stress, but it’s vital not to pass along those feelings to children by lashing out at them or the other parent.
Make the best of a disruptive time
Parenting in 2020 may be one of the most difficult challenges you will ever face. Working with the other parent and putting your kids first should always be the goal. On the positive side, spending more time with your kids may be an opportunity to enrich their emotional and physical health as well as your own.