The Ever-Evolving Challenges Facing Families During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As we near living amidst the COVID-19 pandemic for almost a year, keeping up with the day-to-day changes of the virus can be very challenging – especially when family legal matters are impacted.
COVID-19 brought along changes of housing circumstances, career paths, and most obviously social interaction, but what happens if parties have a difference of opinion on what is appropriate regarding COVID-related choices?
Housing and Relocation
As discussed previously, if the primary custodial parent needs to relocate, he or she must give the other parent at least 60 days written notice if the move is more than 25 miles from the current residence. If parties don’t agree on relocation, a petition must be filed with the court seeking permission to move.
Parents need to consider the specific provisions in their parenting agreement that deal with moving or relocation before finalizing any plans.
Job Loss and Pay cuts
If one or both parents have experienced a job loss or pay cuts, they should reach out to their attorney immediately. This life change has direct implications on many family law items including child and spousal support and possibly even parenting time.
While many have sheltered in place since March, others have continued everyday life with (and sometimes without) the addition of a mask. This can be troublesome for a multitude of reasons, especially if one parent is adamant about following the limitations put in place by localities.
The choice or necessity to go against restrictions can impact parenting time. These issues are even more relevant as we enter the busy holiday time, which already carries with it the potential for numerous parenting time questions and disagreements.
School and Learning During a Pandemic
A vast majority of Parenting Agreements did not plan for the special circumstances we are currently living through, particularly as it relates to e-learning. How could they? In an ideal situation, both parents would band together to work out a solution to these problems. In reality, that is rarely the case. However, there are possible solutions, including temporarily modifying a parenting time schedule or increasing financial contributions to assist with tutors or childcare to help expand the job of raising children to both parents.
As always, remember to follow the advice of state and local officials. For more information on local, state and national COVID-19 restrictions and guidance, please visit:
Local resources: Visit your city, township or county’s COVID-19 resources
In any family law situation, be sure to contact your attorney as soon as a disagreement is uncovered. The attorneys at Kogut & Wilson are staying current with all changes in family and matrimonial law and are prepared to assist with questions and concerns.