The world is going through a time of unprecedented upheaval and change because of the COVID-19 pandemic. All across the globe, governments are struggling to contain the spread of the disease. Countries and states are demanding that their citizens stay home to save lives. However, some citizens can’t stay home. First responders are on the frontlines against the disease. Doctors, nurses, carers, police officers, and paramedics are some of the people who must still go to work. This has led to some unexpected problems, with first responder divorced parents struggling with child time-sharing. It’s something that’s causing a large number of calls to family lawyers in Florida.
Divorced Parents and the COVID-19 Child Care Problem
The coronavirus is certainly creating some unique challenges. Divorced and separated parents of children are currently facing one of those. Yet, many employers have not closed their doors. In the case of first responders, there is no possibility of remote work from home. They must continue to go to work, despite the risk of catching the virus.
Parents in this situation who share custody are finding this to be a problem. A first responder parent with custody may be struggling with child care because he or she still has to work. In many cases, the former partner is reluctant to allow his or her child to stay with a first responder parent. The parent has concerns the child will catch and spread the disease because of the nature of the other parent’s job.
Former couples who have traditionally shared custody are now finding that the courts are taking away their rights. A judge in Miami-Dade County has given temporary custody to the father in a case where a 4-year-old’s mother is a doctor. Other similar cases are already going through the courts. Since there is no precedent to work from, judges have to make decisions alone. It’s no wonder that Florida’s family attorneys so heavily debate this topic.
Dealing with Child-Sharing in the Current Crisis
If you’re facing this situation as a first responder parent, you’ll need to know how to prevent problems from arising. It’s important to bear in mind that children are worried about the pandemic, too. They don’t need the additional stress of seeing their parents arguing about them. Communication, therefore, is the key. Both parents must discuss the situation to try to come to a workable solution. Whenever possible, you should try to come to an arrangement where both of you have access. Unfortunately, some temporary modifications to parenting time may be necessary in the current climate. If this is the case, finding ways to make up the missing time with your children is important. Remember, you won’t be losing your parental rights if you make modifications right now.
If you are unable to make arrangements with your former partner, contact a Florida family lawyer. Our team is here to help and to make sure you don’t lose out on your parental rights.