Although we're hopefully over the worst of the COVID–19 pandemic, the virus hasn't gone away. As restrictions ease, everyone will have different opinions about how to live alongside COVID-19 safely, which raises a question: what happens if parents don't agree on COVID-19 safety measures?
While you should always contact an attorney if you're dealing with an urgent family law matter, here are some tips to help parents deal with child sharing if you don't agree on COVID-19 safety measures.
Know Your Legal Rights
Unless one parent has sole custody, which is rare, both parents have the right to:
- Care for the child
- Spend time with the child
- Make legal decisions regarding the child's welfare
When parents share physical custody, they can decide how to parent when the child is in their care. This could mean one parent wishes to retain safety measures like social distancing and face coverings when the other parent does not.
Parents must uphold the terms of any custody agreement, which may mean reaching a compromise regarding Covid-19 measures. If you're concerned about your child's welfare, contact the Lento Law Firm for advice.
Discuss Your Concerns
One parent may have certain reasons why they want to retain – or discard – COVID-19 safety measures. For example, if one parent works in a health setting, they might be worried about an increased transmission risk, whereas another parent may feel returning to “normal” is in the child's best interests.
Wherever you stand on COVID-19 measures, you're more likely to reach a fair compromise if both parties feel heard and understood. As with many day-to-day parenting issues, you don't need to agree on everything, but you should ensure the child feels secure.
Modify the Custody Agreement
Although custody agreements are considered permanent, they can be modified to reflect a change of circumstances.
There are two ways to modify a custody agreement: by mutual consent or through a court order. You might, for example, agree to give one parent more access through, e.g., Zoom while retaining masks for face-to-face visits, and so on.
In PA, health decisions must be made jointly by both parents if they share custody. If you can't reach an agreement over, for example, the Covid-19 vaccine, and you're concerned for your child's safety, contact Joseph Lento for family law assistance.
Get Help With Your Child Sharing Concerns
When there's a child custody disagreement, it's important to prioritize what's in the child's best interests. Often, this means reaching a fair compromise with the other parent, but it could also mean turning to a family law attorney for advice.
If you're dealing with urgent family law matters, Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help. He can explain your legal rights and how you might move forward – call the Lento Law Firm now on 888.535.3686 or reach out online to discuss matters.