Now into its eighth month of significant impact in the U.S., COVID-19 continues to be a daily concern in all areas of life. In public, masks and social distancing are required. In the workplace, many are continuing to work remotely to avoid infection. And in schools, each district has its own arrangements for how students are completing their assignments. Illinois is now in its fourth phase of the reopening process, with stay-at-home orders now ended but group gatherings continuing to be restricted.
Since the start of the COVID-19 restrictions, divorced parents have still had to continue abiding by their existing court-mandated parenting plans. This includes each parent’s scheduled parenting time as well as their child’s dual living arrangements. Due to the unpredictability of COVID-19 and the vulnerability of particular populations, at the present time, some families may be unsure of how to navigate these unprecedented circumstances.
Key Considerations for Two-Household Families
Most children with divorced parents split their time between two households. Even if your arrangement typically works well for your family, you may feel that you now need to adjust the situation based on your health circumstances with regard to COVID-19. If you believe that adjustments need to be made in the interests of your child’s health and your health as a parent, you should consider the following questions:
Is it in the child’s best interest to continue following the existing parenting plan and moving your child back and forth between homes?;
Is one parent’s home a better environment for your child’s schooling arrangements?; for instance, is strong wifi available in both homes?;
Does either parent work in a position that involves significant contact with the public or those who have contracted COVID-19?;
Is a member of either household in a high-risk group for contracting COVID-19?; and,
Does one household offer more space for physical activity while maintaining social distancing standards?
If you are concerned that your child may become exposed to COVID-19 in either household, or that your child may place you at risk of contracting the virus, you may need to reconsider your parenting arrangements at this point in time. Before making any decisions in this regard, however, it is important to discuss your concerns with your co-parent if at all possible. You may be able to work out alternative arrangements for the foreseeable future that you are both comfortable with. For those who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19, virtual visitation has become a valid option to keep all parties safe and healthy. However, if you do turn to virtual means of communicating with your child, be sure to schedule the time to ensure that you are being granted your allocated amount of parenting time, even during the pandemic.
Contact a Hillside, IL Family Lawyer for Help
Whether you and your co-parent have a close relationship or a contentious one, you should discuss any parenting plan concerns you may have with a skilled family law attorney. As previously mentioned, it is still required that Illinois parents continue to abide by their parenting plans during these times, which is why it may be advisable to discuss your options with a legal professional. The Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. has helped numerous families create and adjust their parenting plans to fit their needs, even after such plans have been finalized in their divorce case. With over 32 years of experience, Vincent Machroli has the expertise to help you in coming up with a valid solution, with or without the involvement of the court. For help regarding adjusting your parenting plan to any parenting issues, contact our Oak Park family attorney at 708-449-7404 to schedule your free consultation.