Co-Parenting During COVID-19
Is COVID Affecting Your Parenting Time?
Many co-parents are asking the question. What do you do with your current parenting plan under stay at home orders? How do you split time during a pandemic? What is best to keep your children safe during this time? What if your co-parent isn’t on the same page?
We understand these are difficult times and that co-parenting outside a pandemic is hard enough. Now, as parents, you are being asked to do more than ever before. While we stress communication and cooperation with your co-parent, we understand that legal intervention may still be needed. Attorney Rebekkah Mouw has already successfully navigated these issues for her family law clients in the court room. Here is what we know.
- Parenting is Essential
South Dakota Courts have already found that parenting is an essential function of society. You cannot just ignore your parenting plan or cut off your co-parent from access to their children. Not without an agreement or a further court order. Remember, if you and your co-parent agree to modify parenting time during the pandemic, you need to have your attorney draw up your agreement. It is important to keep your attorney in the loop and ensure that you have documentation showing your agreement. A well-drafted agreement can help both co-parents maintain a cordial relationship during this time for the benefit of your children.
- Courts Have Discretion
While any current custody order is still legally binding, the Courts are recognizing that circumstances may result in temporary orders being issued. If you believe the situation has changed and your children are at risk, call your attorney. You may need to ask the Court to grant a temporary order given the change in circumstances.
While many judges are enforcing shared parenting plans already in place, the Court will consider external factors in the event there is a heightened concern. Remember, the Court is concerned about the best interest of your children—that’s it. At the end of the day, keep the communication open with your attorney so you understand all of your options.
If you have concerns about your custody arrangement or are having problems enforcing a current custody order, give our Family Law team a call today at 605-777-1772. We are here for you.