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Handling Child Custody, Visitations, and Co-Parenting Concerns in Florida During the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Many divorced partners in Florida find co-parenting, child visitations, and handling custody concerns challenging during normal times.

In 2020, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic raises new child custody, time-sharing, and visitation schedule challenges during a time of school closings and “stay-at-home” lockdown orders in many Florida counties.

Adding to the confusion is that Florida Parenting Plans typically do not address pandemic issues. Neither has the Florida Court at this time. However, a Texas High Court recently declared that child custody orders supersede the State’s pandemic stay-home orders.

Concerns during the pandemic may create tension between divorced parents over several issues, including:

  • School closingsYoung child wearing a respiratory mask as a prevention against the Coronavirus Covid-19
  • Childcare
  • Health care
  • Visitations
  • Unemployment
  • Child support

These concerns may lead a Florida parent to make up their own rules on child custody issues against the wishes of the other parent. Depending on the custody order, that may be a legal mistake. A parent could be held in contempt for not complying with a court-ordered agreement.

Below, we’ve provided answers to frequently asked questions about child custody issues and the coronavirus.

However, don’t hesitate to seek the guidance of a Family Law Attorney to address any concerns you might have regarding child custody during this national crisis. Feel free to call the Fusco Law Group at (904) 567-3113 to discuss your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Child Custody Concerns and the Coronavirus

How should co-parents in Florida handle social distancing with child custody, time-sharing, and visitations?

Co-parents should work to comply with the court-ordered Florida Parenting Plan as much as possible to maintain a semblance of normalcy for the children.

If child custody, time-sharing, and visitation concerns warrant changes to court-ordered Florida Parenting Plans, they should be done with consultation and agreements of both parents.

If health concerns are a factor, consider using FaceTime or Zoom to connect children with the other parent.

If an agreement cannot be reached between co-parents and you’re concerned about the health and best interest of your children, contact a Family Law Attorney. They may be able to help you get an emergency temporary child custody order from the court.

What are your child custody rights during the coronavirus pandemic if you have sole custody of a child?

For a Florida parent with sole legal and physical custody of a child, they have the right to make decisions concerning the best interest of their children during this pandemic.

However, if there is a court order that specifies a visitation schedule of the non-custodial parent, enlisting the aid of a Family Law Attorney may be a good idea to help modify the order if the safety of the child is at issue.

Do you have to pay child support if you become unemployed because of the Coronavirus?

Yes. In Florida, any person who does not pay court-ordered child support will face legal consequences such as garnished wages, suspension of driver’s license, fines, and jail time.

However, a Florida resident may be able to get a temporary or permanent reduction, suspension, or modification on their child support obligations if they have experienced a:

  • Layoff
  • Financial hardship
  • Unexpected medical expense

Consider reaching out to a Family Law Attorney to discuss your child support concerns.

Get the Legal Help You Need

If you have child custody, time-sharing issues or overall child support concerns, a Family Law Attorney from the Fusco Law Group can help.

Contact the Fusco Law Group: (904) 567-3113 for a free consultation.