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The Florida Stay at Home Order and Your Parenting Plan: Do Be Flexible, but Don’t Make Unilateral Decisions


Gov. DeSantis has issued a statewide order for Floridians to stay at home except to give or receive essential services, such as buying or delivering food, seeking medical care, or working at a job the government has deemed essential.  Staying at home for weeks on end is hard enough when you are an adult who can work from home, but it is even more of a challenge when you are a child who has had two homes since your parents divorced. Florida parenting plans go into detail about how parents will handle many kinds of exceptions to the family’s routine, such as early release days from school and holidays that neither parent wants to forfeit.  The coronavirus pandemic is an emergency on a whole different scale; no family could have planned for a disruption of this magnitude.  Successful co-parenting while stay-at-home orders are in place might bring out the best in your ex-spouse, or it might bring out the worst.  A South Florida child custody lawyer can help you resolve conflicts about how to keep your children safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Is It Possible to Continue to Follow Your Parenting Schedule?

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted almost all plans.  Some families might decide that it is best for the children to stay with one parent until the stay-at-home order ends instead of going back and forth every week.  If one parent works a job with a high risk of exposure to the virus, such as a nurse or police officer, it makes sense for the children to stay with the parent who does not have to be on the front lines of pandemic response.  If you and your ex-spouse, perhaps with the help of your lawyers, can agree on a temporary change to your parenting schedule, by all means, enact it.  If you stick to your old schedule, don’t give your children an earful every week about how your ex is putting their lives at risk by having pizza delivered or about how your ex is worrying too much and being too controlling.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Does Not Give Your Ex a Free Pass to Act Like a Jerk

Coronavirus co-parenting horror stories are already starting to appear online.  Some people have refused to return the children to their ex-spouse at the time designated in the parenting plan, whether out of an abundance of caution or because they are exploiting an already unstable situation.  Whatever you do, don’t be the ex-spouse who takes your kids on a cross-country road trip just to scare the daylights out of your ex.  In fact, don’t diverge from your court-ordered parenting plan at all without your ex’s consent.  Ideally, you and your ex should discuss your plans over email, so there is a written record of your agreement.

Let Us Help You Today

Don’t let your ex threaten to take your children away just because you kept them longer than planned in the interest of social distancing.  Contact a Boca Raton child custody lawyer at Schwartz | White for assistance with your case.




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