For many parents, sharing custody of a child is among the many challenges of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Family law attorney Jeff Guy, who practices in Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto counties, says he's fielded some calls and cases in regards to child custody during this pandemic.
"Obviously time-sharing is an issue right now with parents and the concern of kids catching this virus and being exchanged back and forth between the parents," says Guy.
Guy says the court system is looking at each situation carefully. Whether that's a parent in the medical field, possibly exposed or just a parent concerned about the child going to a different house.
"The court is really looking at those on a case-by-case analysis to see if the parent's being reasonable when refusing time-sharing with the other parent," Guy explained. "And there have been some, where whatever the reason, it is responsible and others where its just an attempt to keep the other parent away, unfortunately."
For some parents agreeing without involving the court system is easy. Even still, Guy says to get all that information in writing.
"You want to confirm with the other parent in writing, text or email, 'this is what we've talked about' and get a response from the other parent, 'yes I'm in agreement with you,'" Guy said.
Having that information in writing will protect you if an issue were to arise.
Even during a pandemic "the parenting plan is always modifiable if it's of the child's best interest," Guy explained.
But that doesn't mean things could happen quickly. In some cases, it could take weeks to get a court hearing.
Guy says if you have questions about a parenting plan, you can always call an attorney for a free consultation.