Custody Arrangements and CoVID Family Law – Your Rights and Child Safety

Mother checking son's temperature - covid can sometimes affect custody arrangements
Photo by Gustavo Fring

CoVID-19 and Custody Arrangements - What You Need To Know

CoVID-19 has set a precedent of how we treat contagious illnesses – isolating, social distancing, masks, cleaning, disinfecting and lots of hand sanitizer. Coming to the heart of winter, more and more people are getting sick. If you or your child gets sick, you need to consider how this affects your custody arrangements. Here’s what you need to know about Covid and family law. 

How does CoVID affect your custody schedule?

Remember that these factors are vital to child custody arrangements: 

  • Your child’s safety; 
  • The best interests of your child; and 
  • The flexibility of the parents! 

Someone catching CoVID may call for a little change in your custody arrangements. With a lot of cases going around, you and your ex-partner need to consider how this affects your children and what is important for their safety

What happens when you test positive for CoVID?

If you have CoVID, it does not mean that you need to quarantine away from your children. Separation doesn’t mean that the kids just jump house to house if someone is sick – you still have your agreement in place.  

Generally, your custody arrangements can continue with the current public health guidelines. 

Your parenting plan or parenting order should be followed unless you have a reasonable excuse. This means if your doctor has instructed you to isolate or there is a travel ban in place.  

You and your ex may decide to temporarily adjust your schedule. So, make sure you remain open, communicative, and flexible

What if your child tests positive?

CoVID related stress is real! You may still be able to stay with your CoVID-positive child if it is in their best interests even when there is supposed to be a changeover. Again, you need to be sure you are communicating these things with your ex and see if you can come to an agreement.  

What can you do if you had to deviate from your current custody arrangement?

Whenever you are making a new agreement about your custody arrangements, make sure that you still keep things fair or in the essence of your original shared custody agreement. This means: 

  • Allow contact with your child and the other parent by phone call, video chat or text 
  • Organise making up the time a child has missed out with a parent 
  • Keep up communication with the other person about when isolation may end and how they can receive medical advice 
  • Keep written records of communication and information where possible. 

If you can’t seem to come to an agreement, seek legal advice. You may need to engage with a family mediator or even go further to Court if it can’t be solved. 

Find more information about CoVID Family Law here. 

Disclaimer: This is general legal information. For specific advice, please get in touch with Divorce Hub.