The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased stress levels for families across the globe and divorced parents face particular challenges during this time. On top of the health concerns for their children and themselves, the normal custody exchange can become a complicated matter.
So, what safety precautions can parents in Virginia take during custody exchanges in this time?
Reconsider the logistics
Many parents have arrangements to exchange custody at their workplace or even the child’s school, so there is a neutral location for the exchanges. However, parents may wish to rethink the location of these exchanges to reduce the risk of exposure.
Additionally, it might be necessary for parents to modify the dates of custody exchanges to better fit both parents’ schedules. It is essential for parents to communicate and determine these details together.
Follow safety guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines to help individuals avoid exposure to COVID-19 and stay safe. These guidelines include:
· Wearing masks in public;
· Keeping a safe distance, roughly six feet; and
· Washing hands and disinfecting items frequently touched.
Parents should ensure they apply these guidelines to their custody exchange as well. They should:
- Keep a safe distance from each other and wear masks;
- Disinfect the child’s belongings; and
- Ensure children have doubles of certain necessities at each home.
These simple tips can help make the transition between households easier and safer.
Monitor your child’s health – and your own
Most people are on high alert regarding their health these days. Divorced parents who share physical custody of their children should make sure they regularly evaluate how they are feeling and be aware of any symptoms of illness.
If either parents or children feel ill, parents should delay the custody exchange. Of course, it might be necessary to make up parenting time in the future, but in the current situation, the health and safety of the family come first. However, parents should be cautious about altering the custodial schedule without the consent of the other parent or without the advice of their attorney.