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Communicating With Your Ex About COVID-19 Custody Issues

During a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, family becomes more important than ever, especially for children whose schedules have been disrupted by long-term school closures and the cancellation of other activities. Parents who are divorced or live apart for other reasons know the importance of maintaining healthy communication through difficult situations. Though this situation is unlike any other, some of the skills developed through previous discussions of custody and visitation arrangements might contribute to everyone’s well-being.  

With quarantines, the closing of many businesses and the ever-present health threat, conversations about parenting issues among former partners should focus on:  

  • Safety No matter where you live or what your relationship is like with your ex, both parents’ primary focus must be on their child’s safety. A parent’s occupation, travel between homes, living environments and others who might reside with a mother or father all could increase a young person’s exposure to the virus. This might mean hard decisions and tough conversations, but the determining factor should always be the health of your child and the people around him or her.  
  • Flexibility Strong parenting plans set forth fair, clear terms regarding custody and visitation. Each side should know their rights and understand the consequences if they don’t fulfill their obligations. Though well-crafted agreements address predictable contingencies, it’s likely that your order does not account for a situation where all “nonessential” activity is shut down for weeks or months. As a parent, seeing your son or daughter is essential however, and states have differed as to whether custody arrangements override a stay-at-home directive. Even if you believe the law is on your side, finding an open court could be very difficult. Unlike almost any other circumstance, this pandemic presents a parenting challenge that must justify temporarily breaking from the established custody framework.
  • Technology Using FaceTime, Skype or Zoom to maintain frequent, meaningful contact can help get parents and children through these difficult times. If it becomes necessary to consult with an attorney or engage in a conversation before a mediator, you can also take advantage of technology to do so.

Whether your best solution involves online visits, preparations for extra visitation time when the pandemic eases, or negotiations for a temporary parenting plan modification, a knowledgeable family law attorney can advise you on strategies that suit your circumstances and needs while protecting your children.

Contact a thorough family lawyer to schedule a meeting 

Amy A. Slayden Family Law P.C. assists clients with various family law issues. For a consultation regarding your issue, please call 256-529-4437 or contact the firm online.

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    Huntsville, Alabama 35801
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  • "My family worked with Sarah Meigs an Attorney with Amy Slayden Family Law, we were extremely happy with Sarah's experience and knowledge. She helped us get a custody battle dismissed and communicated with us over weekend and evenings, and did what it took to get the job done. We are extremely grateful to her and I would recommend her service to anyone needing help."  -Posted by Frank

  • "I hired Amy to represent me in a contested divorce with custody. She was able to argue my case in court in front of a female judge and legally outmaneuver my wife's lawyer. No shenanigans, no stunts, just good, solid legal execution. My wife attempted to bring me in for contempt of court, again Amy stepped in and protected my interests. Hire her again without a second thought. If you're a father trying to get a fare shake in the Alabama courts, you can do no better than Amy."  -Posted by anonymous

  • "My family can never thank Amy enough for what she has done for us over the years. She has followed our case and been with us every step of the way. Child custody cases are always emotional, but Amy kept my son safe and we can never thank her enough for that. She always gave us straight forward advice, told us the good or the bad, and was there for us every step of the way. She was compassionate and understanding with us and especially with our son. I have never seen another lawyer so confident and prepared in a court room. She is absolutely amazing. We owe her so much and would highly recommend her to anyone dealing with child custody issues."  -Posted by Vergenia

  • "Amy was able to, very quickly, after 6 years, previous attorneys, mishandled court fileings, and being the man who's case, "slipped through the cracks" , allow me to get a proper visitation order filed in court. She was tough, fair and very well prepared for my case. Thanks again Amy."  -Posted by anonymous

  • "I received a referral to Amy Slayden from an elected official who had recently become a friend. I hired her for post divorce litigation after a non-so-great divorce settlement filed with another attorney in town several years prior. I wished I had hired her for my initial divorce! I have retained her now four times for post divorce litigation. She is tough, smart, and cares about her clients. My ex-husband keeps changing attorneys to try to match her level of expertise, but thus far has not come close. "  -Posted by Christa