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Dealing with Changes to Custody and Visitation Arrangements Caused by COVID-19

Divorced parents are accustomed to raising children amidst changing circumstances, but the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced challenges that many of us have never seen before. Stay at home orders have imposed strict limits on the way we live and complicated many custody and visitation arrangements. We cannot be sure when daily life will more closely resemble what we were used to, but by addressing key issues head-on, divorced and separated parents can avert additional aggravation during an already difficult time.

Each situation is unique, but there are some specific custody and visitation options that might merit consideration during this trying time, such as:

  • Changes to your parenting plan — With schools closed down all over the country, kids are spending more time at home with their parents. Because the closures happened so suddenly, it is likely that most parenting plans don’t account for extra hours the children usually spend in class. It is a good idea to review the parenting plan that you have in place and see if it needs any adjusting. Parents who are not on great terms, or who have difficulties agreeing on visitation arrangements, might need to seek legal advice and request that the court modify their parenting plan order.
  • Alternative visitation arrangements — One parent might be diagnosed with COVID-19 or live with someone who has tested positive for the virus. If this is the case, parents may wish to consider alternative visitation arrangements such as video conference calls via Zoom, Facetime or Skype. Increasing the frequency of calls might also be warranted. Children who have underlying health problems, such as asthma or diabetes, are especially vulnerable to the virus and should stay out of any homes with people who have tested positive for the disease.
  • Modifying child support obligations — If a parent has lost their job or the pandemic significantly changes where a child is spending their time, child support orders might have to be adjusted. In such a case, courts can look at the order and recalculate child support payments if necessary.

Trying to wait out the crisis could lead to unnecessary frustration. To ease everyone’s burden, divorced parents who believe that a change might be beneficial should consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney.

Contact a dedicated family lawyer to discuss your situation and options    

Amy A. Slayden Family Law P.C. advises clients on various family law issues, including custody and visitation matters. To schedule an appointment regarding your legal options, please call 256-529-4437 or contact the firm online.

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    2319 Market Pl SW
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    Huntsville, Alabama 35801
    Phone: 256-288-1100
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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