Coronavirus presents challenges for co-parenting and custody agreements

Posted at 12:45 PM, Aug 17, 2020

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - There is no playbook for parents during the pandemic when it comes to co-parenting and child custody agreements.

"Anytime there is increased stress, we see more activity with domestic relations," said Thomas Wright, Family Law Attorney with Invictus Law.

Wright says he has seen an uptick in divorce and custody cases since mid March. Navigating what to do in uncharted territory can be challenging for parents.

"When Executive Order 55 came out from the governor it specifically said even with the stay at home order you can use transportation to facilitate custody and visitation," said Wright.

"That means unless a child or parent has an illness or is immuno-compromised, going back and forth between households during this time should occur as laid out in your custody agreement.

"The biggest challenge now is what is happening with the schools and then what is happening with peoples employment situation," he said.

Wright says communication and documentation is the key to success for both parents and children during these unprecedented times.

"There are third party apps you can use called Talking Parents, My Family Wizard, even Google calendar, email and test message," he said. "The more communication the better.

Wright says also try to keep routines and structure from being disrupted as much as possible.

"The more children can forecast their expectation or day to day, the easier things will be for parents and children," said Wright.

Wright says if communication is not working between both parents mediation is option and afforded by the court system. Juvenile and Domestic courts in Hampton Roads are currently are not backlogged and are hearing cases of these kind to ensure the children are the up-most priority.