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How to Handle Child Custody and Visitation Amid COVID-19

When parents decide it’s best to end their relationship, they should do so in a way that has their children’s well-being, feelings, and best interest in mind. Crucial aspects to factor into co-parenting include doctor’s appointments, dental visits, finding a babysitter trusted by both parents, the logistics of traveling to and from one parent’s home to the other, and getting the child to school and any extracurricular activities.

Hiring experienced family law attorneys who know the basics of child custody, such as those practicing at Johnson & Taylor LLC, can help parents settle their child custody and visitation schedules.

Child custody lawyers at Johnson & Taylor LLC protect parents’ and children’s rights. Lawyers can help parents negotiate various types of custody: sole custody, joint custody, or temporary custody.

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Parents may experience difficulties adjusting to being a child’s guardian for half of the time or rarely getting to see their child.

Sadly, many parents are experiencing this frustration due to the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak sweeping nations around the world. COVID-19 is an infectious, respiratory disease. This illness spreads via saliva droplets, coughs, and sneezes.

COVID-19 symptoms include dry cough, shortness of breath, fever, aches and pains, tiredness, a sore throat, and more. Currently, no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19 exists. Health officials urge people to cover their mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing, wash their hands regularly, avoid touching their face, stay home if they feel unwell, and refrain from traveling and large groups of people.

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Social distancing by keeping at least six feet between oneself and other people can decrease one’s chances of getting COVID-19.

The parent with physical custody of a child at the time of isolation and social distancing shouldn’t leave the non-custodial parent out and ignore their authority. For instance, if the non-custodial parent doesn’t want the child to travel or leave the house, the custodial parent should respect that instead of doing whatever they want because the other parent isn’t around.

The fear of oneself or a loved one getting the virus can cause anxiety and stress and impair one’s mental health. Loneliness caused by isolation can also have adverse psychological and emotional effects. Having a scared child or not being able to hug a child due to social distancing can be emotionally draining for any parent, especially non-custodial parents who can’t see their children in person.

Adults who experience emotions that hinder them from completing daily activities should contact their health care provider and consult a mental health professional to help them cope. A therapist can help parents take care of their mental and emotional health as they adjust their child custody and visitation agreements to keep their child safe amid COVID-19.

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When dealing with such an unprecedented crisis, people should consult skilled and caring professional therapists, such as those at The Therapy Group of DC, to help them face their challenges. Keeping in line with the need for social distancing and working and attending school from home, The Therapy Group of DC implements teletherapy services so people can get the help they need from a supportive space without leaving the comfort of their home.

The Therapy Group of DC provides teletherapy in Washington DC to support and guide people who are struggling, anxious, and depressed, worried they could get the virus, or feel their life is on pause because they can’t follow their usual routine. The uncertainty accompanying the COVID-19 outbreak changed society, but not The Therapy Group’s dedication to their patients. Through confidential online therapy sessions, people can focus on improving and coping with new, changing circumstances.

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Parents should work together to find ways for the non-custodial parent to interact with the child. Parents and children can communicate via phone calls and teleconferencing platforms like Skype and Zoom, play online games together, or read the same books and discuss them to stay connected.

Jennifer Holland

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