Coronavirus and child custody: How to co-parent during the pandemic

Video: Coronavirus and co-parenting: How to cope during the pandemic

Co-parenting is under strain like so many other parts of our lives due to the coronavirus pandemic, but a local attorney says, for parents, it’s best to co-parent and avoid taking issues to the court.

The courts covering Orange and Osceola counties issued an order prohibiting parents from unnecessarily restricting access to children. Unreasonable parents can be sanctioned, lose holidays or have to pay legal fees.

Read: Unemployment system issues arise after thousands around Central Florida are out of work due to coronavirus pandemic

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Conti Moore Smith, an attorney at Conti Moore Law and mother, said the coronavirus has “completely changed the dynamic of my job and trying to parent.”

It’s also changing how her clients co-parent. This week, she filed an emergency custody motion for an out-of-state military father who did not want to fly his child home after spring break because of the pandemic.

The judge granted the motion, stating it was not safe for the child to travel due to the growing threat of the coronavirus.

When and if a shelter-in-place order goes into effect, parents should try to work it out themselves, Moore said. If they can’t, the parent with majority time sharing, or 183 overnights, gets the child.

The courts are not open to the general public, so they are using the court system’s E-Portal and video chats more.