As Pennsylvania slowly begins to reopen, it is important for separated and/or divorced parents to think about how disagreements about children’s activities and travels are going to be handled during the transition back to a normal life. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a high degree of uncertainty when navigating custody arrangements, which I discussed in an earlier post. Once Governor Wolf lifts the restrictions of the stay-at-home order, more uncertainty will arrive as parents navigate through the various phases of reopening. Taking a reasonable approach to handling custody disputes is especially important at this time.  However, the safety of your children is paramount.

Parents should continue to follow the custody arrangement set out in their parenting plans. To the extent possible, as Pennsylvania begins to reopen, I encourage parents to work together and remain focused on the best interests of their children.  This should include a written communication between the parties to ensure safety precautions are agreed to and being followed at both households. 

I highly recommend to all clients that you take a very conservative approach to all stay-at-home orders.  Despite what others around you may be doing, making the mistake of not following social distancing and stay-at-home orders may have a lasting impact on your custodial time with your children.  

While it may seem like a sacrifice to miss out on opportunities to congregate with friends and loved ones, it is important to remember that this is temporary, and that life will return to normal once again. That return to normalcy will be a process spanning across several months; therefore, planning and being prepared will be important steps towards successfully co-parenting through the phases of returning to normal life.

If you are in a child custody dispute, it is important that you hire an experienced family lawyer to assist in the process. Please do not hesitate to contact my office today for a free initial consultation so that we may begin to analyze your set of circumstances to determine the appropriate course of action.