Parenting Time and COVID-19

In the midst of “shelter at home” orders and limited financial resources, divorced and separated parents are wondering what to do in terms of their parenting plans. Do we follow the Regular Schedule or the Summer Schedule? We now have guidance from the Oregon Statewide Family Law Advisory Committee, which is a panel of judges, trial court administrators, mediators, custody evaluators, attorneys, and other family law providers. In short, parents should follow their parenting plan as closely as possible. This means that designated “spring break” time would still occur, but the extended school closures would not be considered an extension of that time. See Oregonian Live article.

This is a great time for parents to demonstrate to their children that they can work together to keep life as consistent as possible for the children, which means regular contact with both parents. Parents should not use COVID-19 as an excuse to deny parenting time. If schedules do have to be adjusted to take safety into consideration, then parents should work together to schedule makeup parenting time.

Children need to see both of their parents, particularly during the stressful time in which we are all living!