It is a time of uncertainty. Many parents are now required to work from home. Many others have recently lost their jobs. Still, others are on the frontlines battling the infection raging across America and the world. Children are no longer in school and daycares are being ordered to close.

The Number One Thing a Parent Needs to Consider

The primary parental consideration right now is to maintain the health of your children. Whatever your situation, comply with all CDC and state guidelines. In Maryland, Governor Hogan and the State Superintendent of Schools, has ordered all child care providers to close by today, March 27, 2020, except those serving ‘essential personnel.’ The authorities obviously believe that daycare centers are an unnecessary risk in the current times. If you can avoid such risks, it is best to do so.

‘Essential Personnel’ Child Care

There is a list of available child care centers for all workers who are ‘essential personnel.’ If you have no other option, you can use these centers. We also suggest that you work with your co-parent as they may now be available to help with your child care needs. This decision should be made on a case by case basis. If there has been abuse in your home against you or your child, you should not deviate from any existing court order. Again, the health of your children is paramount.

Communication is Key

Just as in any situation with a co-parent, communication is key. If you have child care needs or believe that you may be exposed, tell the other parent. Work out an agreement. Be mindful of their needs. It is an unprecedented situation that we are living through. Everyone is under a tremendous amount off stress. There may be other partners or other children involved. Do what you can to make it comfortable for everyone. Sometimes creative solutions are called for. Find out what the co-parent needs. You may be able to do something now with the children that you were not able to do before. The visitation that was impossible before the crisis may now be easier. If one parent is now working from home, while the other is still working, use that resource. If one parent is working more because they are a healthcare worker, you may need to make adjustments.

What Role Do Law Firms Play?

Sometimes a co-parent is simply unreasonable. Sometimes they are just a jerk. They ignore the warnings of the experts and our government officials. They do not allow you to see your children. When you are dealing with that situation, a lawyer will be able to help you. We can mediate your dispute. This will keep you out of court and create a more open line of communication. If that is not possible, or there is a history of abuse or narcissism, a lawyer can help you protect your rights and protect the health of you and your children. The courts are still accepting emergency family law petitions. You need a lawyer to navigate the current situation. It is easy for lawyers to access the courts via electronic filing. A lawyer knows the process for emergency proceedings. There are many steps and one wrong move can negatively impact your ability to protect your family.

We Can Help

Our Firm is open for business. We are accepting new clients and setting up video conferences every day to serve our community. We have the experience and talent to help you in these times of trouble. Contact us today if you have concerns about your child care and child access situation.

Timothy Sutton