Parents are navigating a tough time right now, between their kids’ distance-learning and the stresses of coping with a pandemic. And there can be a lot of adjustments to make, particularly when you are a single parent.
For instance, parents need to decide how to keep their children safe from exposure to hazards, including COVID-19. However, if these decisions are not in a child’s best interests, parenting rights can be challenged.
COVID-19 and custody across the country
Cases from around the country have sparked public interest. In one case, a judge barred a mother from seeing her child because she refused to wear a mask. There are other cases of healthcare workers and other essential personnel battling over whether they should be able to be with their children.
At the root of these situations is the claim that a parent who has a higher risk of COVID-19 exposure endangers their child’s well-being and health.
Judges have ruled on both sides of the issue. In some cases, they make no changes to a parenting schedule; in other cases, judges put restrictions in place to protect a child.
What this means for Texas parents
There are a few critical things Texas parents can take away from these cases.
The first is to understand that making decisions that put your child’s safety at risk could give the other parent grounds to seek custody modifications and restrictions.
The second takeaway is that there are no guaranteed solutions in custody disputes. Each case is different; each situation has unique elements that a judge must weigh when making a decision. Thus, you should not make any assumptions when it comes to custody conflicts. Instead, you can work with an attorney to present your case as effectively as possible.
Finally, parents should understand that these are unprecedented times. Not only is it stressful and frightening for adults, but it is also upsetting for children. Parents have a great deal of influence over their child’s ability to cope with this situation, and it is crucial to take that responsibility seriously.
When parents prioritize their child’s happiness and health, they make it easier for everyone to get through a difficult experience.