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Modification of co-parenting plan in light of COVID-19

Daily life has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For parents, there are many questions of how to support and care for children with Massachusetts schools closures. Divorced and separated parents can face even more questions in this situation, from modification of child support due to a layoff through to social distancing implications of shared custody. Here are some recommendations that experts have made so far.

First, both parents should stay informed and healthy. This includes practicing hand washing, wiping down surfaces and social distancing. Both parents in a co-parenting relationship can contribute to helping children react appropriately to the situation by both modeling good behaviour and answering questions in an age-appropriate manner.

Court orders regarding custody and support agreements remain in effect. This means that if schools are cancelled, the custodial parent should be responsible for caring for the children. Of course, work requirements may dictate that some details on child care may need to change. Open communication, transparency and generosity can help lessen the stress of these potential circumstances. Experts implore that parents retain focus on what is best for the child in this time.

Parents paying child support may experience some interruption in their income depending on their work or investment situation. Payer parents should try to provide whatever support is possible, even if it is not the full amount. It is also important to remember that those looking for a modification through family courts may experience a different process or a long wait due to courthouse closures. Those who have particular questions or unique situations in this circumstance should consult with a Massachusetts family lawyer.

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