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During the COVID-19 pandemic, life is not entirely put on hold. That means children will continue to play, get into accidents, and come down with ordinary illnesses. With significant concern surrounding the spread of COVID-19, it is reasonable for a parent to ask if they should take their sick child on a visit ordinarily scheduled under their parenting plan.
The Clark County Superior Court has provided a straightforward answer to this question as part of their general advisory language to parents and attorneys regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:
If your child is sick with something “regular” (not requiring emergency medical assistance or COVID-19 symptoms), the child should be exchanged at regular parenting times unless your parenting plan states that a sick child stays with one parent, or the parents otherwise agree.
As with much of the Court’s guidance related to this pandemic, the answer is relatively common sense: follow the parenting plan if possible. If you have legitimate concern that the child is suffering from COVID-19 or another emergency-type condition, that may be a reason not to exercise visitation. However, you should still be in communication with the other parent, and working together, to ensure the child’s best interests (which necessarily include visitation and contact with both parents) are met. As with other issues related to visitation and the COVID-19 pandemic, either party can motion the court if they feel they have lost visitation. However, the Court will expect that parents work together, in good faith, and try to resolve these issues before coming to court.
The full text of the Clark County Superior Court’s information related to coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here: https://www.clark.wa.gov/superior-court/covid-19-family-law-information
We at Joshua J. Bean, PLLC understand that you may have many additional questions related to your divorce or custody case and how it is impacted by COVID-19. We are, therefore, offering free 30-minute telephone consultations to help you with these issues. Please call at 360-695-3695 to set one up.