At The Colwell Law Group our attorneys understand that the outbreak of COVID-19 has created a challenging time for all families. Each day disruptions both large and small occur as a result of this Coronavirus pandemic.  These sudden disruptions can have a negative affect on your family, especially your children and your custody situation.

Your family may be facing new challenges such as closed schools, different work schedules, changes in monetary income, or illness. In some cases families have been told to stay home together while social distancing.  What is one to do with such unfamiliar concepts?  We want to offer you some tips that may aid you with your co-parenting agreement, so that you may maintain civility and harmony within your household and family.

1. Put Your Children First.

Reassuring your children that they are a priority will create some stability that they will likely need given the disruptions that the Coronavirus is causing.  This will go a long way in helping them be appreciative of the moments you spend together during such uncertain times. This situation has caused the household rules to change in many circumstances.  Allow the children to help with setting ground rules.  Make a point of emphasizing social distancing measures by “testing” their understanding of how far apart they should be, how often they should wash their hands, and remind them to avoid touching their faces or coughing in to hands.  Stay engaged, make it a game if age appropriate.  Take score and share the results in a positive light.  Above all practice what you preach.

2. Create a New schedule.

You, your children (to a certain extent) and your ex should sit down and determine a schedule so children will be aware of where they will be during each day, when they may be able to reach out to your ex, and how they will be able to do this.  Zoom has become a life-line for many families since the pandemic started.  Be sure to supervise and set expectations for time limits as well as who will be allowed to participate to keep things on an even keel.  Be prepared to monitor conversations if needed.  If possible, schedules can be written or online, and should be given to each member of your family so the kids can visualize their week in advance and prepare.   Additionally, it is important for everyone to keep in mind that you may need to adjust this schedule. Flexibility will help provide the best environment for you family.

3. Follow the advice of the CDC if a member of your household is ill.

Have a discussion with your ex to be sure all family members have the same expectations should this occur while the child is in his/her care.  There is quite a bit of information available on the CDC website.  This includes making sure that you and your ex understand and can help the patient and follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. You should expect to help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and other personal needs. Child care during errand running may be necessary.  Be sure to plan for this.

Remember that the CDC recommends that  household members should stay in another room or be separated from the ill as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available.

These guidelines are just a few of those available online.  This is not intended to provide medical advice and is not all inclusive of the recommendations available on the CDC website.  Please go to www.cdc.gov for more information.

4. Strengthen Your Co-Parenting Relationship.

Be wise when choosing which fights to have with your ex. The relationship that you have with your co-parent will be an indication of your relationship for the future. Practice building a civil relationship with your ex so that you can both enjoy future moments for your children, such as graduations or weddings.

5. If you are unable to reach a consensus on the above matters reach out to The Colwell Law Group to set up a consultation.

Contact a Member of Our Team Today.  We are here to help.

COVID-19 may have an unpredictable impact on your family.  It could be beneficial for you to speak with an experienced Albany family law lawyer. Our team of family lawyers would be happy to assist you with any issues that may arise from the coronavirus for you and your family.

The Colwell Law Group, LLC.  Coronavirus (COVID-19) Notice on Continued Operations

(updated 3/23/20 9:15 am)

The global impact of Coronavirus has been unprecedented, and just as each of you, we are taking the situation one day at a time.  Our thoughts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).  Please know that the Colwell Law Group takes the safety and wellbeing of our clients and team members very seriously. In accordance with the firm's emergency response plan, all team members have begun working via secure remote connections.  However, 100% of our regular operations will continue uninterrupted via these remote connections.

Most court clerks remain open to accept new filings and motions.  Emergency applications can still be heard.  However, previously scheduled appearances have been adjourned until further notice.  If you have a scheduled call or meeting with any member of the CLG team, you can expect it to proceed as scheduled.  Given the situation, all such meetings will take place over the phone or video conference until further notice.

Thank you for your understanding and patience during these trying times. We know that your family law issues do not just disappear because we must shelter in place.  In fact, in many situations the quarantine will only serve to make these issues worse.  CLG stands ready to help!  We are dedicated to serving your needs in this new normal and further your best interests as always.  While the developing situation surrounding COVID-19 is serious, at CLG we’re focused on combating fear with proactive solutions rather than reactive retreats.

For further information, please contact our Director of Operations, Jennifer Stevens at Jstevens@colwell-law.com or 518-462-4242. Thank you.