Does Being an Essential Worker Impact Child Custody?

COVID-19 is still shaking up the world, and essential workers are concerned with how their custody arrangement could be affected. Legally speaking, being an essential worker does not impact a child custody agreement, but both parents may decide to alter their custody agreement for a specific time period if one is an essential worker.

Essential Workers

Essential workers are individuals who work in health care, food service, and transportation industries and have jobs that are “essential” or provide important services. For example, both a nurse and a grocery store worker are both deemed essential workers as the services they provide are needed during the pandemic. These workers might have a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 as they are having to work day to day to support critical operations.

Health Concerns

While there is not a legal basis for changing child custody agreements because one parent is an essential worker, it might be beneficial to the child if a converation about access during COVID-19 take place. Custody agreements are made in the best interest of the child, and if one parent is an essential worker and is potentially being exposed to COVID-19 that could raise custody and access issues. Essential workers may want to consider the position their job may put the non-custodial parent in to determine the non-custodial parent has any concerns that may be alleviated. If a child would be more at risk because of a parent’s essential worker status then the non-custodial parent may be more at risk as well, and that parent’s health should be taken into account.

Modifying Custody Orders

Essential workers might want to consider discusssing temporary modifications to the custody agreement if it is agreeable with all parties. When modifying custody agreements it is important to contact an attorney to make sure that any changes made to a court order or custody agreement are enforceable. Trying to even temporarily alter a custody and access agreement or court order without the aid of an experienced attorney could put a parent’s entire custody on the line. A child should not miss out on visiting their parent because they are an essential worker, and regardless of whatever health concerns a parent may have they must follow the parties’ current court order.

Contact a Local Child Custody Attorney Today

If you are an essential worker and have questions about your custody agreement, contact our law firm today. Our experienced custody attorneys could help you and your child’s other parent come to a fair agreement.