How Does Illness Affect Parenting Time?

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Now that cold and flu season is upon us, are you wondering about parenting time if a parent or a child is sick?

Hi. I’m Marie Drake of the Drake Law Firm. And today, I’m going to talk to you about what do you do when your child is ill or a parent is ill and you need to exercise your court-ordered parenting time? Generally, if little Johnny has a common cold or sort of a minor illness,that’s not going to be an excuse to say to the other parent, “Oh, I can’t drop him off because he’s so sick.” Well, a common cold is pretty common, and most courts view this as not a reason to restrict parenting time or to somehow protect the world from little Johnny.
Now if little Johnny has explosive diarrhea, and your ex is driving a brand new Porsche that the new spouse of your ex bought and you drop off Johnny in a passive aggressive way and ruin this vehicle, that’s really not a good idea, and you probably should have said,
“Hey, we need to alter parenting time until Johnny has his bowels under control.”
Now if you as the parent have a common cold or, god forbid, the flu or COVID, that’s a different story. Do you really want to be transmitting to your child even a common cold? I would consider if I was a parent who was sick and had to go pick up a child
for parenting time taking a rain check and working with your co-parent in rescheduling. The last thing you want to do is get everybody in the other household sick. And if you do want to get everybody in the other household sick, you need therapy, not a lawyer.

The last thing I want to talk about is, is your child really sick?
Some parents use a child’s minor illness to manipulate the other parent out of parenting time or just cancel it altogether. that’s not appropriate and that’s not going to fly if this gets in front of a judge. So I recommend to parents, hey, remember that you need to work together. Remember that you’re co-parents and remember what’s in the best interest of little Johnny.
So I recommend basically having a school-type policy. If little Johnny is well enough to go to school, little Johnny is well enough to visit the spouse whose new wife just bought him a brand new Porsche. So think about it in that way, and remember, just apply the school policy to your own co-parenting rules.
If you have any questions at all about what to do when a child is sick or a parent is sick and how to have parenting time during those inevitable occasions. Give us a call here at The Drake Law Firm. We’re standing by and happy to answer those and any other parenting time questions.

Thank you.

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