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Sharing Custody When My Child (And The Other Parent) Has a Fever

Kim Gent

My “Soon to be ex-Spouse” and the Father of my 16-month-old son just called to inform me that less than 24 hours after he had parenting time with my son, he had a fever. To be safe, I believe that I need to quarantine my son for the requisite 14 days. His Father still wants his parenting time. What do I do especially now that the mayor of Denver has issued a “stay at home” order?

This is a great question and one about which “great minds” may differ. It is important to look at the facts and try to minimize your fear when making the “best” decision for you and your children. To that end, I can share with you what I know and have learned from discussing this and similar issues with other lawyers and judges.

Many parents have been asking whether the “Stay at Home” order issued by Mayor Hamilton prohibits them from parenting time exchanges. The order specifically states that travel to care for minors and travel to comply with a court order is allowed. So, the “Stay at Home” order, alone, does not clearly prohibit exchanges to facilitate parenting-time exchanges.

The general consensus from attorneys and judges is that absent some unusual circumstance, the courts expect parents to continue with court-ordered parenting plans during this time. Yet, your case possesses somewhat of an additional concern. Yes, fever is a symptom of COVID 19. And yes, if your spouse has COVID 19, your son who was with his Father the day before your Father had a fever was most likely exposed to COVID 19 as well. Ideally, I would suggest that your spouse be tested to see if in fact he has COVID 19. But, with tests not readily available to the general public, we don’t have the ability to confirm whether your spouse has the virus.

The prudent thing to do would be to quarantine your son the recommended 14 days. I would reach out to your spouse to see if he has been under self-quarantine himself. Additionally, I would ask your spouse to agree to keep your son quarantined during his parenting time throughout the next 14 days too. If your spouse is willing to do so, I believe the court would require you to continue to allow the parenting time to continue as ordered.

Please call The Harris Family Law for help.

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