Yellow Phase: What to know about Child Custody

Numerous parents are wondering, is it safe for children to be traveling back and forth right now? What if a parent misses out on time with their kids? Sadek and Cooper are here to share what you need to know about Philadelphia County's yellow phase and child custody.
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Over the past few months, families with child custody agreements have faced many unprecedented challenges. Numerous parents wondered, is it safe for children to be traveling back and forth right now? What if a parent misses out on time with their kids? What can I do to protect my child? 

As Philadelphia County enters the yellow phase, some restrictions are lifting; which will help in reducing the current stressors placed on those with children. For example, child care facilities and services are now permitted to reopen at full capacity. It is critical to keep your child’s best interests in mind as you navigate the reopening. Below are some things to remember when dealing with child custody in Pennsylvania’s yellow phase: 

Custody Agreements

Philadelphia has maintained that custody agreements continue to be followed during the COVID-19 outbreak. If co-parents are afraid that one of them has been exposed or is infected, then they can work toward creating an agreement that will allow the parent who lost time with the child to make it up at a future time. If you and your child’s other parent are able to honestly communicate and come up with such an agreement then an easy resolution can be reached at a time while courts are still closed.

However, If you or your co-partner have failed to maintain the custody agreement and you are unable to come up with a solution through communication, then you can file for an amendment to your child custody agreement to ensure that you receive the lost time back. Honest communication during times like these can help reduce the stress on you, your co-parent, and your children, but there are legal alternatives at your disposal if that cannot occur.

Child Care Facilities

The yellow phase has also allowed child care facilities to open their doors. Recommendations from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services have been made to ensure children’s safety. Some of these recommendations are:

  • Keeping children in the same small groups throughout the day
  • Limiting objects children bring from home
  • Screening children and staffers for fevers
  • Workers and children over the age of 2 must wear a mask

Now that these facilities are reopened, the daily routines of families may be able to go back to normal and ease the stress of some parents. Children can return to their daycare facilities while their parents are able to return to work and, hopefully, return to the terms of their regular custody agreements.

Emergency Custody

Despite Philadelphia court closures, you may be able to file an Emergency Custody Petition as a result of an urgent matter arising from your custody agreement. There are various guidelines for filing one of these petitions and they should be reviewed with an experienced attorney for guidance. Advising a lawyer to evaluate your case is the best first step in your petition process considering what constitutes an emergency will be decided on a case-by-case basis

At Sadek and Cooper, we know how stressful these times are for families. Our attorneys can work with you to handle child custody disputes or to find out if an emergency custody petition is necessary. Contact Sadek & Cooper today for a free consultation on any child custody issues you may be concerned with.

The attorneys at Sadek and Cooper Law Offices have handled hundreds of divorce, custody, support, and mediation cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, and Chester. We are also licensed in the State of New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 215-545-0008.  

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