If family lawyers learned anything in 2020, it is that custody and parenting time arrangements require great flexibility to endure and successfully protect children’s best interests in the event of a public health emergency. We have learned important lessons—such as how to help parents pivot in the face of sudden and extreme changes in family schedules, how to create quality “virtual parenting time,” and how to make up for missed time with children—and now we need to apply these lessons as standard operating procedure in 2021 and beyond.

Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Parenting Agreements

Between closed schools and child-care facilities, job losses, and potential exposure of parents working in essential jobs, few families with children living in the home have escaped the conundrums of COVID-19. How can a parent go to work if schools and day-care are closed? How does one work from home and simultaneously supervise online learning? What happens with children after school hours? Should “bubble” playmates be allowed? How does one monitor a virtual playdate?