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Dad's divorce law2020 is not an easy time to be a parent. This is especially true for divorced or divorcing fathers. Whether you have lost your job or suffered financial setbacks, are working from home, or need to maintain regular contact with the public, you may be struggling with the ever-present health risks and uncertainty about the future. Issues related to your children can add to your stress, and you may worry about your kids’ safety if they are attending school in person, or you may be concerned about your ability to provide the help they need if they are learning at home.

As you deal with these ongoing issues, it is important to understand that you are not alone. Parents throughout the United States are currently struggling to help meet their children’s educational needs. Surveys have shown that more than half of parents are managing children’s remote learning activities while also working either inside or outside the home. It is understandable for parents to feel uncertain about their ability to help their children with ongoing schoolwork, and taking on these responsibilities in addition to their regular jobs and household duties can lead to a great deal of stress.

As you work to balance your children’s needs with your own mental health and other concerns, you will want to understand how you can deal with stress and make the best of a difficult situation. Here are some tips for how you can take care of yourself and continue being the best dad you can be:

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Dad's Divorce LawyersFor many parents, fall represents a time when strict routines kick in after a more relaxed summer. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has caused many families to be worried about children’s safety while they are in school. This is especially true for parents who are separated or divorced, and dads who share custody of their kids may be concerned about the safety procedures followed and the methods used to minimize the risks of infection. Fortunately, divorced fathers can work to put their minds at ease while ensuring that their children will receive a good education by doing the following:

Review School Safety Procedures

Your first priority will likely be to understand what your children’s school is doing to protect the health and safety of students and their families. Experts have recommended that schools enforce social distancing by keeping students’ desks spaced apart, holding classes outdoors when possible, enforcing one-way traffic in hallways, and grouping students and teachers into “cohorts” that stay together throughout each school day. Masks should be required at all times (aside from lunch), and students and teachers should wash their hands and clean surfaces regularly. Schools may also minimize contact between students by reducing class sizes through the use of staggered schedules in which students spend some days at school and some days learning at home.

Cooperate to Help Kids Learn at Home 

In many cases, children will be on an alternating schedule where they spend some days at school and some days at home. However, parents may decide to keep children away from school altogether during the pandemic, requiring them to do schoolwork from home full-time. Whatever approach your family will be taking, you will want to work together with your ex to figure out the best ways to meet your children’s needs. This may involve one of you working from home so you can supervise your kids during the day, or you may use babysitters or get help from extended family members to make sure your kids are completing their schoolwork and receiving any assistance they need while they are at home.

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Summer vacation parenting time tips for single fathersWhether you are currently going through divorce, were recently divorced, or have been a single father for some time, you’ve probably struggled with the events that have affected our lives in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our personal and professional lives due to stay-at-home orders, economic difficulties, and school closures. Now, just as summer vacation is about to begin for many children, the wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the country has led to outbreaks of violence and curfews in many cities. Whether you had made plans for the summer with your kids or were simply planning to enjoy spending time with them, events may be throwing everything into confusion, and you may be unsure about how to proceed.

Depending on your parenting agreement, you may have more time with your kids over the summer, and you will want to make the most of your parenting time during these months. Here are a few tips to follow as you make your summer plans:

  1. Find ways to show solidarity - Your kids may express a desire to participate in protests, or they may want to do what they can to express and share their beliefs and opinions. While it may be appropriate to take older children to protests or demonstrations, you should be sure to discuss this with the other parent first to address any safety concerns. You will also want to have a plan for staying together, avoiding any violence, and getting home safely. As an alternative, you could work with your kids to find ways you can show support from home, such as posting pictures or videos on social media, writing messages in chalk on your sidewalk, or donating to causes you believe in.

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Domestic violence and orders of protection during the coronavirus pandemicMany families are struggling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Job losses have caused significant financial difficulties for many people, and requirements to stay at home have caused some family relationships to suffer. The different forms of stress that people are experiencing in their homes may lead to serious relationship issues between family members. Based on trends from previous disasters, some are concerned that the rates of domestic violence will increase as the crisis continues. If you are a father who needs help addressing family violence, or if you have been accused of committing abuse or violence against a family member, you should be sure to understand your legal options and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your family.

Addressing Domestic Violence and Abuse

Domestic abuse and family violence is an issue that can affect both men and women. While one third of the women in the U.S. have experienced violence by an intimate partner during their lifetime, one fourth of men have also experienced this type of abuse. While the jury is still out about whether domestic violence has increased during the coronavirus crisis, the requirements imposed on families during the pandemic may cause a family’s existing problems to intensify, which can lead to dangerous situations.

The isolation that many families are experiencing is likely to be a major factor in domestic abuse cases. A person who commits abuse will often seek to control their partner by cutting them off from other forms of support, such as friends and family members. Stay-at-home orders that limit contact with others may end up increasing the cycle of abuse experienced by a victim. When combined with the stress families are already experiencing, financial difficulties, and the high potential for substance abuse, this situation may turn a relationship that is already experiencing problems into an environment where family members’ safety and well-being is threatened.

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Modifying child support after losing your jobThe coronavirus pandemic has affected nearly everyone in the United States, and in addition to concerns about how an infection can impact your health and well-being, you may also be experiencing financial difficulties. Stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders have forced many businesses to close, and many people have lost their jobs or seen reductions in the income they earn. In fact, unemployment rates have risen to levels that have not been seen in the U.S. since the Great Depression. If you have lost your job or experienced a reduction in income, you will likely be concerned about how this will affect your child support obligations.

Requirements to Pay Court-Ordered Child Support

If you have been ordered to pay child support following your divorce or after separating from your child’s other parent, these orders will remain in effect, regardless of your employment status. This means that even if you lose your job, you will still be required to pay child support owed, and if you miss any payments, you will be required to make them up in the future, and you may also owe interest on late payments.

However, even though you will still have the obligation to provide financial support for your children, family courts will most likely recognize that changes in the income you earn have affected your ability to pay. You may be able to pursue a modification of your child support order based on your new circumstances. Any changes to child support may take other forms of income into account, including unemployment benefits you earn, government stimulus payments, or other assets you own that could be used to meet your children’s needs. If your ex-spouse has also experienced a job loss or employment issues, the child support modifications may also take these factors into account.

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Protecting fathers’ rights to parenting time during the COVID-19 pandemicCOVID-19 has affected the lives of just about everyone in the United States. Even if you or members of your family have not been personally affected by a coronavirus infection, you will still need to deal with school closures, shelter-in-place orders, and social distancing restrictions. This can all be stressful enough, especially if government-mandated business closures have affected your ability to work, but matters may become even worse if you are involved in a child custody dispute during this time. In these cases, you will want to be sure to understand how to protect your rights and the legal measures you can take to address these issues.

Can My Ex Refuse to Allow Me to See My Child?

During the coronavirus pandemic, some parents may try to restrict the time their ex-partners spend with their children, or they may attempt to withhold parenting time or visitation altogether. For some parents, these actions may be taken due to a legitimate concern for children’s safety, but unfortunately, some parents may attempt to use this opportunity to gain the upper hand in a child custody dispute or act maliciously against their former partner.

If your ex-spouse or ex-partner has attempted to withhold or restrict your parenting time with your children, you will first want to determine how your state is currently addressing these matters. In many cases, state government officials have stated that parents should continue to carry out the orders specified in divorce or child custody agreements, and even when non-essential travel has been restricted, transportation of children between parents’ homes has been allowed. 

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