21 April 2020

How to deal with visitation arrangements during the corona crisis?

By Dylan Bertsch

The corona virus controls our lives and has many consequences.

Recently, I have received many questions from parents on how to deal with visitation arrangements during this time. Below you will find a number of questions and their answers.

Can I suspend the visitation arrangements now?

The answer to that is no. The cabinet’s measures, including the stricter measures of March 23, do not give you the right to suspend the visitation arrangement. Your child has the right to contact and interact with the other parent, just as the other parent has the right to contact and interact with your child. The contact arrangements must therefore be observed.

Can I suspend the visitation arrangement if someone in my household has a fever?

One of the measures of the cabinet means that if you have a cough, cold, sneezing combined with a fever, everyone in the household must stay at home. This means that the contact temporarily cannot take place. However, you cannot decide this without consulting the other parent. Communication between parents is key and that certainly applies in the time in which we now live. So communicate about this with each other.

Is it possible to change the visitation arrangement temporarily?

That is certainly possible by mutual agreement. Perhaps parent A has a vital occupation and therefore cannot work at home, while parent B has the opportunity to work from home. For example, you could agree that your child may temporarily stay more time with parent B during the corona crisis. As mentioned, this is only possible after mutual consultation with the other parent and you cannot determine this unilaterally.

What should I do with a total lockdown?

Unfortunately, I cannot answer that for you yet. Your child may need to stay with the parent where the child is at that time. Another option is that during a total lockdown your child should be with the parent where the child has his/her primary residence. However, it is also possible that an exception will be made and that visitation arrangements must be observed during a lockdown.

Advice & contact

As indicated above, communication between parents is important. I therefore appeal to you as parents to come to good agreements in the interest of your child during this time. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me.

Dylan Bertsch

Dylan Bertsch

Lawyer and mediator

Dylan is a committed and passionate lawyer who is specialised in family law.

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