The current pandemic has made it difficult for some parents to spend time with their children. While the Courts have made it clear that they expect existing custody orders to be followed during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Stay at Home Orders, issues may still arise that make it difficult for parents to exchange children during this time.
For example, one parent may have been exposed and be required to self-quarantine while the children were with the other parent, and the children may not be able to immediately come over; children may be required to quarantine with a particular parent if they were exposed while with that parent; or the parties may simply be unable to travel at this time. This could result in one parent not being afforded the opportunity to have face-to-face contact with their children for several weeks.
If this happens, both parents should work together to ensure that the children are able to still have face-to-face contact with the other parent as regularly as possible. To help parents stay connected with their children during this difficult time, there are several available resources that allow virtual communication and other ways to stay connected:
- Zoom – Free application that allows you to communicate through video chat. Zoom offers fun virtual backgrounds to keep your children entertained while chatting with them. Zoom also allows any group to create a video room so you and/or your children can interact with more than one person at a time.
- FaceTime – For those with an Apple device, this is a great app that allows you to stay connected to your family and friends. FaceTime has great image quality and allows you to group video chat by adding individuals with their phone number or Apple ID.
- Skype – Offers free online audio and video calling on most mobile devices, tablets and/or computers. Skype allows free group video calling for up to 50 people.
- WhatsApp – Free secure messaging and calling for Android, iPhone, Mac or Windows PC. WhatsApp uses your phone’s internet connection to make voice and video calls and allows up to four participants per group video chat.
- Caribu – Have a “virtual playdate” with this family video-calling app that offers an abundance of books and activities to do with your child(ren).
- Marco Polo – Free app that allows you to connect with friends and family to send and receive video messages, have face-to-face conversations, or group chats. Marco Polo also offers filters and voice effects to make it fun for your children.
- Pogo – Allows you to connect and play games online for free.
- Netflix Party – With a monthly Netflix subscription, you can now watch Netflix with your family and/or friends
- Airtime – An app that allows you to watch videos, handpicked movies and TV shows, listen to music and more, while video chatting with family and friends.
Depending on the ages of your children, you may also consider helping them with their schoolwork while you are chatting with them, reading them a book before bedtime, or playing a virtual game. Google recently released “3-D animals” which allows you to search for certain animals, view them in your home setting, and take photos and videos with real-life looking animals. You may have fun sending videos and photos of each other playing with the animals. Being creative and working together will help you stay connected to your children during these difficult times.
Family Ally is dedicated to helping your family through these extraordinary times. We have implemented procedures designed to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and are here for you while working remotely. Our office is fully operational, and we are able to meet all of your needs. Contact our office today at for any questions or for a confidential consultation.