Co-parenting is difficult at the best of times, let alone during a worldwide public health emergency. For parents who need to establish custody or need to protect their parental rights, the current system can be uncertain and frustrating.

Here is what you need to know, as a parent, about the current state of family law.

Suspending visitation cannot be a one-sided decision

Many co-parents are concerned about disease and illness, and understandably so. While many parents are opting to temporarily and informally change their custody and visitation time during the state’s shelter-in-place order, these changes need both parents in agreement. And any parent who loses visitation time should receive additional time later to make up the difference.

While the courts are limiting their case load, they remain open for emergency child custody cases. A parent deciding unilaterally to deny a co-parent time with their child may qualify as an emergency situation.

Louisiana is still enforcing child support, but some may not be able to pay

We are entering one of the biggest financial crises many of us will ever see. Despite the fact that Louisiana courts are enforcing child support orders as normal, many parents, especially those in the service industry, will not be able to make their payments.

A good attorney can set forth a strong argument should you fall behind in your payments; however, it is best to take preemptive measures.

Whatever your situation, you need to speak with a lawyer

Because so much of the world is in chaos, working with an attorney is critical. Even if you are making a temporary and informal change to your custody, keeping good records can help you preserve your rights later.