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Coronavirus and separate parents. With schools closed, who gets to …

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Coronavirus and separate parents. With schools closed, who gets to ...

Now there is no going back: in an extraordinary measure to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus, all schools and daycare centers in the country, public and private, are already closed and before next April 9 they will not open again.

Although the Government has been quick to ensure that employees who stay at home with their children up to 12 years old will receive two-thirds of their salary – 33% paid by the employer, 33% paid by Social Security -, this isolation forced household remains a problem for families.

Namely for divorced mothers and fathers who, however much they have tried to guard against all eventualities in the respective parental regulation agreements, could hardly have dreamed that one day they would face a worldwide pandemic.

“This is an atypical situation and, as such, unforeseen, there is nothing written about it. In atypical situations, common sense and communication must prevail, and we do not have to be restricted to just the agreements we have in court ”, defends family mediator Ana Paula Ribeiro.

"It is essential to talk about the subject and try, taking into account the well-being of the child and also the needs of the parents, to reach the best possible deal", advises the expert.

As much as an alternate custody is agreed – one week at the mother's house, another week at the father's house, for example -, it may not make much sense, exemplifies Ana Paula Ribeiro, to force the child to change places if the conditions of one of the parents are not as good as each other. “What if the mother's house is in a more protected place? What if one uses public transport and the other only drives? What if one came from a congress abroad or if the other visits grandparents a lot, who are older and may be at greater risk? The important thing is that the parents sit down, talk and support each other. The son is both and the responsibility of both. A division can be made, or not. Each case is different".

In the end, the family mediator grants, if dialogue and understanding are not at all possible, scheduling a family mediation consultation may be an option. Courts, on the other hand, can hardly be an option: “No court will decide within 24 hours whether a child should go to the father's house, after he has come from Italy, for example. Parents will have to decide with common sense and in the best interests of their children ”.

For João Dotti de Carvalho, labor area coordinator at Telles Advogados, the fact that parents are separated or together will make little difference in this situation of supporting young children. “We are all looking forward to seeing the implementation of this measure in the diploma that will come out soon. One thing is the general measure, another is how it will be translated into practice, and in that sense, it seems to me that being divorced is not that important. What seems more logical to me is that there is no need to take both of these days. But nothing prevents them from agreeing on dates and taking them out in an interpolated way ”, he explains to the Observer.

“Today, most have shared guards. Imagine that Monday, which is the day when schools close, the child will be with the father. There, the father stays at home, and what could happen is the company where the father works asking the mother to prove that he is not benefiting from the same regime, because, strictly speaking, the employer will also pay part of the compensation ”, adds the lawyer.

In cases of total custody granted to one of the parents, the process should be similar, and, in case of understanding, says João Dotti de Carvalho, nothing should prevent the other from ensuring that the child is monitored during part of the time schools remain closed – or even for the entire period.

How does it determine civil Code, when it comes to making important decisions about children's lives, both the father's and mother's words have the same weight. And this is as valid for choosing a school as it is for deciding where to place a quarantine: “Parental responsibilities relating to issues of particular importance to the child's life are exercised in common by both parents under the terms in force at the time. constancy of marriage ”.

The only problems that seem to him to arise, says Dotti de Carvalho, are in the opposite direction: “If one person has custody alone, the other parent has no obligation to stay with the child. Obviously this person will be the only one penalized, both in the company where he works and in the remuneration he will receive, but he will not be able to impose on the other that he stays with the child ”.

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