As Iowans try to maintain social distancing to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, more families are facing issues related to child custody arrangements.
Joan lives in eastern Iowa and has a blended family that has ties to multiple households. IPR has agreed to use her first name only to protect her children’s identities.
One of Joan’s children was taken on a trip out of state in March, after the state recommended that schools close. The child had to self-isolate with the other parent after the trip, so Joan didn’t get to see them for weeks.
And Joan doesn’t want her kids to go for their regularly-scheduled stays at households where she knows others have a higher risk of getting COVID-19 at their workplace. She said this is undermining her efforts to protect her family during the global pandemic.
“Other families that are not blended certainly would not be prompting sleepovers every two days, or every third day, or every other weekend during quarantine or shelter-in-place,” Joan said. “That would completely defeat the purpose. But that’s our reality.”
Joan said she has been staying home as much as possible since mid-March to prevent COVID-19 exposure. And she said she is willing to defy existing court orders if she feels it’s necessary to protect her kids from the virus.
Read the full story at Iowa Public Radio.