KATU: Families voice custody concerns while trying to adhere to 'Stay Safe, Stay Home' orders
Author: Megan Allison
Posted: March 30, 2020

To read the original story, visit KATU.

 Skyler Arvidson suffers from asthma. She also shares custody of her two-year-old daughter. That's led to tough conversations with her ex-husband over the last month as concerns over coronavirus grew into a pandemic.

"He actually didn’t see her for about three weeks and he just saw her for the first time this past weekend, she’s actually there right now and she was so excited when she saw him she almost cried," Arvidson said.

Normally the father-daughter pair sees each other every three to four days. Now the plan is to visit every two weeks.

"It’s been really hard for her. Divorce is hard enough on little kids. You know, not having both of their parents there all the time. She’s so used to seeing her dad several times a week," Arvidson said.

Dr. Carlos Crespo with Portland State's School of Public Health recommends keeping your circle small, even relying on things like grocery delivery if needed when splitting custody.

"The virus ignores everything. It doesn’t recognize your emotional needs, it doesn’t recognize social or political boundaries. So you have those two things that are now coming intro conflict," he said.

Crespo also recommends keeping at least six days between visits, giving the body time to show symptoms.

"There’s a ripple effect. You might be in touch with one person, and we’re only as strong as our weakest link. So all it takes is one person who has actually been exposed to the virus to bring it into that circle," he said.

Arvidson said her family is relying on options like FaceTime and Skype in between, but tells KATU it can be tough with a younger child who doesn't understand the changes.