Navigating Child Custody and the Coronavirus Crisis

Mom and son

These times have been a challenge for us all, but there’s been an added pressure for divorced parents with custody. Co-parenting under normal circumstances is difficult enough; now, you must consider the implications of the pandemic that affect your custody schedule.

Two months ago, you would have had no problem shuttling your child back-and-forth from your home to your ex’s; now, it’s a significant cause for concern. What if one parent lives in the center of an outbreak? What if one parent catches the virus? What if you and the other parent disagree about safety measures? These are all likely situations that many of you are facing, and navigating custody seems unclear.

Temporary Arrangements

Whether your ex is close to an outbreak area or you’re looking to take extra precautions, the first thing you should do is voice your concerns. This is an incredibly stressful situation, and you and your ex may be on the same page. You should both follow the safety guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but you can also discuss alternatives to your current custody agreement. Here are some examples of temporary arrangements to consider:

  • Daily calls over FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom

  • Temporarily postponing parenting time and scheduling it to a later date

  • Keeping in touch by sending letters and cards

These may not be ideal, but it may be the best solution at the moment for the safety of your family.

Addressing Disagreements

We understand that communication with the other parent may be difficult, and you may not be able to reach an agreement. If you are experiencing pushback, you may be tempted to withhold visitation or disobey your custody order, but we advise against this. COVID-19 is not a reason to deny parenting time, and violating orders by the court can lead to serious consequences. This means that you must follow your current agreement unless the court modifies it. While parents are encouraged to work together collaboratively, you may explore the legal route if you cannot resolve these issues on your own. Like many family law firms, we are still open and available for virtual consultations over the phone or video chat. While each case is unique, we can help you explore your options, such as an emergency temporary child custody order.

We’re Here to Help Protect Your Family

As a parent, your concerns about your child’s safety are valid. We know that many of you have urgent questions about the coronavirus and its impact on child custody. Rest assured, our firm is committed to protecting you and yours more than ever. We can help answer your questions related to your unique situation and help navigate you through the process.

Schedule a free virtual consultation by contacting us today at (626) 788-5225.