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Handling Child Custody in the COVID-19 Era

admin_legalcounselingAugust 17, 2020

Child custody issues can be stressful, even when there is no global health crisis. However, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many parents are experiencing additional stresses concerning child custody and visitation. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our Simi Valley child custody attorneys want to discuss some of these complications and what you can do if you run into any custody-related issues.

Why Is Custody More Difficult During The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Child custody issues already face a myriad of difficulties, even if both parents have an amicable relationship and there is no ongoing health crisis. However, with the current coronavirus pandemic, there have been closures of schools and childcare centers, parents face tremendous uncertainty in the job market, and there has been a various shelter in place directives issued.

Along with these issues, there may be significant disagreement between two parents about social distancing and who their children should be allowed to be around. This could lead to one parent wanting to alter custody or visitation agreements. All of this may not seem like a major ordeal, but as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches on, there are many issues that need to be resolved.

Should You Comply With Custody Orders And Visitation Schedules?

In general, you still need to comply with court-ordered custody and visitation orders. However, this is a time to embrace common sense and flexibility. As with any decision, put your child’s best interests first. Regardless of whether or not you and the other parent have an amicable relationship, this is the time to openly discuss your concerns with one another.

What If You Are Concerned About Exposure Risks At The Other Parent’s Home?

If you are concerned that your child’s other parent is not taking social distancing seriously, or if the other parent is an essential worker with a high risk of exposure, you may want to see if the other parent is willing to pause visitation in order to minimize the risks to your child.

However, it is important for every parent in these situations not to weaponize the COVID-19 pandemic against the other parent. Taking advantage of this situation will not likely be looked at kindly by the court after the pandemic is over. If you feel strongly that the other parent is not taking this pandemic seriously, document your concerns and discussions. However, you should still not violate court orders unless the risks are incredibly high (i.e. a child with significant health issues that leaves them more vulnerable to the virus).

Put Any Temporary Agreements In Writing

If you do reach any modified and temporary agreements with the other parent, make sure to put it in writing and get the other parent to sign off. If you are unable to come to an agreement with the other parent, please understand that in the California court systems are not operating at full capacity. The inability to reach a temporary custody or visitation agreement is considered non-essential. It may take some time for you to get your case heard in front of the judge.

Let Us Help With Your Child Custody Needs

If you or somebody you love is having any child custody-related issues in Simi Valley or the surrounding areas, you need to contact an attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch, our qualified and experienced team will conduct a full investigation into your case in order to resolve the matter. Our Simi Valley child custody attorneys have extensive experience handling these issues. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic has increased custody hardships, and we are here to help. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or by calling 818-237-4574.

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