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Handling Child Custody in the COVID-19 Era

By The Law Offices of Ronald K. Stitch|August 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 present a myriad of difficulties, even if both parents have an amicable relationship and there is no ongoing health crisis. However, with the coronavirus pandemic, schools and childcare centers have been closed, parents face tremendous uncertainty in the job market, and various shelter-in-place directives have been issued.

Along with these issues, two parents may have significant disagreements 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. This may seem minor, but many issues must be resolved as the COVID-19 pandemic stretches.

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. Whether or not you and the other parent have an amicable relationship, this is the time to discuss your concerns with one another openly.

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 to minimize the risks to your child.

However, it is essential 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. Document your concerns and discussions if you feel strongly that the other parent is not taking this pandemic seriously. However, you should still only violate court orders if the risks are incredibly high (i.e., a child with significant health issues that leave them more vulnerable to the virus).

Put Any Temporary Agreements In Writing

If you reach any modified and temporary agreements with the other parent, write them and get the other parent to sign off. If you cannot agree with the other parent, please understand that the California court systems are not operating at total 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 to resolve the matter. Our Simi Valley child custody attorneys have extensive experience handling these issues. We understand the COVID-19 pandemic has increased custody hardships and are here to help. You can contact us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling 818-707-0202.

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