If you currently have a custody or placement order, that order remains in effect. It trumps the Safer at Home order. This is because travel to transport your children under a custody order is considered “essential travel”. Thus, you cannot disregard the order unless there are circumstances where you cannot keep up with the order. In this case, you must do your best to communicate with your partner and come up with solutions that will work for you both.
Communication and co-operation are very important during this period. You must do your best to be open with the other parent and work as a team. Talk through your concerns with a mind that is open to new arrangements. Reduce fault-finding and focus on the bigger picture – getting your family through the pandemic. Both of you should work together to come up with custody arrangements that will accommodate the concerns and interests of you both.
The short answer to this is Yes.You can expect divorce rates to rise after coronavirus. Divorce lawyers have identified their peak times as periods after long exposure during the summer and Christmas holidays. This is because, in relationships where problems already exist, more time spent in self-isolation increases the chances of those problems putting more strain on the relationships. The pandemic also brings with it feelings of uncertainty around money, employment, and health. These uncertainties, in addition to the preexisting strain, are bound to create a ‘pressure cooker waiting to blow’ situation.
The general answer is Yes, you can proceed with a divorce if a stay at home order is in effect. However, the specific details of your circumstances are important. If you are yet to file for the divorce and currently living with your spouse, you may need to consider the timing of the filing. If you had started the divorce process before the stay at home order, it will proceed, albeit a bit slower during the stay at home period. You will need the services of a family law attorney in your area that can help you understand your situation better and give you more specific legal advice.
Your custody order does not have to be adjusted during the coronavirus pandemic – unless there is a serious need to do so. This is because while there is a stay at home order in place, your custody trumps the stay-at-home order. Therefore, adjusting your custody order may be frowned on by the courts – except in extenuating circumstances. In these circumstances, it is important to get your ex-spouse on the same page as you. It is also important to document whatever concessions and changes you make and keep hard copies of them.
At the law office of John F. Zeckel, we will be happy to meet with you during the coronavirus pandemic. We understand how extremely important it is to have a relationship with you that is built on trust. We also understand that you may need to discuss some sensitive issues with us and that it is easier to do so in person. However, to make a physical meet work, please understand that we would have to screen you to determine any risk of exposure to COVID-19. We will also have your attorney screened to limit your chances of exposure too.
Child custody concerns during the coronavirus pandemic are understandable. With the need to maintain a high level of hygiene and social distancing, the logistics of child custody can be a difficulty. The desire to keep your child where you are sure is safe is almost overwhelming. However, you have to be careful not to deny the other parent their fair share of time with the children. Discussing things with your ex-spouse and working as a team to come up with solutions that work for you is guaranteed to help make things easier.
First off, you need to understand the COVID-19 pandemic should not be used as a weapon to restrict your ex-spouse’s access to the children. However, you and your medical field ex need to agree that the child cannot spend time with them for the time being. You can both work together to keep communications between the child and parent open through virtual relations. The child can have share phone calls, texts, and emails with the parent. Also, you can schedule video calls with the medical parent so that some form of face time is accomplished.
No, a lockdown or stay-at-home order cannot affect your custody or possession schedule. You and your ex-spouse are expected to keep the schedules outlined in your custody agreement. However, the custody agreements had been drafted in a time that was coronavirus-free. With the pandemic whipping across the globe, you and your ex are expected to work together and come with scenarios that would ensure the safety of everyone, while allowing each parent have as much time with the children as possible. Be sure to document whatever changes you both agreed to.
Having your child travel across state lines to go and see your ex-spouse can be a bit difficult in these times. However, as most courts state that the possession schedule should not change, COVID-19 notwithstanding, you have to be innovative about this. If the child would have normally taken a flight to see your ex, you might consider driving down to exchange custody. If the other parent is in a state where the entry has been restricted, you can consider having the child spend virtual time with the other parent for this period.