Though the new coronavirus impacts us all, at this time, divorced co-parents are particularly affected by the virus, as they now have to negotiate child custody and visitation terms amidst quarantines and stay-at-home orders to halt the spread of the virus. Please read on and speak with our experienced New Jersey family law attorneys to learn more about child custody in the wake of the new coronavirus.
How has COVID-19 affected child custody agreements?
Most of us will stay home and follow Governor Murphy’s directives regarding quarantine. However, divorced co-parents face a unique set of challenges that make it harder for them and their families to do so. Every parent has the right to raise their children and wants to enjoy every minute of the parenting time which they are entitled, however, with these stay-at-home orders in place, many are left wondering what to do.
Despite well-intentioned purposes, many parents may be tempted to ignore their parenting plan or custody related order to protect the health and safety of their children. These orders are legally binding, so ignoring them is not a viable option. Unfortunately, at this point, it is not completely clear what the penalties will be for violating these orders, though, in the past, parents who violate custody/visitation orders tend to face reduced child custody/visitation terms themselves.
What unique co-parenting disputes come as a result of COVID-19?
Various unique coronavirus-related child custody scenarios are cropping up across the board, some of which are as follows:
- Believing you are entitled to more time with the children than the parenting agreement allows now that the children are home from school or you are home from work.
- Believing that the other parent is not practicing social distancing as recommended by the CDC, thus not wanting to leave the child with them.
- Believing you are entitled to make-up or custody/parenting time after the pandemic is over.
- Feeling too frightened to meet with the other parent because you believe there is no safe place to exchange the children.
- Feeling uneasy about dropping the children off in a home with an immuno-compromised person.
- Believing the children should not spend time with a parent who works in a hospital or another area with a high risk of infection.
What should I do if my spouse refuses to follow our child custody agreement?
Currently, New Jersey courts are closed for all “non-essential” matters, but courts have recently begun to hold hearings over the telephone. The attorneys at Aronsohn Weiner Salerno & Kaufman have experience addressing the parenting issues that have arisen during the pandemic. The firm also has family law mediators that can work with you and your former spouse/partner to create a temporary child custody agreement that works for both of you and your children, and, most importantly, keeps all of you safe. To speak with a compassionate New Jersey lawyer or mediator, give our firm a call today. We are ready to help you and your family.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
We understand how challenging certain legal issues can be, which is why we are dedicated to providing individuals with the compassionate, knowledgeable legal representation they deserve. Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman has helped clients with various difficult legal challenges for over 40 years, which is why we know we have the experience needed to do the same for you. For powerful legal counsel regarding family law, litigation, business law, real estate, and criminal law, you know where to turn–contact Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman today to schedule a consultation.