Sharing custody of children during the pandemic can be difficult. Parents may have questions about what is in the best interest of their children and whether or not meeting that interest would violate a court order. Although the exact answer depends on the details of each case, the following basic information can help you navigate this difficult situation.
Parents may be concerned that time with the other parent poses a dangerous risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus. This is particularly true for those who may be exposed to the virus at a higher rate than the general public, such as ER doctors. In fact, an ER doctor recently lost custody of her daughter when her ex-husband filed an emergency petition with the court requesting full custody of the child. He argued that the change was, at least at the moment, in the child’s best interest. The court agreed. The judge stated he took various factors into consideration when making his decision, including a recent increase in confirmed cases in the area the mother serves as a physician. He also emphasized the fact the change was temporary.
Parents that are not getting the agreed upon time with their child are wise to keep a record of missed dates. Keep track of the time you were supposed to have with your child and why it did not happen. Retain these records and use them after the national emergency ends to see if the court will allow you additional time in the future to balance out the time that was missed during the pandemic.