Arguably, everyone who is alive today can say, “I’ve never seen anything like the coronavirus pandemic.” Restaurants are closed for indoor dining. Movie theatres, amusement parks, gyms, and health clubs are closed. Dry cleaners, nail salons, flower shops, hair salons, massage parlors, carwashes, karate and dance studios, and so much more have been ordered to shut their doors.
Local public health officials have ordered everyone in the state to stay inside, unless they’re grocery shopping, visiting the doctor, picking up a prescription, or driving to their job because they’re labeled an “essential worker.” All non-essential workers are...out of luck and don’t get the luxury of working away from home anymore. COVID-19 has clearly impacted every aspect of our personal and professional lives and child custody is NO exception. But how is the coronavirus affecting child custody?
Ways COVID-19 is Affecting Child Custody
There are several ways COVID-19 is impacting child custody. For starters, some parents are “essential healthcare workers” who are exposed to the virus every day due to the nature of their work. As such, the parents may want the children to stay with the parent who is a non-essential worker and following the government’s orders and staying home. This one factor has impacted families across San Diego and the state.
Another reason COVID-19 has impacted child custody is distance. For parents who live in different counties or worse, different states, parents may not want to go against strict orders to stay inside and avoid non-essential travel. And, for parents living across state borders, most of them don’t want to risk letting their children travel alone.
Then, there’s the issue of trust. Some parents take COVID-19 seriously, while others don’t. If one parent doesn’t trust the other parent to obey social distancing recommendations, frequent handwashing, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, they may not want to entrust their child’s health with their ex.
Court Closures Complicate Matters
For parents who are on good terms, they’ve taken the coronavirus in stride and accommodated each other according to their children’s best interests. For others, however, the pandemic meant a call to their family law attorneys for legal assistance navigating the troubled waters. For the latter group, matters have only been made worse by court closures with the exception of emergency cases, such as severe domestic violence.
If you need help with a child custody matter, contact Claery & Hammond, LLP for the guidance you’re looking for.