Coronavirus, Divorce, and Child Custody

young boy wearing mask and holding stuffed animal

In recent weeks, people all over the world have felt the effects of the Coronavirus. The goal right now is isolation, separating ourselves from the outside world as much as possible. For those undergoing a custody battle as a result of a divorce, the restrictions posed by this mandated isolation practices might cause some stress.

In a regular custody case involving a high-stakes environment, one parent usually petitions the court for custody relief in order to move the child from said dangerous situation. In the age of Coronavirus, the judges will have to decide whether moving the child from one home to another could potentially expose the child to harmful contagion.

For custody cases that have already been decided, more questions might arise. Some of these questions include:

  • If one parent usually gets the kids every weekend, is it still safe to move the child around during this time?
  • While schools are closed, which parent decides on how education opportunities should continue for the time being?
  • Which parent decides whether their sick child should go to the doctor to get tested for COVID-19?

The isolation mandate also raises questions for those who are undergoing a divorce and suddenly find themselves confined into the house with their ex. What should you do in this situation?

  • Give yourself time alone. Talk to friends on the phone, disconnect from news sources for a few hours, or watch your favorite show. Time alone provides you with time to think and reflect, making sure you don’t make rash decisions in such a challenging situation.
  • Don’t make impulsive decisions like selling stocks or shopping too much online. Boredom and stress can drive you to seek out unhealthy coping mechanisms so it’s best to try healthy outlets instead, like journaling.
  • Discuss with your spouse how you want to proceed with the divorce. Do you want to wait until the crisis is over? Or continue to talk to attorneys through phone appointments while the pandemic is occurring

In such a high-stakes time, there aren’t always clear answers. If you are a parent worried about how the Coronavirus epidemic could affect your current or potential custody situation, Shah & Kishore can help. We advocate for a peaceful resolution, putting your child’s needs first. If you are seeking a divorce and are in need of legal advice, Shah & Kishore will be your advocate every step of the way. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and we offer video conferencing options to help you through these challenging times

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