How Coronavirus Social Distancing Is Affecting Children in Custody Battles

April 30, 2020
Child support in San Jose

The U.S. has been dealing with the effects of the novel coronavirus since January, when we saw our first confirmed case. Since COVID-19 is highly contagious, many states have since implemented social distancing policies. These policies aim to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to protect citizens’ health. While studies show that social distancing is working, this practice is having another effect altogether.

Children in custody battles are feeling the impact of social distancing, as co-parenting becomes increasingly difficult to manage. If you are running into child custody issues as a result of the coronavirus, contact our San Jose family law attorney for help.

How to Practice Effective Social Distancing in California

Practicing effective social distancing requires real effort. California’s stay at home order prohibits leaving home except when absolutely essential. When out, the mandate asks that people keep 6ft of distance between one another. It also recommends avoiding direct contact with people who are not in your shared household. Avoiding large gatherings and public transportation is also key at this time.

For people who have contracted COVID-19, the CDC recommends isolating oneself from others. People who have been directly exposed to the virus should self-quarantine. This means isolating oneself from others for at least 14 days while monitoring for signs of illness.

How Coronavirus Is Affecting Children in Custody Battles

Coronavirus fears and risks are especially affecting the lives of children in custody battles. After a divorce, a custody agreement will determine visitation rights and a schedule for splitting time with children. However, the recent social distancing policies brought about by coronavirus complicates those plans. For example, parents must now contend with questions like:

  • How safe is it for my child to jump back and forth between homes during the current pandemic?
  • Is complying with a custody agreement considered an essential reason to leave the home at this time?
  • How strictly is the other parent following social distancing guidelines?
  • What would happen if the other parent contracts COVID-19?
  • Should I comply with the custody agreement if the other parent works in the medical field and comes into close contact with COVID-19?
  • Should I prohibit my child from visiting the other parent if there has been an outbreak in their community?

These are very serious questions that divorced parents must face during the coronavirus pandemic. Failing to comply with court-ordered custody agreements can invite legal trouble. This is especially true if the purported concerns about COVID-19 turn out to be mostly exaggerated.

However, coronavirus poses serious health risks that are sometimes a matter of life or death. A parent who is legitimately worried about the health and safety of their child may have good reason to not comply with a custody agreement. However, proving this to the court is another thing altogether. If you are experiencing these worries or issues, the best thing to do is contact a family law attorney for guidance.

Need Help With Your Custody Battle? Contact a Trusted San Jose Family Law Attorney

Coronavirus has already turned everyday life on its head. The last thing anyone wants is for COVID-19 to also have a negative effect on children in custody battles. However, if you have legitimate concerns, or are facing unnecessary pushback on your custody agreement, you may need a San Jose family law attorney to intervene. To get the help you need, schedule your free consultation at (408) 404-8656.