Child Custody and Visitation Court Orders During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Many of my current clients are complaining that their significant other is preventing them from seeing their children. As the country is in lockdown and staying home, many custodial parents are afraid that their children will contract the Coronavirus if they visit the other parent at their home. Thus, family courts are receiving many applications for violations of court ordered visitation.
Non-custodial parents who have court orders of visitation are prevented by the other parent from seeing their children. Thus, non-custodial parents feel helpless because family courts are only accepting emergency cases. Whether the custodial parent is in contempt for violating a court order of visitation is determined on a case-by-case basis. Court orders of visitation are still valid during the coronavirus pandemic and should be followed by the custodial parent. Even though family court is only accepting limited cases, a non-custodial parent can still be heard to enforce the order of visitation by filing an emergency motion for violation and enforcement of the visitation order. Custodial parents do not call the shots. Every parent should have some sort of visitation with their children during the Coronavirus lockdown. At a minimum noncustodial parents should be able to freely video chat with their children.
Custodial parents are worried about their children contracting the virus if they leave the home. The question becomes are they required under the order of visitation to take a risk and send the children to visit the other parent, or can they keep their children safely inside with them until this pandemic is over? The answer is it depends. Some children suffer from asthma, weak immune system, low white blood cells, and the non-custodial parent may be exercising poor social distancing. However, the custodial parent should consider taking a legal action to temporarily suspend the visitation order instead of violating the order.
The Louis Law Firm is open and ready to help you during the Coronavirus lockdown. If you need to file an emergency application for visitation or if you just have a question regarding a custody and visitation court order during the COVID-19 pandemic, call The Louis Law Firm at (347) 689-7562 today.