COVID-19 has impacted all of our family lives in one way or another. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders bring all kinds of challenges for parents with child custody arrangements.
We’ve received other questions too. What about co-parenting arrangements with no court order? What happens to couples in Connecticut going through a separation? Or a divorce?
These are complicated questions and the answers depend on the family’s circumstances. But let’s clear up some of the confusion…
Child Custody Arrangements During a Pandemic
Here in Connecticut, many courthouses closed their doors in March or April, leaving custody matters unresolved for thousands of parents. (Months later, many child custody hearings are still delayed.)
One of the biggest difficulties right now is social distancing. We often hear from a parent with concerns about the health and safety of a child who spends time with the other parent. Being involved in a custody battle further complicates a situation like this.
To make matters worse, there’s no legal precedent about child custody during a pandemic. In March, emergency stay-at-home orders issued by the Governor of Connecticut didn’t mention child custody at all, leaving parents to make decisions about custody, visitation, and co-parenting themselves.
Why Parents Should Communicate Right Now
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, an organization that specializes in divorce and child custody law, encourages all parents to follow court orders and respect state and local social distancing rules. For parents in parts of the country with strict COVID-19 restrictions, this might sound like a contradiction, but it’s important to use common sense. Parents should communicate about custody arrangements during this time. If this isn’t possible, an experienced child custody attorney can provide guidance.
Common sense is important. A parent who refuses to follow a court order, even at this unusual time, might have to explain themselves to a judge at a later date. Pandemic or no pandemic, there are always legal repercussions for refusing to follow an order.
Parents who are going through a separation or divorce, even those without a child custody order, should try to resolve this issue between them. Many courts are still dealing with emergency matters, and it could be months before caseloads return to normal. A third party can provide objective advice on how to deal with the often-complicated matters associated with custody.
Why You Should Use a Connecticut Child Custody Attorney
Rochlin Law Group is an award-winning Connecticut divorce and child custody law firm that resolves many of the family conflicts that come with the pandemic. Whether you are going through a separation/divorce or experiencing problems with custody arrangements, Rochlin Law provides you with a helping hand at this difficult time.