Dealing with Custody and Visitation Issues Linked to Coronavirus
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has overwhelmed many of our institutions and touched every facet of people’s lives. Along with other concerns, parents who live apart need to understand how this upheaval might affect their custody and visitation arrangements.
Specific areas where COVID-19-related issues call for prompt help from a knowledgeable New York family law attorney include:
- Modifying visitation arrangements — Despite all of the warnings about the dangers of large gatherings, there still are many people who aren’t taking the recommended precautions. With Easter and Passover approaching, some parents might want to bring their child to a large family gathering, pointing out that their parenting plans allow for it. In other cases, moving a child between homes using interstate or international transportation could expose the child to the virus or violate quarantine rules. Retaining a qualified New York family lawyer can help you make temporary modifications to visitation terms or pursue an order of protection against a co-parent who creates a needless risk of exposure to or spread of the virus.
- Lowering child support obligations — Millions of Americans have seen their incomes drop or disappear altogether due to coronavirus-related business curtailments or closures. You should remember that parents who pay child support cannot adjust their obligation without court approval, no matter how compelling the reason. If changes in your financial situation are severe enough that your child support obligation would shift by at least 15 percent, you can petition for a modification of the rate.
- Coping with the aftermath — Right now, there is no timeline for when our lives will return to normal, but restrictions will be lifted at some point. Noncustodial parents who have not been able to see their children as often due to the crisis will seek extra time and holiday visits to make up for what was missed. In other cases, changes of custody terms might be warranted for fathers and mothers who ignored warnings while coronavirus spread.
- Re-evaluating marital relationships — Married couples who have been forced to spend nearly every moment together for weeks or months might feel the strain. Reports from the Chinese city of Xi’an, where more than 10 million people were placed under lockdown, show a sharp increase in divorces. Should you feel the need to reconsider your own marital situation, it is important to seek the counsel of a seasoned family law attorney.
No one can foresee the path coronavirus will take, and courts, like everything else, have been affected by this national emergency. However, these family law challenges will not disappear on their own and the experienced Long Island attorneys at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. are here to provide strong legal support under any circumstances. If you have a concern regarding custody, visitation or divorce, please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online to arrange a free telephone consultation. Our office is in Melville.