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COVID-19 Divorce FAQs

Can the Coronavirus affect custodial rights? How Divorce and Parenting Time may be impacted.

The coronavirus should not affect custodial rights. Court-ordered custody arrangements trump stay-at-home orders. However, the reality of the effects of the pandemic is quite different. As co-parents, you should come to an agreement with each other on temporary measures that you can both take to ensure that you can safely spend time with your children. Divorces are affected as courts have closed their doors. If you are yet to file your divorce, you may want to consider waiting for things to return to normal before you do so.

How to Co-parent during the Coronavirus pandemic

To co-parent during the coronavirus pandemic, you and the other parent need to agree. Not agreeing can lead to disastrous consequences for both of you. The following are a few things you can both work on agreeing on:

  • Monitoring your health
  • Setting boundaries
  • Talking through temporary changes in schedule: both of you can agree on a parent with which the child(ren) will stay during the time of the crisis. The other parent can communicate with the children via video conferencing.
  • Making room for makeup time with the non-custodial parent

Can I expect divorce rates to rise after coronavirus?

Divorce rates in the United States are expected to rise after the coronavirus pandemic. Couples who have been having issues are forced to share the same space for an extended period during this pandemic. The dearth of space and feeling of being overwhelmed can easily decide the outcome for couples who were previously managing to hang on to their marriages by a thin thread. If you find yourself in this difficult situation with no hope of a resolution, contacting a family law attorney may help.

Can I proceed with a divorce if a stay at home order is in effect?

Yes, you may proceed with a divorce if a stay at home order is in effect. Courts in Connecticut are working closely with attorneys to come up with solutions that can help address client needs. If your divorce process had begun before the stay at home order, you can still proceed with the process. There are a lot of things that you can do remotely to help move your case forward. Speak with a family law attorney in your area to get a clearer picture of how you may proceed.

Should my Custody Order be Temporarily Adjusted During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Courts in Connecticut did not give a clear ruling on what to do about custody order during this period of the pandemic. Depending on the specifics of individual cases, however, parents can come up with temporary adjustments that suit their specific circumstances. Also, parents must be careful to put whatever adjustments they make in writing and save hard copies of all correspondence about changes to the custody order. Both parties should embrace flexibility as much as possible.

Will I be Able to Meet With my Divorce Attorney During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

These are unusual and uncertain times and things are not business as usual. Fixing a face-to-face meeting with your attorney might not be the best of options. If the situation warrants it though, we can fix a face-to-face meeting with you to discuss your legal needs. However, if it is not of absolute importance to meet physically, we can provide alternatives to that. You can schedule a meeting with us via video conferencing and get the ball rolling on your divorce process.

Facing Child Custody Concerns During the Coronavirus Pandemic

It is normal to have a level of anxiety during the coronavirus pandemic about child custody. It is also normal for you to want to ensure your child’s safety – no matter the cost. However, you must be careful not to contravene your child custody order while doing so. Courts frown heavily on contravention of custody orders and the punishment meted out might be unbearable for you. Instead of contravening the order, you are better off having a conversation with your ex. Discuss your concerns and together, come up with a plan that will keep your child safe and ensure that no parent is deprived of time with the child.

How Can I Keep My Child Safer With a Co-Parent in the Medical Field During COVID-19?

You and the medical co-parent need to work together to keep communications open. While your concern for the safety of your child is understandable, you cannot restrict the medical co-parent’s access to the child. Doing so will put you in danger of incurring the wrath of the courts. However, scheduling virtual relations between the child and the co-parent can make things easier. Also, have a plan to give the medical co-parent extra time to spend with the child so that they both become comfortable with each other again after the crisis is over.

Does a Lockdown or Stay-At-Home Order Affect My Custody/Possession Schedule?

The simple answer is No, a lockdown or stay-at-home order does not affect your custody or possession schedule. The custody order trumps the stay-at-home order. You and your ex are expected to continue to operate under the same custody or possession schedule in your court order. However, as the coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented one, you and your ex are expected to come up with solutions that will ensure the health safety and welfare of your entire family.

What If the Other Parent Is in Another State? Can I Still Exercise Time With the Kids?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage the world, interstate travel has taken a hit as travel-related restrictions have been put in place. If the other parent is in another state, you might need to come up with alternatives that will help keep your child safe, while giving the other parent the time to spend with your child. You can schedule video calls with the other parent, allowing them to spend virtual time with the child. You may also consider offering the other parent makeup time with the child after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end.

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