The coronavirus and restrictions on movement have created a sense of uncertainty for many couples and parents. During these difficult times, many New Yorkers may have urgent questions about domestic violence and spousal abuse, and about their parenting and custody agreements.  Our firm is currently open for business.  We offer remote consultations without charge, by secure video or telephone. We are here to answer any pressing questions you may have, and to speak about any family law and divorce issues that are of concern.  We want you to stay safe and healthy. If you wish to meet with an attorney remotely, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Coping with custody challenges in times of Coronavirus

This terrible Coronavirus pandemic has given rise to several new parenting issues. If you're going through a divorce and live in two separate households, both parents should behave as if they're in one household. Meaning, they should be quarantined in a manner where neither parent is exposed to any other person beyond their small family because what could happen is, if one parent becomes infected, the infection can be transferred by the children to the other parent and thereby infecting the whole family. So, you all want to stay quarantined as if you're altogether living under the same roof.

If you are a parent whose work requires you to be exposed potentially to people who are infected - if you're a first responder, if you work in a supermarket, if you're a driver for mass transit - you may want to consider waiving your parenting time until the crisis resolves itself because, again, you can become infected by virtue of your heroic job, and the last thing you want to do is bring the infection back to the children and to potentially your spouse. I don't think anybody would prejudice or hold it against anybody whose job requires them to be exposed to potential people who are infected and somehow prejudice them in any way. So, again, if through your work you're exposed to anybody who could potentially be infected, you may want to forego your parenting time until the crisis has abated at least somewhat.

If the parents live separately and your children are going back and forth relatively frequently between households, you may want to consider the parenting schedule so that the children are in one place for a period of time. Blocks of parenting time are much better than frequent back and forth transitions between households. It's much safer to do blocks of time.

The hardest issue to deal with is if one parent is just not observing the quarantine and is potentially bringing the virus into the household. If that happens, you need to call a lawyer immediately and try to somehow prevent that parent from either coming home or to change their behavior so that they observe the quarantine to safeguard the household.