In some form or another, people around the U.S. and around the globe have experienced the anxiety and uncertainty of the coronavirus. This has results in the fall of the stock market, the shut down of entire states and nations, and several travel-bans all in the past week. But how does this affect family law?
There is a variant of concerns, but the main concerns for families and parents have been pointed to how courts will function and how child custody and visitations will go. Both pose worry as it subjects people to go into a public space, and it could compromise the safety of their children.
As of now family courts across the states are beginning to cancel hearings. Jury trials will also be delayed for one month due to the virus. If you have yet to know whether or not your hearing, court date, or trial has been canceled, please give your attorney a call.
Any changes to court-ordered custodies and visitations are still unclear. Still, if you fail to comply with the court-ordered parenting time, this can pose consequences for contempt parents. As of now, if you are feeling ill or may have come in contact with someone who was ill, talk with your partner to rearrange what you can. The best plan is to try to avoid the spread of the virus and keep your children safe, but please encourage, enable and facilitate a relationship between your child and your partner. Phone and video calls are great to keep a connection with your child. If you are concerned with the best way to handle your child custody and visitation in the wake of the virus, please give your attorney a call.
Remember, attorneys will do their best to give you the information once we have it. We are working hard to keep in communication with the courts, and we are learning of the changing circumstances by the hour. Regardless, we will give you the best advice with the information we have. Do not panic. Let’s not let the anxiety about coronavirus generate a firestorm.
The most important thing is health. Follow the recommendations of the CDC: wash your hands, do not touch your face, do not position yourself in crowds, practice social distancing, and if you are feeling sick, self-quarantine.