Life under Coronavirus home imprisonment has it is evidently troubles for everyone. An unparalleled rise of work losses means lack of money for food, for mortgage, and for rent for most of us.
But put together the pandemic rules, which demand for isolation, with the custody and visitation law, which require the sharing parental time, and you have entered into unexampled law field. Many custodial parents start to violate hard-to-reached custody orders as they try to keep their families safe.
Karina Duvall, international matrimonial attorney, licensed as well as legal consultant in New York, said, that divorced parents of minor children entered into a fundamentally new legal situation. Karina has been inundating with inquiries from parents since lockdown began:
“My ex continues to forbid any meetings with our son but takes him to the grocery store everyday w mask and gloves-to shop for food. So why can't she allow me to visit my son on my visiting day every 2 weeks in my flat? My son is under the impression that we cannot meet because his mom states it's too dangerous to his health? This exposure at the grocery store everyday helping his mom shop. Risks child's health much more than a 2-3 hrs visit in my flat playing cards/ or dominos”.
“My ex states the quarantine order is federal order by president of country and it supersedes and wipes out any court order for Visitation given by a judge and she does not have to follow it. That in situation it's not legally binding..... As you are the legal expert I hired, can tell me if this true? So does this mean my parental rights are just not important?”.
Children need to keep a relationship with both parents at any time. Therefore, both parents supposed to be flexible in the best interest of their children. They have to reach temporary agreement and provide non-custodial parent at least video- or phone communication like Skype, Zoom, Viber, WhatsApp, or any other arrangements.
I divorced with father of my children 8 years ago. We had hard time in the beginning of our separation, but last few years we became best friends. He visits our boys anytime. As mother, and as professional attorney, I know how it is important to keep good relationship after divorce. Last months I had been closely following the exponential diagrams of the coronavirus’s progression around the world. On one day, I texted to my ex: “Please do not come due to Covid-19”. It was a unilateral decision, and he implicitly accepted it. My children have daily communications with their father using Zoom and regular call phones. I believe it will be incorrect and unfair to use the coronavirus disease as excuse against visitations.
But if you cannot reach agreement with your former husband or wife, please be prepared to spend a lot of money as attorney fee for custody/visitations battle in nearest future.