As we navigate this uncertain time, one of the most common question asked of family law attorneys is, “Do I still need to adhere to our parenting schedule even during Covid-19?”
While the answer isn't simple, generally speaking, yes, you are still expected to follow all court orders during the pandemic, as courts have stressed that Covid-19 is not an excuse to withhold the children from the other parent. However, it is important to embrace flexibility and common sense.
However, many still have concerns about adhering to the schedule when the other parent doesn't practice social distancing policies or the other parent is an “essential worker.” There really isn't a set answer on how to proceed when one parent has concerns about the exposure of the other parent. What is important is to continue to keep the lines of communication open between both parents as this is the time to work together and cooperate with one another. Parents should be transparent about the safety procedures they have implemented and who they are exposing themselves and the children to. You should not take advantage of this situation by withholding the children, as the court will not look too kindly on that decision after the pandemic is over.
Another question attorneys are asked during this time is, “Are the courts open?” The answer is yes, though only remotely. Courts during this period have limited staffing and while they are open to accept filings, they are not open for appearances, which means if you do have a hearing during this time, it will most likely be held virtually.
Ham Family Law continues to remain open during the “stay at home” orders. If you have questions regarding how Covid-19 will impact your current case, or if you are having issues with your custody orders due to Covid-19, we are here to help. Please contact our office at (510) 414-7417 to schedule a consultation.