How Does Child Custody and Visitation Work During COVID-19?Putnam Law Office
As the coronavirus pandemic continues, you may be wondering how COVID-19 affects child custody and visitation rights when orders to stay home have been put in place. Tennessee governor, Bill Lee, has lifted the stay-at-home order, but there are still social distancing recommendations that leave people wondering what the legal ramifications of visitation are. Some parents may not want to expose their child by continuing visitation or custody schedules, especially when the distance between parents is far. If you feel unsure, consider talking with an Oklahoma Divorce Lawyer to see what options you have.
Does COVID-19 Change Custody or Visitation?
The main question is whether the COVID-19 situation can legally justify a change in or violation of child custody and visitation orders. Some states and judges have spoken out and stated that COVID-19 does not change child custody or visitation arrangements because the best interests of the child standard must remain intact.
For example, California argues that parenting time cannot be denied based on COVID-19 alone. There must be other reasons to justify a change in child custody or visitation. Otherwise, this may be considered a breach in the court order. Video-calling is recommended as an alternative when the situation demands this. When parents are exchanging the children, this should be done at locations with fewer people.
Things become complicated when one parent has contracted the coronavirus. This is where the rules can overlap each other. Some people say the coronavirus is not enough of a justification to deny child custody rights. At the same time, others argue that parents should follow the advice of their health professionals in this type of situation.
Figuring out what to do in these unique circumstances is difficult. Consider consulting with an experienced divorce attorney to figure out what you can legally do.
Consequences of Denied Custody or Visitation
What some people do not realize is that there are legal consequences to denying child custody or visitation to your former partner. The consequences of denied child custody or visitation can involve paying for damages caused to the other parent, being charged with civil contempt, and measures to enforce the original court orders.
The compensatory damages the other parent can be awarded include compensation for expenses used to find the child, family court fees for hearings, and lawyer fees to take legal action against the parent who denied the other parent rights to the child. Compensation can also be given for a loss of companionship, service, and society. These legal actions can be taken against a parent or third party, like a relative, who played any role in denying child custody or visitation to the other parent.
Divorce Attorney in Oklahoma
Juggling the rules of COVID-19 with court orders for child custody and visitation can be a lot to handle at once. Feel free to ask an Oklahoma Family Lawyer questions when you find yourself wondering what to do in this kind of situation. You can call the Putnam Law Office at (405)-849-9149 today for a consultation. Mr. Putnam is an Oklahoma City, OK attorney who is dedicated to his clients.