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The Effects of COVID-19 on Child Custody and Parenting Time Orders

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2020 | Child Custody and Visitation

What are the effects of COVID-19 on child custody and parenting time orders in San Diego?  There is no way to practically capture the absolute disruption of life which the pandemic has wrought upon all of us.  One of the greatest COVID-related challenge is managing life as a parent of school aged children.

The anxiety and stress of the pandemic has affected all of us.  There has been an increase in divorces around the world which many have attributed to COVID-19.  How will the pandemic affect those going through a divorce as well as those who already have existing child custody and parenting time orders.

The effects of COVID-19 on child custody and parenting time orders are centered on three primary issues: income, school and daily care of the child(ren).  Most parenting plans are centered around a child’s school schedule.  Schools across San Diego and Southern California have been closed and many will continue “distance learning” for the foreseeable future.

Many small businesses have temporarily or permanently closed their doors.  Has your income been affected by the pandemic?  Have you been asked to work fewer (or different) hours or faced a furlough or layoff?  The pandemic has had a significant impact on sales-related income such as commissions and bonuses.  Has this affected your ability to pay child support?

What happens if your child doesn’t go to school?  Which parent is now working from home or has the flexibility to provide daily care for each of your kids?  Is this equally divided between each of you?

Existing child support orders usually factor in the amount of time the child spends with each parent.  If one of the parents have sacrificed or been forced to take on more day-to-day responsibilities is an adjustment in child support required?

The pandemic has made travel out of the area or out of state much more challenging and potentially hazardous.  If a child was supposed to spend the summer with one parent did that occur?

It is important to fulfill the existing obligations of your child custody and parenting time orders.  The failure to do so could result in some fairly serious financial and parental consequences.

The effects of COVID-19 on child custody and parenting time orders may require a temporary or permanent modification of your existing child custody and parenting time agreement.  It is important to seek the sound advice and counsel of the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.

Modifications to existing orders require the approval of the Court, even when both spouses are in complete agreement.  You must petition the Court to seek changes.  The Court was closed for several weeks at the outset of the pandemic and there is a substantial backlog of cases.

Our attorneys can guide you through the process of managing these exceptionally challenging times.  Mediation may be a timely and cost-effective venue to resolve disagreements and hammer out a new plan.

It is not in your best interests or the interests of your children to simply wing it.  Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.

We will provide sound counsel and advice on how to manage the affects of COVID-19 on child custody and parenting time orders based upon your unique circumstances.