Does My Custody Agreement Have to be Upheld During an Emergency Situation Like the Coronavirus?

We understand that you may be overwhelmed during these uncertain times, especially now that New Jersey has more than 40,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. With the speed at which COVID-19 is spreading, you may want to keep your kids with you to keep them safe; however, you may find it difficult to do so if your ex wants to adhere to the custody agreement that the two of you have made and the family courts have approved.

Communicate Your Concerns

You and your co-parent may not always see eye-to-eye, but there is no doubt you both love your children and will do everything possible to protect them. Although you are required to uphold the terms of your court order, it may be possible for you and your ex to reach a reasonable agreement on what to do in an emergency.

Your child’s other parent could be from an area where there are multiple confirmed cases. Your co-parent may have the same concerns as you and may offer to come to your home instead of having the kids go to their house. Alternatively, your ex could be with your children virtually or will be owed a week in the summer for the lost time during the pandemic. Whatever you and your ex decide to do about your custody agreement, make sure that you get it in writing and show it to your lawyer to verify that it will not put you into any legal jeopardy in the future.

Follow Your Custody Agreement

If your co-parent is not willing to change your custody agreement, and they are not abiding by mandated safety guidelines and quarantine you may feel tempted to refuse to drop your children off at your ex’s. However, you should not exercise self- help because New Jersey courts will likely see this as an attempt to keep the kids away from their other parent.

Instead, immediately contact a child custody lawyer to discuss the option of filing  an “Order to Show Cause.” You will need to establish that your child will be in “immediate, inimical and irreparable harm” without any modifications to the court-ordered arrangement. This is the only way to avoid upholding your custody agreement if you and your ex are not willing to agree on any changes.

Contact a Child Custody Lawyer Today

We understand that you want to do what is in the best interest of your children, especially during these hard times. If you or somebody that you love is having difficulties reaching an agreement on how to handle your custody agreement, it may be beneficial to speak with a child custody lawyer. The attorneys at Moskowitz Law Group have experience with family law courts and may be able to help you keep your children safe from being exposed to the novel coronavirus. Additionally, the lawyers may be able to answer some other questions that you may have regarding how the closure of New Jersey Schools may affect your current custody situation. Call now to get started.

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