(California Custody and Visitation in a Coronavirus/COVID-19 World)

Many California parents are scared and confused when they think about sending their child to visit with the other parent when they are separated or divorced from that parent.

Can you deny visitation to the other parent while your community is sheltering in place?

Do you have a court ordered visitation schedule? If so, you should comply with this schedule, unless you have obtained a modification of that order.

What modifications could you consider requesting?

Modifications may include limiting the days or the length of time the other parent spends with the child, or alternatively, requesting the court make an order that visitation will take place by phone or Facetime/Zoom.

Make sure you have a valid reason for requesting this change. Denying a child access to their other parent may increase fear, anxiety and depression in your child.

Having a generalized fear (due to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic) of your child leaving your home to visit with their other parent, will not likely be enough to change a court ordered visitation schedule.

You will need to show there is an actual danger to your child at the other parent’s house.

If you file a motion without good cause, the court may decide that there is no more danger in the other parent’s household than in your household and you may lose some of your parenting time.

If you have questions or concerns about child custody or visitation during this time, consult with an attorney who is a certified specialist in family law.

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