(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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Don’t Tell Grandma About Your Divorce

Mid adult woman talking with her mother at home.
Advice from Friends and Family

Family gatherings can be a tough time for you when you are going through a divorce, or have a child custody, visitation or support dispute with your partner.

Did you talk about your divorce or family law problems at your last family get together?

If so, your family and friends may be showering you with well meaning, and potentially harmful, advice.

Be careful if they tell you to:

-–Stop working full-time, change to part-time, to avoid paying support to your spouse or partner;

-–Take your spouse’s name off all your bank accounts; or move all the money to hide it from your spouse until the divorce is over;

–Change your beneficiaries on all your life insurance policies;

-–Terminate your spouse or partner from your health insurance;

–Incur new debt (car loan/credit card ) so you can reduce your support; or,

–Have a family member contact your spouse or partner to let them know they better accept your settlement proposal or else.

Once you settle with your spouse or partner, resist the urge to discuss the details of any settlement in your case. Your friends and relatives don’t have all the details of your case and may be very emotionally invested in getting a specific result for you.

Mistakes early in your divorce or family law matter can cost you money, including money you may have to pay your spouse or partner’s attorney in addition to your own attorney.

Speaking to an experienced family law attorney may help you avoid costly mistakes.


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