What happens if my child is quarantined with the custodial parent during COVID-19? Will I still be able to see them? That will be up to the custodial parent. The Court cannot order you child’s custodial parent to host you in his or her home. The Court can order alternate means for you to maintain contact with your child during the quarantine such as FaceTime or other video chat options or liberal telephone contact. The Court can order additional parenting time to you following the quarantine. If your child’s other parent is denying your access maliciously, for no reason other than to use the crisis in an opportune grab of your parenting time, there may be recourse later to petition for a modification of custody. But consider also that your child’s other parent might just be acting out of reasoned caution. If your child is being quarantined he or she ostensibly either has the virus or was exposed to someone that has the virus. It is thought now that children do quite well with the COVID-19 virus. The greater problem is that children are carriers and spread the virus to others that do not do so well. If the child is quarantined with the custodial parent, than the custodial parent has already been exposed as well and should also remain in quarantine. No outsiders should come into that quarantined area, be exposed, and then go back out into the community to spread the virus further. If the custodial parent has been exposed and could possibly contract the virus and become seriously ill, it will be important that the non-custodial parent is healthy and available to care for the child.
So often, in contested child custody situations, each parent becomes attuned to attaching the most sinister motives to any decision the other parent makes. If there ever was a time to step back and try to consider if your child’s custodial parent possibly has a reasoned and appropriate basis for his or her position, this is it.
As always, our team of experienced attorneys at The Mandel Law Firm is on standby to answer any questions you may have about your custody arrangements and how they are impacted by COVID-19.