Like many of the questions facing co-parents during the COVID-19 crisis, it is less a legal question than a question of how, as co-parents, you co-operate to reach sound decisions without running to the Courts for answers. Even if the Courts were open and available, a Court could not Order a party to allow the non-custodial parent access to his or her home. In these times we need to rely on reason and place the best interest of the children first. There is no one size answer to this question. Among factors to consider is why is the child quarantined? If the child was exposed to the COVID-19 virus or has contracted the COVID-19 virus, the custodial parent is now also exposed. One might consider that if the custodial parent were to become ill, possibly quite ill, how critical it might be for the non-custodial parent to be COVID-19 free and healthy. Factors to consider might be to what extent either of the parents are members of high-risk groups to contract the virus or to become deathly ill with the virus. This is a time to look at the long-term bigger picture for your child and rise above selfish inclinations. This is not the time to be counting which parent has more time or access days. The long-term goal is for your child to come through this pandemic healthy and whole with two healthy parents to support him/her to adulthood.
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.