When Americans first heard about the coronavirus (COVID-19) in China, they probably had no clue as to how much their lives were about to change. But by the middle of March of 2020, President Donald Trump declared COVID-19 a national emergency.
In a matter of a couple of short weeks, schools were closed and children were switched to online learning, Las Vegas concerts were canceled, non-essential businesses closed their doors, employees were laid off or asked to work from home, and casino halls became virtually empty. Undoubtedly, our lives were changed forever and the effects spilled over into family matters, or more specifically, child custody.
Parents Were Thrown a Curveball
As news of COVID-19 spread in Nevada, flights were canceled. Corporate executives’ travel plans were halted. Parents were asked to work from home for the first time. Thousands of non-essential workers lost their jobs while some essential workers, especially those in healthcare, became busier than ever. Truly, COVID-19 disrupted people’s lives in every way imaginable. For some Las Vegas Area parents who share physical custody of their children, stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and COVID-19-associated health risks threw them a curveball.
In our practice, some of our clients are handling the quarantine with ease. The families are accommodating each other and being flexible with their child custody schedules. However, not everyone is managing quite so well. Others have called our office wanting to have their child custody orders modified immediately, a request which is complicated by court closures, save for emergency situations.
Some reasons why COVID-19 has raised child custody concerns include:
- Stay-at-home orders have led to an increase in domestic violence;
- Disgruntled parents have used the pandemic to keep children away from the other parent;
- Some parents are concerned the other parent isn’t taking the pandemic seriously and as a result, isn’t practicing social distancing and good hygiene; and
- Some parents worry the other parent’s job exposes their child to an unreasonable risk of contracting the coronavirus.
If the pandemic has raised concerns about child custody and you need legal advice, contact Ford & Friedman to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable member of our legal team.