Visitation During the Coronavirus
These are uncertain, and downright terrifying, times that we are living in. At the time that this article was written, over a half million Americans have contracted coronavirus and more than 14,000 have died. Around 2,000 Americans are dying every day from COVID-19, and parents like you are rightly worried about the safety of your children. As California remains in lockdown, what does this mean for visitation? Do parents with visitation have the same rights, now that they could potentially be exposing their child to coronavirus? Whether you have custodial or visitation rights, an attorney can answer your concerned questions regarding parenting plans and coronavirus.
Custody and Visitation Orders Will Remain in Place During Coronavirus
As with any parenting plan, the goal of the court is to reach an outcome that is in the child’s best interest. This includes their interests when it comes to physical health. However, even if the visiting parent or the custodial parent is engaging in activities that violate California’s shelter in place executive order N33-20, you may not have grounds to file for a custody hearing with a judge. In Santa Clara County, the Courts have ordered that custody and visitation remain in place, even if the other parent is violating shelter in place laws.
The Other Parent Is Putting the Child at COVID-19 Risk. Can I Change the Custody Order?
While parenting plans are required to remain in place during the coronavirus, parents are also “expected to follow the most current public health orders and directives regarding social distancing and sanitation related measures, such as frequent handwashing,” according to the Superior Court of California Santa Clara County. Even if a parent is refusing to follow social distancing or practice safe hygiene, or if a parent has symptoms of coronavirus but has not been diagnosed, you may not be able to refuse visitation or to take the child from a parent with custody. In this situation, you need to talk to an attorney before you take any action.
Flying May Not Be An Option
Parenting plans that revolve around a parent or a child flying to or from San Jose may not be feasible over the next few months. Visitation plans that require flying may need to be re-thought while California continues to implement shelter in place.
A San Jose Attorney Can Help You Create a Visitation Plan to Minimize Risk
In general, now is not the time to hold strictly to visitation plans that could put your or your child at unnecessary risks. In most cases, it is possible to talk with the other parent and come to an agreement regarding changes to an existing visitation plan. In some cases, this may simply end in an argument with neither side budging. In this case, you will benefit from the assistance of an experienced San Jose child visitation and custody attorney stepping in and helping you create a parenting plan that minimizes risk while still allowing your child to have access to each parent when possible. To get started today, contact Foster Hsu, LLP at 408-841-7200 to schedule a consultation at no cost.