Stay-at-Home Orders and Child Custody
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have issued stay-at-home orders. As a result of these orders, parents who are separated may face the question of whether a custody exchange should go forward. Additional issues may also arise related to social distancing, travel, exposure to infected persons, and disagreement about the precautions that should be taken. For legal advice about how to handle issues related to the pandemic, contact the Atlanta divorce attorneys at the Fuller Law Group.
How to respond to stay-at-home orders
If a stay-at-home order is in effect, you must consider the specific restrictions of the order and the potential penalties for a violation of the order. Because the guidelines related to the pandemic are evolving, it is important to seek out the advice of an Atlanta child custody attorney to learn the current state of the law.
In general, a violation of an order could result in contempt charges or other penalties. There may be exceptions however, which allow for child exchanges. If child exchanges are permitted, then you should exercise caution and social distancing to decrease the chance of you and your children being exposed. Because it is important for children to maintain a relationship with each of their parents, you should explore the options available under the circumstances for visitation and parenting time.
Guidelines from AAML and AFCC
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) have set forth guidelines to assist parents in responding to issues related to the pandemic. These guidelines include the following:
- Comply with any and all health guidelines and recommendations. Stay informed about health precautions and make sure your children follow those recommendations.
- Be aware of the seriousness of the pandemic, but be mindful of your children and their concerns. Keep your children informed at an age-appropriate level.
- Comply with existing court orders and custody agreements.
- Find creative and alternative solutions. Use technology to facilitate contact between the children and the other parent.
- Co-parent and communicate with the other parent. Discuss how to best keep your children informed and safe.
- Try to allow for makeup time and other opportunities if the other parent misses out on parenting time due to the pandemic.
- Be understanding of the economic effects that parents may experience, such as job loss or income decreases.
- Keep your children’s best interest in mind.
How can an attorney help during the pandemic
As the world experiences issues with the pandemic, parents will be faced with difficult questions regarding their children and custody. An experienced Atlanta divorce lawyer can provide legal advice and representation to help you navigate through these difficult times. An attorney will help you understand your rights and the options that may be available.
If you are being denied your custody rights, then a lawyer can pursue legal action to help protect your rights and maintain your relationship with your children. Because the court is interested in the children’s best interest, an attorney will help find ways to achieve this result.
An Atlanta divorce attorney can review the current state of the law related to stay-at-home orders, social distancing, and other pandemic issues. We will explain how the law applies to your situation, so as to allow you to act appropriately and in compliance with the law. This will help ensure that you do not run into other issues.
The experienced team at the Fuller Law Group is available to provide legal advice and representation. Contact us for assistance with your child custody questions and concerns. We will help you find solutions.