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How Can the Coronavirus Impact Child Custody Arrangements in New Jersey?

Parents are often always concerned for their children when they are not around to watch over them. This is especially so for divorced parents, as they do not usually get to spend all their time with their child. In recent times, with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, it is understandable that concerns for a child’s safety would spike. When parents split custody with a former spouse, they trust that the other parent is following the terms of the custody agreement. However, if these terms could potentially put a child in harm’s way, it is possible to make changes that ensure your child’s safety. Continue reading and contact an experienced New Jersey family law attorney to learn more.

How Can Custody be Affected?

Oftentimes, a custody agreement entails locations that a child can and cannot go to with their parents. Due to the spread of the Coronavirus, these locations can change, as parents may not want their child to go somewhere that could now potentially put their child at risk for contraction. So, this begs the question, what happens if you do not want to drop your child off at your former spouse’s house? What if they live in a town that is infected by the virus?

When facing these situations, the first thing that should be done is to speak directly with your former spouse. Explain your concerns and try to get them to understand why you want to keep your child away from a highly infected area. Hopefully, they allow you to keep your child until the virus subsides in their area. 

If your former spouse demands that you follow the initial custody agreement, it can be tempting to refuse. However, this can result in certain legal consequences, even if you are only looking out for the best interest of your child. In addition to this, it can negatively impact your custody arrangement in the future. The best way to ensure that your former spouse adheres to your concerns is by showing them facts and official information provided by the World Health Organization, CDC, etc. 

In the event that your former spouse still does not budge, you can hire an attorney to file an Order to Show Cause with the New Jersey court system. This can prompt an emergency hearing. If you wish to prove to the court that an emergency modification is needed, you have to show there is  “immediate, inimical and irreparable harm” to your child. During this time, it is best to have an experienced family law attorney on your side who can gather proof to protect your child from the virus. 

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If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your divorce, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.