Is Virtual Mediation a Solution to COVID-19 Co-Parenting Disputes?
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected the lives of all residents in the state of New Jersey and across the world. During these uncertain times, divorced co-parents are faced with a variety of challenges that they are still working to adjust to. When dealing with situations as important as family law matters during a high-stress time, it can be difficult for co-parents to agree regarding what is best for their children. With New Jersey courts closed during this time, spouses can participate in virtual mediation to work towards settling their disputes. Continue reading to learn more about agreements that can be reached and contact an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for guidance in these matters.
Custody Agreements During COVID-19
As stay-at-home orders continue throughout the state of New Jersey continue, parents are still required to abide by them as they are co-parenting their children. Understandably, many parents are concerned about keeping their children safe and how this can affect their child custody agreement. If a former spouse lives in an unsafe area, the other parent may want to ignore the terms of their custody agreement to keep their child from going to see them. On the other hand, parents may be concerned about the lack of time they get to spend with their child if they are being ordered to stay in. Refusing a custody order can result in its own set of consequences, which is why it is important for parents to work out these agreements amongst one another or seek the assistance of a judge.
What Disputes May Occur Due to COVID-19?
After living in the Coronavirus pandemic for a couple of months now, there are common issues being seen between co-parents regarding the safety of their children. This can include the following:
- One parent does not want to meet the other because they believe there is nowhere safe to exchange the kids
- One parent refuses to drop their children off at a house where an immunocompromised person lives
- One parent is afraid to leave their children with an ex that works in a job that exposes them to the virus, such as a hospital or grocery store
- One parent disagrees with the terms of their temporary child custody agreement
- One parent refuses to drop their child off with an ex who does not abide by the CDC and WHO guidelines, such as social distancing or wearing a mask
What do I do if my Ex Does Our Custody Agreement?
As New Jersey courts are temporarily closed during this time to prevent the spread of the virus, some cases are being held virtually and over the phone. This is the case for essential cases, such as child custody hearings. However, courts can be expected to be backed up with these cases for quite some time. It is because of this that if two spouses believe they can work together to iron out these problems, they can contact a family law attorney to assist them in virtual mediation sessions.
Contact our Firm
If you need an experienced legal team to guide you through your family law matter, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark L.L.C today.