“Hi, my name is Cynthia Best. I’m here to talk about child custody during this pandemic and the coronavirus. Everything that you could imagine in the hypotheticals and the real life situations that could happen are probably not written into your decree, or your joint parenting agreement, or your parenting agreement. I’m here to talk about what happens, in a couple of different scenarios and hypotheticals, and ways we can talk about these things.
In family law we have rules, and we have documents that we can go back and we can look at. You always need to know the law, and you need to know the facts. But what if it’s not clear in the law as to what’s going on.
Let me throw out a hypothetical for you, what if parents are sharing custody week on, week off, and one of the parents is compromised, has a compromised immune system, and doesn’t think the other parent, during their week, is taking precautions with the child to make sure he or she doesn’t come into contact with somebody who could possibly transmit the virus to the compromised parent.
That’s not covered into the parenting agreement. What do we do? What do we look at? Well, one of the concepts in family law is called equity, and that’s what you do and consider about what is fair, what is just, what is fair? If you look at the situation and you think about it, what is best for the child to see both parents and to have both parents healthy?
One of the resolutions is to figure out how to make the compromised parent feel safe, so when the child comes back into his or her care, they don’t worry about their health. There would be a way to figure that out with the other parent. Now, if the other parent is just being obstinate or unpleasant to deal with, that’s a whole other subject, and then a judge would have to go and decide the case. But looking at the equities, I think we could give a go at trying to figure that one out.”