Child Custody, How SCCSC Judge Dealt with COVID-19 Rule
Covid-19 And Child Custody
Child custody cases have always been challenging for families. They can be long and drawn out, and often contentious. With a global pandemic, people’s lives have dramatically changed and unforeseen issues have come to the forefront – especially for essential workers with children. How has the coronavirus affected these already difficult situations?
For parents who are frequently exposed to the virus, questions are being raised as to how much contact they should have with their children. Some parents argue that their children are at risk of catching the virus or transferring it, living with their parent who is an essential worker. When a parent is a healthcare worker or a grocery store worker, or other essential worker, who is being exposed to COVID-19 on a daily basis, the risk of catching the virus greatly increases. What effect will and should this have on child custody cases?
In San Jose, two parents have gone to court over this very question. Two residents of the Bay Area, Dawn Polich and Steven Agnew, were co-parenting graciously for years up until the pandemic emerged. When coronavirus hit America, Steven Agnew had immediate concerns over the safety of their daughter.
While he agreed that Dawn had always been an amazing mother, her profession as a healthcare worker put herself and their daughter at risk. Agnew worried about their daughter transferring the virus as she went back and forth between their two homes. He hired a child custody lawyer and took his case to court to get temporary full custody of their child until the shelter-in-place order ends.
What Do The Courts Say About Coronavirus?
The question of child custody during the pandemic is plaguing courts across the state, and one thing is certain. In Agnew and Polich’s case, the judge ruled in favor of the mother, stating that it was crucial in this uncertain time for their daughter to maintain contact with Dawn, her mother.
In other states, in similar cases, judges have ruled in favor of the nonessential working parent, stating that it is in the best interest of the child to separate them from the essential working parent for the time being.
Some parents are using the pandemic as an opportunity to win child custody. The pandemic can have a lasting impact on a parents relationship with their children if not handled properly. Some parents will try to use an essential working parent’s job against them to gain full custody of their child.
If you’ve found yourself in a child custody battle during this upsetting time, set up a meeting with a child custody lawyer. Whether your situation is amicable or not, having an experienced attorney who will help present your case to the courts, can protect the best interest of your children in the long run. Reach out to our family law attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri for a free virtual consultation. Set yours up here.