One year removed from the COVID-19 pandemic interrupting our daily lives, we can look back at how much family life was affected. New routines were created, new stressors were introduced, and new challenges needed to be addressed.
One particular area of family life that was affected for many divorced or separated couples was child custody. Suddenly, the pandemic blurred the clear lines of Custodial vs. Non-Custodial Parent and visitation schedules. This was something new that required expert support to navigate fresh legal issues.
That’s why it’s always good to work with a child custody lawyer near you who can quickly enter into a rapidly-changing situation to provide you with legal support. This is especially true for some of the challenges that I saw my clients experience during the pandemic.
Primary Child Custody Issue During the Pandemic
A primary issue that I helped clients navigate during the pandemic was related to parents violating the terms of their child custody court order.
Sometimes there were legitimate reasons to withhold a child from the other parent. Perhaps one parent contracted the virus and had to quarantine for 14 days. Obviously, these situations disrupted the clear lines established in the original court order.
But, there were other cases where parents used the virus as an illegitimate excuse to withhold children from the other parent.
I know that child custody cases come with their own emotional baggage, usually following a divorce. Sometimes those ill feelings toward the other spouse still linger months or years after the divorce. Unfortunately, this can lead to one or both parties attempting to use a situation like the pandemic to try to push the limits of the court order or make up their own reasons to protect their interests. However, that’s not how it legally works.
The legal system exists to establish the responsibility and obligations of all parties involved in a dispute and help resolve issues that arise. It’s not up to each party to take the law into their own hands, making decisions for themselves just because circumstances have changed.
Because of the increase in violations of orders during the pandemic, I spent a great deal of time filing writs of enforcement to help enforce an original court order. This required getting the court involved to request that one parent stop withholding the child(ren) from the other parent.
This also led to an increase in parents seeking to modify an existing child support court order.
Modifications Can Help Address Child Custody Challenges
The ideal path to address a child custody legal situation is to pursue a modification of the court order. This is far better than trying to walk around the original order, creating legal issues for yourself.
During the pandemic, I saw situations such as a Custodial or Non-Custodial Parent contracting the virus, one parent moving out of Texas to find new work, and other dramatic changes in circumstances that affected their ability to fulfill the terms of the original court order.
I know these changes can happen suddenly and rapidly. One day everything is working smoothly, and the next day you are trying to sort out a host of new challenges. Keep in mind that you are entitled to a change in the custody order, such as modifying the visitation schedule.
That’s why you need to work with a reliable family law attorney near you that can give you the best legal advice as quickly as possible to identify the best course of action to support you and your family.
Work With Blair Parker for Child Custody Legal Support
Throughout the pandemic, I have helped parents in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County work through child custody issues and pursue modifications of original court orders.
You don’t have to go at it alone trying to work around an original court order during a change in circumstances. Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your child custody situation. I’ll help you identify the right course of action to pursue a modification or take other legal action to support you and your children during the pandemic.