COVID-19: How to handle custody agreements in New Jersey

It is important to do what is best and safest for your child at this time. In the case where one parent is not abiding by the custody arrangements, this is where issues come in.
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of New Jersey is experiencing times unfamiliar to many. While currently under a stay at home order, it can be a bit confusing to understand what is and is not allowed. This order is adding an extra level of stress and confusion to divorced and separated parents who share custody. It is leading many to ask, what should we do during this time?

Since New Jersey is so close to NYC, the global epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, these times are especially stressful. Under stay at home orders, custody arrangements agreed upon between both parties are to be followed still – if both parents are comfortable. Although the order states individuals should stay home, it has exclusions for tasks deemed essential. Visiting and caring for your family is deemed essential under the stay at home order. It may be a bit more difficult or scary to do this regular task, but if both parents agree and are on the same page, it is permitted. 

If both parents agree that they are not comfortable with taking their child back and forth at this time and can agree upon some make-up time in the future, that is also permitted. It is important to do what is best and safest for your child at this time. In the case where one parent is not abiding by the custody arrangements, this is where issues come in. Currently, the court systems are closed. However, once the courts are re-opened, any uncooperative spouse can be brought to court. At this point, there could be an opportunity for significant make-up custody time. 

This is confusing and unfamiliar territory for everyone right now. If there is any confusion about what is and is not permitted at this time, it is best to discuss options with an attorney. The attorneys at Sadek and Cooper Law Offices have handled hundreds of divorce cases in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties of Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, and Chester. We are also licensed in the State of New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at 215-545-0008.  

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