Custody in the Age of Corona

In today's Wall Street Journal, there's a timely article about how divorced couples are navigating joint custody of their children right now. Child custody can be challenging in the best of times. Add to that the current restrictions on mobility and social distancing, and it's an even more difficult equation for parents and their kids.

In this unprecedented time, I suggest both flexibility and common sense. Since we're all supposed to be indoors, visitation schedules may need to change a bit, giving kids' longer stays at each parents' home to reduce commuting.  But judges are affected by this pandemic as well. If there's an outstanding court order and there's a problem, it's probably not possible for a judge to fix anything about it at this very moment. The best advice, from an experienced matrimonial attorney: just abide the orders and wait for it to be possible again to have a day in court.

For parents who are struggling with custody issues right now, I'd suggest keeping in mind that, in addition to maintaining their physical health, it's important to provide children with a sense of love and stability. Children need to feel a firm foundation of love and emotional support. At this moment particularly, that's about knowing both parents love them.  The number of physical days with each parent can resume to normal when things calm down.

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