Child Custody, Visitation and Support during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Many parents are concerned about their child custody and/or visitation during the Covid-19 pandemic and need legal assistance in deciding how to handle the other parents demands or irresponsibility. Depending on whether you already have a Custody Order (see below) or if you are recently separated and do not yet have a custody order. In either case the health and well being of the children should be each parent’s paramount concern.
I already have a custody order for Child Custody or Visitation
If you already have a custody order in place you should follow the custody order. If you believe that there are valid safety concerns and that the current custody order will jeopardize the health or safety of your children you should call the Law Office of Sam Walker immediately for a free telephonic consultation on the options that you have available. The most likely best course of conduct would be to file an emergency Ex Parte request for the Court to make a different custody order until the Covid-19 pandemic has passed. What that entails is filing a request for the court to consider written evidence of the emergency and an eventual hearing on the emergency. Depending upon whether you are in Los Angeles or Orange County there are specified procedures that would need to be followed. More information can be obtained directly from the Los Angeles Superior Court website. Likewise the Orange County Superior Court offers information for parents at (View Resource) Basically, an Ex Parte emergency hearing would be justified if you are concerned about someone in the other parents household testing positive for Covid-19 or other similar types of health and safety emergencies. The Governor has issued emergency orders which affect the availability of the Courts to hear your matters on a non-emergency basis. The Governor’s Executive Orders can be found (View Resource). Likewise the Judicial Council of California has also put orders in place which impact the availability of the Courts (View Resource) If you have any concerns you may call us for a free 15-minute telephonic consultation.
I do not have a Child Custody or Visitation Order
If you do not have a child custody or visitation order in place you still have rights to see your children and if the other parent is not being reasonable in allowing you to share custody or visitation then you should call us for a free 15-minute telephonic consultation to discuss your options. Depending on your circumstances you may have sufficient grounds to file for a emergency Ex Parte hearing in the Family Court to obtain a Court Order for visitation or custody during the Covid-19 pandemic. At a minimum you should be entitled to video visits with your children and if there are no immediate threats to the health and welfare of the children some type of in person visitation or shared custody, depending upon the circumstances.
I have a Child Support Order but I need to make a change due to the impact of Covid-19
If you already have a Child Support Order and it is no longer enough to provide adequate support due or you can no longer make the payments due to loss of income or other Covid-19 impacts you should call us for a free 15-minute telephonic consultation. Filing for an emergency Ex Parte order for increased child support or a decrease in the amount may be a viable option depending upon the circumstances. Regardless of the situation you should consult with an attorney to determine what the right steps are for requesting a modification of your child support.