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Daily Archives: April 9, 2020

Custody Exchanges During Coronavirus

Do I have to exchange my child during the Coronavirus?

Absent a true emergency, you must abide by the terms of your Custody Order. A party who willfully fails to comply with any Custody Order may be found in contempt of Court.

At this time, the Pennsylvania Courts have not yet established if the COVID-19 pandemic is a valid justification for a parent failing to follow their Custody Order.

If you can still exchange your child safely, you should do so. Be as reasonable and accommodating with the other parent as possible. Communicate with the other parent to develop an exchange plan that limits exposure to the virus and aligns with CDC and government recommendations.

An experienced attorney can help you navigate these issues and help create options. For instance, your attorney may communicate with your ex or their attorney directly to develop a plan for custody exchanges, or even entering a Consent Order for guaranteed makeup time once the threat of the Coronavirus eases.

To speak with an experienced family law attorney, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.

5 Tips for Co-Parenting During Coronavirus

In the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania directed all Courts to generally close to the public from March 19, 2020 through at least April 3, 2020, with limited exceptions.

Absent a true emergency, parents are stripped of the ability to bring child custody matters to Court until at least April 3, 2020, or even as late as mid-April in some counties.

Until you are able to proceed through the Court, we recommend following these five tips:

  • Comply with your Custody Order of Court as much as possible, unless in cases of true emergency.
  • Be honest with your co-parent about suspected and/or confirmed exposure to the Coronavirus, work together to limit your child’s exposure, and immediately notify one another if your child exhibits symptoms of the virus.
  • Provide makeup time to your co-parent if they have missed out on time with your child. The Court expects parents to work together to reasonably accommodate one other, and may hold your inflexibility against you in future proceedings.
  • Try to be understanding and flexible. If possible, try to work together for the sake of your child. Parents may be subject to layoffs and unable to make support payments.
  • Encourage the relationship between your child and your co-parent. Your co-parent may be working extra hours in the wake of this crisis, or may even be forced into a weeks-long quarantine. Work together to provide telephone calls, FaceTime, and/or Skype between your child and co-parent.

The attorneys at Spivak Law Firm are available to counsel you and provide options for how to best handle your custody concerns. To speak with an experienced child custody lawyer, call Spivak Law Firm at (412) 344-4900 or toll free at (800) 545-9390.