Parents Facing Custody Issues During Coronavirus Pandemic

The pandemic has been especially hard on parents who share custody of their kids. One family attorney has some advice for parents facing the challenge of parental custody in the time of COVID19.

The pandemic has been hard on just about everyone, but especially for parents who share custody of their kids. One family attorney has some advice for parents facing the challenge of parental custody in the time of COVID19.

Surratt Law Practice family attorney Travis Clark, Esq.  says visitation rights have to be observed even with the stay-at-home order. “The problem we are getting right now is one parent disagrees with the other parent on how they are handling this crisis. That is the issue it boils down to,” said Clark.

He says times have changed with the onset of the coronavirus, which has brought out the worst in some parents. “Some parents are using the COVID-19 crisis as a sword to get custody of the kids,” said Clark.

Family courts are taking very few cases right now, unless its an emergency. For parents withholding visitation doesn’t help people in the battle for custody. “The parent who had custody time deprived could get makeup time. So it isn’t really taking time from the dad, and not giving it back to him,” said Clark.

He says more reasonable options are possible, like mediation which can be done through teleconferencing for a fee. “Get creative with your solutions. Any solution you can come up with as long as you both agree. The mediator will send the agreed upon recommendation to the judge,” said Clark.

Direct communication between two parents may be better, less expensive, and could end up being the first step in resolution. “My best advice is to get on the phone with the other parent and have a conversation. Talk about it. Ask each other what they are doing with their protocols,” said Clark.

Times may be tough, but that doesn’t mean parents can’t be reasonable for their kids. “If you don’t know if your actions are reasonable or not, ask a friend or a trusted associate, or consult with an attorney,” said Clark.

Originally posted on KTVN News website here.

Kimberly Surratt served for eight years on the executive council and has been the vice chair and then chair of the State Bar of Nevada Family Law Section. In addition, she is the President-Elect of the Nevada Justice Association and the chair of the domestic lobbying committee. She has lobbied with the Nevada Justice Association since 2004.

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