Do Parents Maintain the Same Rights to Their Child During the Coronavirus Pandemic?

The spread of the Coronavirus throughout the state of New Jersey has left people to adjust to stay-at-home orders. This has caused a great deal of uncertainty for families of divorce who are trying to decide how to handle the situation at hand, especially if they share custody of their child. As families work to figure out the right thing to do during this time, it is important to keep in mind that both parents have rights to their child. Continue reading below to learn more and retain the services of an experienced New Jersey family law attorney for assistance protecting these rights. 

What Rights do Parents Have?

When parents go through a divorce, they decide what their rights and responsibilities will be moving forward when raising their child. This includes the following:

  • The right to custody. This includes physical custody, legal custody, or both. Physical custody establishes the parent the child will live and spend the majority of their time with. Legal custody gives a parent the right to be involved in making important decisions relating to the child’s upbringing.
  • The right to visitation. It is important to know that a parent still has visitation rights even if they only have legal custody of their child. Parents can determine how this is done in their parenting plan.
  • The right to support. New Jersey requires both parents to support their children financially until the court decides it is no longer necessary. This is done by mandatory child support payments from the non-custodial parent to the custodial parent.

Are these Rights Valid During Coronavirus Times?

It is important to understand that parents still maintain the same rights to their child that they always do even though we are living in unprecedented times. It is understandable that a parent wants to keep their child safe during this time. However, they cannot do so by deciding to go against the custody or visitation agreement that was established in the divorce. This means that if they do not want their child to see their other parent due to possible Coronavirus exposure, they are required to come to an agreement with that parent or ask the court for a modification. A modification can allow parents to change their agreement so that it better suits the circumstances at hand. Until this is granted, both parents have the same rights to their child as before the pandemic.

In addition to this, the law regarding child support still requires agencies to report any payments that are past-due. This means that parents must still make their child support payments during this time. Parents who are facing financial hardship due to the pandemic can also request a modification to change the amount or frequency of the payment so that they can better make the payments. 

Contact our Firm

We understand that those getting a divorce most likely have several questions regarding the weeks and months to come. Paris P. Eliades Law Firm, LLC is honored to serve the people of New Jersey, including Sparta, Sussex County, Morris County, Passaic County, and Bergen County with the quality legal services they deserve. If you are getting a divorce or have any other questions regarding divorce-related matters, please do not hesitate to contact our firm for a consultation today.