Could You Lose Child Custody in TN if Infected With COVID-19?
Among all the worries people have during COVID-19, divorced parents are adding child custody to the list.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the lives of so many in just about every way imaginable. Perhaps one issue certain individuals did not see coming was child custody. Divorced parents throughout Tennessee are worried about child custody, whether that concern stems from losing child custody, or their child being left with a parent that has contracted the virus. So, in the Volunteer State, can you lose custody if you become infected with COVID-19?
The Child’s Best Interests
When making decisions surrounding child custody, the Tennessee courts are always supposed to do to what is in the child’s best interests. The coronavirus is extremely contagious and can have devastating effects on adults as well as young children. Due to this, it is likely that if one parent contracts the virus, the courts would award the other parent child custody until the infected parent is well again.
However, it is crucial that no one makes a unilateral decision to not follow the child custody order without the court’s approval. Simply denying a parent the allotted time with the child will be seen by the courts as a violation of the court order, which carries serious consequences. Even though it is an urgent situation, as no parent wants to expose their child to the virus, a family lawyer can petition the court for an emergency decision and hearing, which can be done quickly.
Making Up for Lost Time
It is well-known by now that when infected with the coronavirus, it takes about two weeks for a person to recover. Sometimes, it takes much longer, as we have heard of people being ill for a month or more, and some suffering from complications longer than that. If you contract COVID-19, we argue that you should be allowed to make up the time with your child once you have recovered. Likewise, if your former spouse becomes infected with the virus, we believe you should also allow your ex to make up that time, even if relief from the court has not been requested.
There are many ways you can make up for lost time, whether that is spending time with your child for two weekends in a row once you have recovered, or tacking on a week in the summer that you otherwise would not have spent with your child. Additionally, if you become infected, it should still be expected that your child can FaceTime with you, text, or talk to you on the phone so that you do not lose that connection.
Have Child Custody Questions During the Pandemic? A Tennessee Family Lawyer is Here to Help
Child custody issues have been at the forefront of parents’ minds ever since the outbreak of COVID-19. If you have become infected, or you worry that your former spouse has been exposed, it is important to speak to a Franklin family lawyer today. Contact me, Judy A. Oxford, Attorney at Law. I have over 24 years of experience in family law and can answer any questions you have. Call us today at (615) 791-8511 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.