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FIRST RESPONDERS, COVID-19 AND CHILD CUSTODY: Don’t take their kids away from them!

There are a lot of parents trying to suspend time sharing during the COVID-10 crisis out of a genuine concern for the health safety and welfare of their minor children.  Some parents have legitimate reasons for stepping up to protect the children.  I am compelled to write this article because there has been a tremendous rise in litigation concerning our first responders, as noted in the recent New York Times article, “New Battle for Those on Coronavirus Front Lines:  Child Custody.

It breaks my heart to imagine we are trying to take the children away from our first responders.  All the doctors, firefighters, paramedics, and police officers, out there fighting the good fight to help others get and be healthy, now have to worry about their kids being taken away from them.

So, before you file your emergency motion, here are some general guidelines to follow before attempting to suspend time sharing with a front line provider, you should ask yourself the following;

  1. Has this person had the position for a reasonable amount of time?
  2. Other than Coronavirus, has anything changed from last month to this month?
  3. Are they following CDC guidelines?
  4. Taking all necessary precautions to protect?
  5. Is your child generally healthy and not have any “special at risk” illnesses?

If you’ve answered yes to a majority of the questions posed, then you should seriously consider allowing that front line parent to continue time sharing with the minor child/ren.  Aren’t they doing enough for our community, such that they have one less thing to worry about?  Be the better parent and let them see their children in the brief time that they have.

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