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Debating COVID: Divorcing Parents and Disagreements Over Children and the Coronavirus

Raising children in a post-divorce world can present some new challenges. Even in the absence of a marriage dissolution, raising children in the 21st century is a complex matter – an endeavor that has become even more complicated in light of the coronavirus pandemic. The reality is that many parents find themselves at loggerheads when it comes to disagreements associated with child custody and coronavirus.

Paramount Guiding Principle: What is in the Best Interests of the Children

When it comes to issues regarding child custody and coronavirus, you must bear in mind that the overarching legal standard is what is in the best interests of a child. While parents might have differing opinions regarding how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, they must bear in mind that no matter their personal ideas on the subject, when push comes to shove, a New Jersey family court is going to focus on what is in the best interests of a child.

In the final analysis, it is important to understand that if a dispute or disagreement pertaining to COVID and custody comes before a judge, the court is going to consider whether a parent’s particular position regarding the coronavirus pandemic might jeopardize the health and wellbeing of a child. For example, if a parent is against the coronavirus vaccine and has demonstrated a desire to take the child into situations in which the virus is more likely to spread, that position of a parent my result in a court adjusting how and when that parent can spend time with a child, at least at the present time.

Paying Attention to Government Mandates

If there is disagreement on some level regarding kids and COVID, divorcing parents need to pay heed to any existing governmental mandates. By this it is meant that if a parent elects to flaunt or ignore a governmental mandate regarding mask wearing, a court might find that a parent taking such a position is not necessarily acting in the best interests of a child. Although there may be different arguments to be made regarding the efficacy of mask wearing, if there is a public health mandate, at this juncture in time a parent is expected to follow it.

Consult with a Pediatrician

Because the best interests of a child will always be the paramount concern in a divorce case, if there is a disagreement involving child custody and coronavirus, parents are wise to consult with a respected pediatrician. In the “grand scheme of COVID things,” getting medical advice for a respected physician is a wise course to take.

Masks and Your Children

The issue of masks together with child custody and coronavirus has been touched on a moment ago. There are parents in New Jersey who support children wearing masks in certain situations. There are parents who oppose it. In the final analysis, it is important for parents to take care when it comes to turning their children into pawns over an argument between parents (or others) regarding mask wearing to aid in protecting against coronavirus infection. Broadly speaking and across the board, family courts consistently take a dim (indeed, very dim) view of parents who use their children as pawns in divorce and post-divorce disputes and disagreements.

Vaccines and Your Children

Vaccines have become another element of the discussion of public health and response to the coronavirus pandemic. A parent that blocks a child who qualifies for a COVID-19 vaccinations may run into an issue with the court in a divorce or custody case. If the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has determined that it is wise for children to be fully vaccinated, a family court might determine that this is the baseline for a parent providing reasonable care to a child.

If you find yourself facing issues surrounding child custody, including those that might arise around child custody and coronavirus, call the Offices of Peter Van Aulen at (201) 845-7400. A New Jersey child custody lawyer can schedule a free initial consultation with you any time that is convenient for you.

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Peter has integrity, and values his relationships with his clients beyond his financial relationship with them. For me to say this about any lawyer is really saying something. He is compassionate, straightforward and knowledgeable. I would easily recommend him to anybody. Lewie W.
Peter Van Aulen handled my case with great diligence and integrity. He is also a compassionate individual who realizes what a difficult time divorce can be emotionally. Peter works hard and doesn't take any shortcuts in preparing for a case… I highly recommend Mr. Van Aulen and his staff. Chuck Solomon
Peter is an exceptionally great attorney. He handled my child custody case and was able to ease any of my concerns with honest answers. He always took the time to explain the pros/cons and was always available to answer any questions that I had… I would highly recommend this attorney to anyone who is looking for one. Jessica Cruz
Peter Van Aulen is a very compassionate, honest and straightforward person. He was there for me at my lowest point with a genuine concern not only for my situation, but for me and my child's well being above all… He is fair and he is strong and when push comes to shove he is there for you. Cathy Dodge
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