Child Custody & Visitation During COVID-19

A parent who violates an existing exchange order may claim immediate risk of harm to the child as a defense. However, the general risk of community infection may not be enough to avoid being held in contempt.

Doctors, firefighters and others who risk exposure to Covid-19 are being taken to court by ex-spouses who want to keep them away from their children. If there is an imminent threat to a child’s well-being – you must take action.

How Navigate Child Custody During the Pandemic?

Across the country, divorced parents are grappling with difficult situations as regular routines have been disrupted. An obstacle for divorced parents during the pandemic is that most state and county family courts are closed, or open for emergencies involving abuse or endangerment. This means that even if parents want to modify pre-existing custody agreement they cannot right now.

If you believe that sending your child to your ex’s home could pose a risk to your child’s health, you can ask your ex to agree to a temporary change to custody, and propose other alternatives like postponing in-person visits for a period of time, scheduling daily phone calls, texts or FaceTime / Zoom video calls, etc.

The question is – what should you do when both parents cannot agree?

You should contact a local family law lawyer or mediator for advice – most family law lawyers are still working and available by phone or video meeting services.

If your child’s health is truly at risk, you may want to ask a judge to intervene. You or your attorney may be able to obtain an emergency temporary child custody order from your local family court. Please keep in mind that there are not universal laws for family law to follow so disputes during this time of COVID-19 are unchartered water for both divorced parents as well as family law lawyers.

If you have additional questions please contact Tennessee divorce attorneys at McKellar & Easters[1] for help!

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  1. ^ Tennessee divorce attorneys at McKellar & Easters (
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