COVID-19 and the pandemic has made life more difficult for everyone. For parents who share custody of their children, or for couples in the process of divorce – the pandemic has made things a lot more tedious.
We have had many questions from parents who are hesitant to release their children to the custody of the other parent for fear of infection. Per the Illinois’ stay-at-home order, parenting time schedule agreements are to remain in effect during the pandemic and transporting children between each parent is considered essential travel.
In Illinois, Governor Pritzker has created directives and Illinois courthouses have implemented General Orders advising parents to maintain the status quo of parenting time schedules during this unprecedented time. However, issues tend to arise when one parent is an essential worker, employed on the front lines of this pandemic.
Parenting Plans Should Be Honored to The Best of The Parents’ Ability
What if a parent gets sick, or has been exposed to COVID-19? There have also been situations where elderly individuals share a home with a parent and that parent is fearful that by transferring the children between parents, it could cause the children to give the virus to the elderly individuals within the home. We advise people to work together and amicably communicate to find solutions that are in the best interests of children, but also that protect all individuals within each parent’s home, including the parents themselves.
Child support has been another problematic issue due to the pandemic. Thousands of individuals have lost his/her job or has had his/her income drastically reduced due to the pandemic. If this has occurred a parent’s child support obligation may be at issue. In order to get this issue rectified, our office must file a pleading electronically with the Court system in order for the Court to determine whether that support should be modified.
We have also heard from clients who were in the middle of divorce proceedings when the stay-at-home order was enforced. These couples are now forced to stay home together.
Domestic Violence Surges In Court During The Pandemic
As people are staying home together for long periods of time, we have seen an increase in stress and uncertainty. These issues are causing an increase in domestic violence cases. Although courthouses are currently “closed” for in-person appearance for most cases, the courthouses continue to remain open for in-person domestic violence issues, specifically Orders of Protection.
The Pandemic and COVID-19 within divorce and family law has purported many new questions and concerns for individuals dealing with these legal matters.
The Law Offices of Christopher D. Edmonds, Ltd. is currently open and available to answer any questions and concerns you may have regarding your legal matter. Please call us at (708) 562-9880 to schedule a telephone and/or video consultation.
We are here for you during this uncertain and unprecedented time. Stay safe and healthy!