COVID-19 and Future Custody Determinations

The following is an excerpt taken from an article published in the New York Law Journal on March 27, 2020, regarding how parental behavior today can affect judicial decisions in the future according to the Statewide Coordinating Judge for Divorce and Custody Cases

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“One of the important things [a judge] think[s] about in making a custody determination is if this is how this individual is behaving while a case is pending or about to commence, how will they behave when it is over? Simply put, when you behave a certain way and there is a judge in the equation, how will a parent behave when [a judge is] no longer involved in their lives? With parents who are not obeying court orders, or where no orders exist are engaging in “self-help”… the actions they take today and during this crisis could well be determinative or dispositive at the time of final decision by a judge. The concept is well embodied in New York case law, as one of the factors a court must consider in determining custody is which parent is likely to provide access to the other parent.”

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“How they conduct themselves at parenting during a time of a pandemic crisis, one of which we have never before seen will shape their relationship with each other as divorced parents in the future, the relationship they have with their children and most importantly the relationship that their children have with them. As adults, we are all frightened over the events of the past few weeks and the uncertainty of the future. Through the eyes of a child, their world turned upside down—their school disrupted and social interactions with friends now almost impossible. One of the only things that should and can bring comfort to a child are parents cooperating. Not only is it the best interest of the child—the time-honored standard—it is the best interest in their divorce and their relationship to come.”

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“Let [your children] have fond memories of how parents conducted themselves. If parents do not conduct themselves appropriately and sensibly, their children will remember throughout their lives how they acted and so will the judge deciding the case.”

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If you are struggling with obtaining your parenting time, or are not sure whether you should accommodate the non-custodial parent, a Suffolk County Family Law Attorney is here to help you. Call us at 631-392-4949 or email us at info@bpfamilylaw.com.

The information and suggestions contained herein are not to be construed as legal advice and may have been provided by a third-party source

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