Bensalem, PA asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Pennsylvania

Q: Social distancing and covid concerns

We have 50/50 custody of my stepson and also take care of my husbands elderly mother. She is considered high risk. Today we found out that my husbands ex has not been practicing social distancing and has been letting their son play with children closely. Talks in the house have been it might not be safe to have him in the home. We don’t want to give up time with my stepson. Is there anything we can do to keep our family safe? There is no child support or custody order in place. Everything has been kept out of the courts. What is my husbands legal rights?

1 Lawyer Answer
Cary B. Hall
Cary B. Hall
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Norristown, PA
  • Licensed in Pennsylvania

A: If there's no court order, there aren't any "official" rules by which to play -- at least right now. He has two recourses: (1) work it out informally, just like he always has, or (2) file a Complaint for Custody and let the court sort everything out.

Your husband's "legal rights" to his child right now are the same as the child's mother: general, but amorphous. He has a general "right" to parent his child, and so does she. But without a court order to clarify those rights, the limits of those rights -- especially between the two of them -- are unknown, and there's also no enforcement mechanism with the court. If he wants to formally define those rights, he'll need to open a custody case in court. Otherwise, he co-parents the best he can with the other parent (and sounds like that's been going well so far).

Best of luck to all.

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