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COVID-19 Family Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Georgia on
Q: Can the other parent restrict the other from visitation based on awaiting Covid results? Court appointed
Michael D. Birchmore
Michael D. Birchmore answered on Jul 30, 2021

The best response I can provide would be to tell you -- it depends. The law in general is always going to boil down to precisely what has happened and precisely what has occurred in court and precisely what court rulings have been made. Your question assumes that a "yes" or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody, Child Support and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Can I petition for custody of my grandson? Or at least try to get visitations established thru the court?

I had been raising my 6 1/2 grandson all his life. 100% by myself for the past 5 years with no help from his mother(my daughter) or his dad. 3 weeks ago his father showed up with his name finally on the B.C. & they also called DCF making outrageous false allegations concerning my 16yo son. The... Read more »

Camila Martin
Camila Martin answered on Jul 29, 2021

You should consult with an attorney that can assist you after getting more information on your particular case. You could file a Petition for Temporary Custody by Extended Family in Family Court where a Judge will make a determination on whether or not it is in the child's best interest that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Adoption, Child Custody and Family Law for Florida on
Q: Is it possible for a grandparent to get custody of grandchild if for 6 years they were the ones taking caring him?

I have a 6 1/2 yo grandson I have been caring for and supporting all his life. About 3 weeks ago his father showed up to my door with DCF and with his birth certificate. I was told I had to let him go with his father even though the child doesnt even know him. For the past 3 weeks I have been... Read more »

Rand Scott Lieber
Rand Scott Lieber answered on Jul 28, 2021

In family court (sounds like paternity in your case) there are no provisions for grandparent visitation. The only way that you might be able to pursue this is through dependency court. Look for a family attorney who specializes in dependency in your area that might give you a free or low cost... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for New York on
Q: I was told I voluntarily left a higher paying job, for a lower paying one to avoid higher support.

I left this higher paying job due to the stress levels and hardships of being understaffed and working mandatory overtime. This job was a new experience to me. I held on for 2 years, until COVID hit, we lost many workers, but kept the same workload. I was approved of a promotion that I didn’t... Read more »

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Jul 17, 2021

You can not voluntarily leave a higher paying job, for a lower paying job and expect a decrease in child support. Your income will be imputed based on your capability to earn, not your current earning. That is the law.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Support and Family Law for Michigan on
Q: In Michigan, Does child support start at birth, or when paternity is established, or when the paperwork gets filed?

I am Canadian, my son's father is American. Support is being handled in Michigan, and custody in Ontario. Friend of the court said it's only valid from the time filed. So essentially, he's absolved of his parental responsibilities for the first 12 months of his life? When the... Read more »

Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers answered on Jul 12, 2021

Support would go back to when the action is filed; birth expenses - if the state paid for it, are separate and in addition to support.

The family courts mostly continued through COVID. Even if your particular court could not conduct a hearing - most made the transition to ZOOM hearings...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Arizona on
Q: child suport case start over twenty years ago in ND who has no statue of limitations and I move to SD with no max

SD has no max so is my diver license safe?

Also are there covid laws in SD to protect my license?

Stephen M Vincent
Stephen M Vincent answered on Jun 10, 2021

You asked this question to Arizona, where it seems like you intended to ask for South Dakota.

If you intended Arizona, North Dakota could ask AZ to enforce. AZ does not have a Statute of Limitations for enforcing child support, and losing your drivers license is a potential consequence in AZ.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for New York on
Q: My ex wants downward modification on child support- feels too much is being taken from his unemployment benefit.

My ex and I have been going back and forth to court in NYS for over 8 years. Last year, a magistrate ordered a 750$ monthly obligation and awarded me 14K in arrears due to non-payment. My ex was found in violation for chronic non-payment of a previous support order, and I was also issued a 5K money... Read more »

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Jun 1, 2021

That he feels that $800 a moth is too much is not a basis for a modification. Additionally, you can point out that at least part of that is payments for arrears and that cannot be changed.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for New York on
Q: Is it possible for an incarcerated father to get court ordered visitation? No paternity has been established

It’s not safe to bring my 1 year old to a jail with the virus going on. He’s threatening to take me to court if I don’t bring my child there.

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Jun 1, 2021

It is possible to get visitation in a prison. However, your first problem is to establish paternity. Without paternity being established the courts will not order any type of visitation or contact.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Divorce for Nevada on
Q: As a witness in family court, can I listen to other witnesses before I give my testimony. I want them to know I’m listen

I want other witnesses to see me there listening. Not to change my own testimony or get the story straight. I feel I have the legal right to since it’s public

Bonnie M Lonardo
Bonnie M Lonardo answered on Apr 29, 2021

It has been my experience, prior to COVID, that it was really up to the individual judges if they allowed the witnesses all in the courtroom at the same time. most of the time I found that it was one witness in the courtroom at one time. Since COVID, most appearances are virtual and processes are... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Alaska on
Q: My kids were homeschooled by both parents in our separate homes this year. I can't make this accommodation next year.

Our divorce began as COVID 19 started. My ex. and I pulled the kids from in person learning as the schools COVID rates were sorted out. Fast forward to now, we have 1 case every few weeks in our small rural Alaskan village and the school has implemented an effective mitigation plan keeping kids... Read more »

Phyllis Shepherd
Phyllis Shepherd answered on Apr 28, 2021

I will assume that you do not have a court order granting either parent sole legal custody. Assuming both of you are equally good parents, courts prefer that equally good parents cooperate for the best interests of the children. Pediatricians and other health care professionals recognize the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for New Jersey on
Q: In the state of New Jersey I pay child support but can’t offord it

I can offord the payment but I send something every week and I don’t have a job cause of covid but I do pay money to child support every week I have court soon and I’m not sure why

Teresa L. Reichek
Teresa L. Reichek answered on Apr 23, 2021

Thank you for your question. The court calculates child support based on a number of factors. To have that amount adjusted you need to prove a permanent change in circumstances. Unemployment is generally not considered permanent. You are likely being summoned to a court appearance for an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Texas on
Q: When will my court date be?

My child’s father is not allowing me to have visitation with my daughter. I plan on filing motion to enforce. After I file the paperwork, how soon will my court date be scheduled for?

Jonathan Tanaka
Jonathan Tanaka answered on Mar 24, 2021

Thanks for your question!

It really depends. A lot of courts have been significantly affected by COVID. Many hearings here have been pushed out to June/July.

Have you reached out to an attorney yet? I would recommend that you contact a local family law attorney in Katy, TX so the...
Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Georgia on
Q: I am Pro Se and would like a continuance to withdrawal from the final hearing via zoom. I want an in-person hearing.

How do I make this request being Pro Se?

Regina Irene Edwards
Regina Irene Edwards answered on Mar 17, 2021

This may not be possible. Zoom hearings are standard because of the pandemic. Judges are required to hold via zoom absent an emergency.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Legal Malpractice for Ohio on
Q: Me and my ex share a kid and she is forcing me to get the covid vaccine if I want to continue seeing my kid. Is it legal

She already didn't let me see him for over two months because our Governor had the stay at home order in Ohio and now she is forcing me to get the vaccine if I want to continue seeing my son. I wondering if all this that she is doing is actually legal.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 15, 2021

If you were not married to her, and if no court has granted you any parental rights, then she has sole custody and gets to determine who gets to spend time with the child, or even deny time completely. You could apply to the court for parental rights, but a judge might agree that she can refuse... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody, Child Support and Civil Litigation for Georgia on
Q: Who gets the benefits for Covid relief and dependent tax credit due to custody change in year 2020. See more details!

My ex ended up claiming the kids on taxes and received all the COVID relief money 1st, 2nd, and it looks like the 3rd. Below is the history and im looking for who is the rightful owner of this. Also Ive tried discussing it with the other party several times and the reply i get is "not up for... Read more »

Regina Irene Edwards
Regina Irene Edwards answered on Mar 8, 2021

If you have primary custody, you can claim the children as dependents. You can't do anything about the COVID relief money. If your ex owes you child support since September, you can file a contempt for that.

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for North Carolina on
Q: My Wife's family all have COVID. She wants to bring our 1 yr old to their home for a full week. Do I have legal options?

My soon to be ex wife is taking my son out of state to her parents home where at least 4 people have COVID. Are there any legal routes I can follow if my soon contracts COVID while there?

Mr. Albert Loch Saslow
Mr. Albert Loch Saslow answered on Mar 5, 2021

If you don't have an existing custody case, I would consider filing one ASAP. If you have an existing case, you may want to file a Motion for Emergency Custody before she leaves alleging that the child will be exposed to a substantial risk of bodily injury. Some judges may agree that such a... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Child Custody and Family Law for Georgia on
Q: how to file a motion to intervene to gain custody or at least fair visitation of my grandson from other grandparent

The other grandparents have taken my grandson from my daughter under complicated circumstances to which I was not privy too nor given the chance to intervene they are in the process of seeking custody but not allowing me to see my grandchild while they have temporary custody. I don't have any... Read more »

Homer P Jordan IV
Homer P Jordan IV answered on Mar 4, 2021

You may be able to petition for some visitation rights, but it would require working with an attorney. Try contacting Legal Aid to see if you qualify for free legal assistance. You can also try calling the state bar to see if there is a pro bono attorney in your area.

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: I have a shared parenting agreement however my ex is using covid not to get his son. He hasn't gotten him since 3/2020.

Can I do anything about it? Also if my son is too much for me, can give temporary custody of him to his father? How do I do that? His father doesn't speak to me at all and I have asked for his help before and he will not help at all. Medically I can no longer live with him as he gives me... Read more »

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Mar 4, 2021

The past year has been very difficult and has had adverse affects on mental health. The father needs to step up. Start by talking to your son's father about the situation. Also talk to your son's school counselor, who could advise you about family counseling services that are... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for New York on
Q: Would a judge approve a vacation if 1 of the days falls on a day that the noncustodial parent has?

The non custodial parent has been inconsistent with seeing his child. From March 2020-July 2020 he did not see her. He did not take her for his two weeks scheduled visitation for the summer and he did not take her for his holiday on Christmas Eve. He gets her spring break week and I asked prior to... Read more »

David Ivan Bliven
David Ivan Bliven answered on Feb 28, 2021

The problem on your end is that NYC Family Courts are currently prioritizing emergency cases until the pandemic is over - I don't frankly this this would qualify as an emergency. The issue for the Judge would be why you wouldn't be able to switch the dates of your travel. But ultimately... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Family Law and Child Custody for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a joint custodial parent veto a particular child therapist?

I share joint 50/50 legal custody of my 5 yr old child w my ex. Our agreement was filed w the court in 2017. My ex would like a therapist (who has not yet met our child but has shown bias against me as a non-birth mom) to start seeing our child every other week for therapy. Our current child... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Feb 24, 2021

You should request a therapist referral from the provider who is leaving for a successor therapist. Both parents should have input for the new provider. If the other parent refuses and there is a proceeding pending or if there is not a proceeding one would need to be brought- for Modification... Read more »

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