COVID-19 Family Law Q&A by State

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COVID-19 Family Law Questions & Answers
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...
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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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce, Family Law, Estate Planning and Probate for California on
Q: In CA. My husband/his ex never filed a QDRO. He died. What do I need to do to get CalPERS to pay me his pension?

He caught Covid in the line of duty. I had POA for CalPERS. I'm his beneficiary. I got the QDRO drafted but it wasn't ready until a month after he died so he couldn't sign it. How do I get an order from court that doesn't require his signature so CalPERS will release the lien on... Read more »

Tobie Brina Waxman
Tobie Brina Waxman answered on Feb 23, 2021

You probably don't have standing to act on his behalf in family court. That being said, there's definitely something that can be done. When someone dies, the successor in interest (probably you) can be joined into the divorce case to sign documents, including a QDRO. That's what... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Family Law for Ohio on
Q: If I have full custody do I have to let my daughter go visit her mother in another state if I don't feel it's safe to do

I have full custody in ohio and she doesnt have any legal rights as moved to california. Shes demanding I send her to California during the pandemic and I have no clue who she lives with or would be around if something happened.

Joseph Jaap
Joseph Jaap answered on Feb 23, 2021

It depends on what the custody order or parenting plan says about time with the other parent. Review those, or use the Find a Lawyer tab to retain a local family law attorney to review all the circumstances and advise you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Custody for Texas on
Q: What's the best way to approach the situation without breaking court order?

The parents are unmarried & recently separated. I want to make sure that the baby has same amount of time with each other. Because of the pandemic & the winter we are enduring. The father thinks I'm using it as an excuse to alienate. But he works (he has had the past week off cause of... Read more »

Jonathan Tanaka
Jonathan Tanaka answered on Feb 19, 2021

Hello, thanks for your question! I would recommend that you reach out to a local attorney in your area soon so that the attorney can learn more about what is going on and advise you as to how to proceed.

The title of your post says "without breaking a court order" -- is there...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for South Carolina on
Q: My exwife has custody of our kids, during my visits she tells me I’m not aloud to take my kids to a restaurant during

The pandemic and if I do take them out I won’t be aloud to come get my kids of a certain period of time as punishment. What can I do about this?

Cheryl Ann Truesdale
Cheryl Ann Truesdale answered on Feb 17, 2021

It depends on what your court order says. If the order grants you a defined schedule of visitation - alternate weekends from 6 pm Friday to 6 pm Sunday, for example - and your ex-wife is interfering with that schedule, you can file a rule to show cause in court to seek enforcement of that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Nevada on
Q: I have Covid court Oder say I have to send kids back to other parent will I get in trouble if I don’t ?
Bonnie M Lonardo
Bonnie M Lonardo answered on Feb 15, 2021

I always advise my clients to adhere to the court order as closely as possible to avoid punishment due to court order violations. Additionally, I always encourage my clients to communicate openly with the other party and to discuss matters such as these amicably, before resorting to court... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Child Support for Alabama on
Q: Im 5k behind on child support since covid hit. I'm wondering what I should do & will I be going to jail for this?
Shane Michael Oncale
Shane Michael Oncale answered on Feb 13, 2021

You should immediately consult an attorney or file yourself to have your child support payments suspended or at least reduced. One of the big secrets of child support that they should make you aware of when you are first ordered to pay but don't is that if something happens in your life that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Child Custody and Child Support for Texas on
Q: My son has 2 boys 9 and 10 years old. He and the mother were together for 4 years. He paid everything including ins.

insurance and her mothers rent and taxes. They split and she only allowed him 1 hour on Sunday to see them and only what she said they can do. Now its at 2 hours but he has not seen them in 10 months. He try to call them at the assigned time she gave them but has instructed boys they dont have to... Read more »

Sharita Blacknall
Sharita Blacknall answered on Feb 10, 2021

Your son needs to hire an attorney to file a suit affecting the parent-child relationship. This will give him an enforceable order regarding visitation and child support. If the mother does not follow the court's order the Judge has the option to give your son extra visitation days to make up... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I had to file contempt for my ex to provide his financial statement. He has yet to do so. What’s the next step for me?

A week has past since the contempt hearing where the judge verbally told him to provide this info to me.

Brian Waller
Brian Waller answered on Feb 10, 2021

In my experience, judges don't have a lot of patience for things that aren't a good use of their time, like having a hearing that doesn't accomplish anything because one party hasn't provided info they were supposed to provide. Judges have a lot of discretion in how they handle... Read more »

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