Co-Parenting and Complying With Child Custody Orders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic in Bucks County, Pennsylvania

By a Bucks County Child Custody Lawyer

As more counties become subject to “stay-at-home orders” in response to the COVID-19 developments, co-parenting has become an increasingly difficult and rapidly evolving task.  With the closure of judicial districts during Pennsylvania’s statewide judicial emergency, custody dispute resolution has likewise seen dramatic and unprecedented changes.

Complying With Child Custody Orders During COVID-19 in Bucks County, PA

Despite the recent surge in sweeping executive and judicial emergency orders, child custody orders continue to remain in full force and effect in Bucks County.  As such, child custody exchanges continue to take place, although not without resistance from concerned parents.  Normally, parents can file a petition to modify their custody order if they believe doing so would serve the best interests of their child.  However, only essential and emergency proceedings are currently being scheduled until further notice.  What rises to the level of an emergency in a child custody dispute will depend on each particular case, which is why it is best to consult with a family law attorney as soon as an issue arises.

Although courts are not scheduling custody modifications in the normal course of business, parents have several alternatives to resolve their custody disputes.  While custody orders remain in effect until modified by the court, parents may always reach temporary or permanent agreements regarding custody.  As the effects of COVID-19 continue to strain already limited judicial resources, this is the quickest way to resolve your custody dispute.  Unfortunately, many custody disputes cannot be resolved by agreement, even after considerable efforts are made.

Concerns of Co-Parent Being Exposed To or Infected With COVID-19

You may have concerns that your spouse or another individual they reside with has recently been exposed to COVID-19 or even been infected.  Depending on the specific circumstances, there may be an emergency that requires court intervention.  If you find yourself in a similar situation, you should speak with an experienced family law attorney immediately.  Even in unprecedented times, the court’s primary focus is the child’s best interests.  Although the court may not address certain custody disputes in the immediate future, how parents handle issues in the meantime may influence future decisions by a judge.  With proper guidance from a family law attorney who is familiar with emergency custody procedure, you can help secure your present and future custody interests.