With the second wave of the pandemic in full swing, living with the fear of becoming ill from COVID-19 has become a reality that many of us wish we did not have to face. As a parent, your worries can be two-fold as you have to ensure your health, as well as your child’s health.
What happens, however, if your child has an immune-compromised condition and they do not live with you but with their other parent? In addition to that, the other parent who happens to have full custody of your child does not believe that COVID-19 is real and is therefore not taking necessary precautions? What do you do then? Do you have any rights or say so in how your child lives despite the child custody agreement?
These questions and scenarios are becoming more and more prevalent during these times.
California bases its custody laws on the best interest of the child. To determine the child’s best interest, courts usually look at the child’s health, safety, and welfare, and benefits from continued contact with both parents.
What Rights Do You Have If You Am Not The Primary Custodian?
In California, it is essential to know that there is physical custody and legal custody. You not being the primary custodian of your child or children does not mean that you have forfeited all rights. In fact, in many child custody cases, one parent has primary physical custody, and both have legal custody.
Physical custody can either be shared or sole. Physical custody is who the child lives with. A primary custodian means that the child lives with that person on a full-time basis, and may visit the other parent a few times a year, depending on the agreement.
Legal custody provides a parent, or both, with the legal right to make crucial decisions regarding religion, healthcare, school, travel, and more.
When And How Should You Intervene?
Should you intervene if you feel as if your child is in harm’s way due to child neglect or the negligence of his or her primary custodian? The answer is yes. If you feel as if your child is in danger, you should take action. Action may include anything from speaking to the other parent or going to court.
In the scenario mentioned above, your child is prone to illness due to their compromised immune system. The other parent is neglecting to provide a medically safe environment. By all means, you should bring up your concerns to the primary custodian. If you feel that your concerns are not being heard or respected, you may want to have the court look at the matter.
Is It Possible To Get Temporary Custody?
It is possible to get temporary custody in California if you feel that the child is in harm’s way. Temporary custody is a short-term solution that is available while a disputed case awaits a hearing.
To change or modify an already existing agreement, the court must see a significant change in circumstances. You should raise your concerns regarding your child’s health and COVID. Be prepared to prove that the conditions in which your child lives will greatly impact their health.
Will You Need An Attorney?
As with all cases, having an attorney is your choice. However, in complex matters such as custody cases, especially where you ask that a current agreement be changed or modified, you must proceed with caution. These issues can prove complicated and require specific knowledge of the court system, the law, and sometimes even the judge.
An attorney can help you understand your different options. They can also help you understand the law and all the necessary caveats. Finding a local lawyer with experience in matters such as this will ensure that you get the best representation as you fight for the well-being of your child.
An Attorney Can Help Answer All Your Child Custody Questions
Custody cases are often emotional and complex. There is no reason to go it alone if you can find a competent attorney to assist you in your case. The right attorney will help guide you through the complicated issues while keeping your child’s best interest in mind.
Bruce A. Mandel can help you understand the law and your rights. If you have a similar case or any other type of child custody case, contact Torrance Family Law Attorney Bruce A. Mandel today for a free consultation. You can also visit their Facebook page for more information.