Parenting Time During The COVID-19 Pandemic – PART 1: Do I still have to follow the parenting plan or custody order?

Parenting time is often a heated topic during a divorce and can continue to be so even after the divorce is final. However, the Coronavirus Pandemic has brought to light all kinds of new parenting time issues, so we want to share with you some tips on handling co-parenting situations more positively and effectively without damaging your child’s relationship with either one of you.

No matter what public health emergency is occurring in the country you must continue to comply with court orders. After all, it is a court order. You must follow it until a new court order gives you permission not to. During this Coronavirus Pandemic many issues with parenting time have been pushed to the back burner because our courts generally do not consider parenting time issues to be emergencies. If you are thinking of filing an emergency application because you really have no other recourse, e.g. your situation is in fact an emergency or you are afraid that your ex-spouse might just withhold your child forever, do not hesitate to involve the court. Your child’s welfare always comes first.

Be careful unilaterally deciding to disregard your custody order. One of the things that you have to display when it comes to custody is that you have an ability to co-parent with the other parent. That requires you to keep the other parent informed and have an ability to ensure there’s open communication between you and the other parent. You need to let your anger subside enough to realize that you are doing what’s best for your children.

For other examples of common co-parenting issues, follow this blog series.

If you need help ascertaining if you have a true parenting emergency, contact our office for further information about the specifics of your case. Schedule a Client Vision Meeting .

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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