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Can The Family Court Take Your Kids Away From You And Give Them To Your Ex-Spouse Just Because You Missed A Webex Meeting?

KidsVirtual

Just existing during the COVID-19 pandemic is a challenge.  It is pointless to argue about who has it the worst, because everyone does.  Being a teenager with divorced parents who live in two different states isn’t easy even in normal times, when you can take your shiny new driver’s license and go to a diner for breakfast on the day of your A.P. exams, and vent to your friends about how, when A.P. exams are over, you are not looking forward to spending half of the summer with your uptight stepmom and the other half with your socially inept stepdad.  One of the most stressful parts of the pandemic was all the virtual meetings, where the rules were set by people who had no idea how frequent technical glitches are nor how to solve them.  Perhaps some people’s hearts grew three sizes during the pandemic, but it wasn’t the bosses who fired employees for missing work while waiting for COVID test results or the teachers who deducted points from students’ grades if they dared to turn off their webcams during virtual class sessions.  It certainly wasn’t the judge who took away 100 percent of the parenting time from a mother who missed a virtual hearing about child custody.  The terrifying, chaotic days of the spring of 2020 may seem like ancient history, but the omicron variant threatens another winter of disruptions to parenting plans and family court operations.  A Palm Beach County child custody lawyer can help you weather the storm.

Stuff Happens, Things Fall Apart, and Other Pandemic-Related Problems

Tyler and Mary never had an easy co-parenting relationship after they finalized their divorce in Texas in 2010.  Mary relocated to Florida soon after the divorce, and the parties’ parenting plan provided for the children to travel between Texas and Florida.  Especially as the children grew older, Mary failed to send them to Texas to see their father as often or for as long a duration as the parenting plan indicated.  By early 2020, when the children were 17 and 15 years old, a long time had passed since Tyler had seen the children, and he filed a motion to modify the parenting plan and to hold Mary in contempt of court for preventing Tyler from exercising his court-ordered parenting time.

In February 2020, Mary’s lawyer ended their attorney-client relationship, so from that point on, Mary was representing herself in the case.  Soon after, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the courts to close for in-person operations.  The court scheduled a virtual hearing for March 2020, and Mary was unable to attend due to illness.  The court held her in contempt and awarded 100 percent of the parenting time to Tyler, laying out a long list of steps Mary had to follow to get her parenting time back.  The best way to avoid a nightmare situation like this is to work closely with your family law attorney.

Reach Out to Us Today for Help

A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you cope with the chaos that comes with co-parenting during the pandemic.  Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation.

Resource:

scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=5726545301247043570&q=divorce+boca+raton&hl=en&as_sdt=4,10&as_ylo=2011&as_yhi=2021

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