Corona Virus neglect during child visitations
Is your ex-partner failing to protect your child from the Coronavirus during visits? You could have grounds for an immediate temporary total custody order if they are not following state-mandated guidelines – but you’ll need solid evidence.
There is no precedent for child custody modifications during a pandemic. However, in San Francisco, A Notice of Emergency Family Court Operations states that changes to child custody may be granted under “very strong factual showing of imminent danger or severe detriment to the child.” In other words, family courts will intercede only if you have evidence of high risk to your child. Similar orders are being adopted across the state, and virtually all of them hinge on the ability to provide tangible evidence.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s office has previously stated that child custody guidelines should still be followed, so it is important that parents seeking to temporarily modify their custody arrangement do so carefully, and legally. California courts have been very clear that using the pandemic to deny visitation could land you in contempt of court. But with new Coronavirus cases in California surging to 13,412 on Monday – a single-day record – and the California Department of Health issuing new and stricter public safety guidelines; the safety of your child is a warranted concern.
Local law enforcement will not intervene with child custody orders on the grounds of Coronavirus exposure risk, so how should a concerned parent proceed?
Engaging the services of a licensed Private Investigator and family law attorney are the first steps you should take. A licensed Private Investigator will be able to obtain clear and convincing evidence that your child is in imminent danger when in the custody of the other parent, and a good attorney will be able to work with the PI to compile a convincing case that can be presented to your local family court.
California’s stay-at-home order is still in effect, so your ex-partner is subject to many regulations while caring for your child. For example, your child should not be leaving the house except for essentials. Non-permitted activities include sleep-overs and playdates, social gatherings, and celebrations outside of the household. Your ex-partner is expected to stock appropriate PPE and maintain a sanitary environment, and as of Monday’s new order, masks are required even while outdoors. A licensed Private Investigator will discreetly gather evidence necessary to demonstrate that that your ex-partner is in violation of these state mandated orders, putting your child in imminent danger of exposure. A PI’s findings may include detailed reports, video and photographic evidence, and credible witness testimony.
Most importantly, the validity of your case will rest on the quality of evidence, so it is essential that you validate a Private Investigators credentials. Free licensing validation, and a nationwide database of verified, expert investigator listings is available at findyourinvestigator.com.