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Does COVID-19 Change my Parenting Rights?

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Does COVID-19 Change my Parenting Rights?

COVID-19 has changed our lives in a number of ways. As a result, you may be wondering if your parenting rights have changed. Many divorced couples who co-parent are struggling during the pandemic, which only makes sense. It is incredibly difficult to navigate shared custody during the pandemic. Each parent has different jobs, health concerns, and so on. You likely have a lot of questions regarding your parenting rights during the pandemic. Read on for more information regarding parenting rights in New Jersey.

What are parents’ rights in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, all parents have certain rights and responsibilities when it comes to raising their children. Those rights are as follows:

  • The right to custody, both physical or legal: Physical custody refers to the parent with whom the child resides most. Both parents can share custody, but physical custody is awarded to the parent who has the child for the majority of the time. Legal custody refers to a parent’s right to make important decisions in the life of the child, including medical, religious, and educational decisions.
  • Visitation rights: If you do not have physical custody, but you do have legal custody, you should have visitation rights, which will allow you to follow the rules of a predetermined parenting plan and still see your child.
  • The right to child support: In New Jersey, both parents are legally obligated to financially support their child until courts decide the child no longer requires it.

Do these rights change during the coronavirus pandemic?

Though many aspects of our lives have changed, parental rights do not. While you may want to temporarily change your custody agreement or visitation schedule to protect the safety of your child, you may only do so with the permission of the other parent or New Jersey courts. You should also note that all laws concerning child support remain unchanged as well. If you owe child support, federal law demands you make all payments on time. Child support agencies will continue to report any past-due payments. That being said, if you recently lost your job or you have experienced another major change to your financial situation, you may request a temporary modification to your child support agreement until things begin to return to normalcy.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your parenting rights or any necessary changes to your custody plan, contact our firm today to discuss.

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