HARLINGEN, Texas — The health and financial crisis has changed the lives of millions of families, even those who are divorced or separated.
A local attorney shares the grounds parents can take to modify child custody during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“If you don’t make any adjustments during COVID-19, you’re wrong first of all,” said Attorney Ricardo Barrera of Barrera Law Firm in Harlingen. “You have to make some adjustments as a parent you know regarding children at this point.
“I’ve worked really hard to research and write up articles to guide people through things like this because we don’t really know where this is going to end up going, but at the end of this, we don’t want our children to be affected negatively,” said Barrera.
So, if you are on the frontlines, Barrera said there are grounds to modify custody like making a temporary agreement to change custody.
But if you feel your child is being neglected at home by the other parent, not home-schooling or taking proper safety precautions during the pandemic, Barrera said you can look into an emergency order.
“You can always apply for an emergency order to change custody when you first have evidence that there’s some sort of neglect, that there’s something substantial that changed and that it goes against the best interest of the children,” explained Barrera.
However, if you’re back and forth with the regular court order, Barrera advises making things as normal as possible.
“Comfort them and give them whatever time they want to have access via parent by Skype or by Facetime,” said Barrera.
Barrera said if a parent violates the court order, they could be charged.