Child custody, visitation changes during virus crisis

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Current restrictions at courthouses have some parents and guardians trying to figure out child custody arrangements.

“Really try to work with the co-parent and put the child first,” said Shari-Lynn Cuomo Shore, a family attorney in Hamden. “...If you can truly put the childs’ best interest first, generally you are going to be happy with the outcome.”

Shore has heard from clients since courts were closed and the number of people admitted to the remaining courthouses was limited. Her clients are asking about visitation schedules and moving children between homes.

Shore said people cannot violate an existing custody order, but are allowed to make mutually-agreed changes. She suggested putting any changes in writing, including a text message. 

The Department of Children and Families has made some changes to visits for children in foster care or whose parents have visitation rights, DCF spokesman Gary Kleeblatt said.

“It could be through Skype, a phone call or Facebook,” he said. “We're trying to support the connection, which is so important. But given the need to protect the safety of the children, parents and everyone else, we are conducting those visits through remote means.”

He added the situation is stressful and “isn't ideal.” Kleeblatt said there is “nothing usual about the pandemic” but the department is working to remain operational and functional. 

lsellew@record-journal.com203-317-2225Twitter: @LaurenSellewRJ

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