COVID-19 and divorce: SoCal family attorney shares ways sensitive family issues are being handled with courts closed

LOS ANGELES -- The coronavirus crisis is having a dramatic impact on family dynamics - even more so in families of divorced couples where parents share custody.

KABC spoke with Peter Walzer, a family law attorney and partner at Walzer Melcher, to discuss how parents can navigate these sensitive and complicated issues.

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How is the COVID-19 crisis affecting the way divorcing or divorced couples are sharing their children?

"Parents don't know what to do. If the parent has been exposed to COVID or there's a rumor that they have - they don't know whether to do the transfer. They can't go to court; courts are only hearing the most dire emergencies: domestic violence or child abuse. So, they have no where to go except to figure it out themselves," Walzer said.

What can happen if somebody does the wrong thing and it comes back to hurt you when the courts start to move forward?

"And that will be a long time, we don't know what the courts will do. We're hoping that they're going to understand the crisis. But there are some parents that are taking advantage of this situation. And, they may be in trouble later on, but that's going to be a long way down the road," Walzer said.

How are people resolving their disputes?

"Some people are just operating as normal, but of course, if one parent fears that the other parent has been exposed or a child has been exposed - they're simply making that decision on their own not to transfer the children. Right or wrong, it may come back to haunt them, 50-50 quarter-backing, but that's what's happening. People are making their own decisions, it's a very tough one," Walzer said.

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