What Should I do if I am Sick With COVID-19 and my Former Spouse Cannot Care for our Children?

The new coronavirus has drastically affected the lives of nearly all Americans. People are sick, losing their jobs, and more. Unfortunately, one of the most affected groups of people by the COVID-19 pandemic is divorced co-parents. We have seen many different scenarios arise regarding parenting time and child custody because of stay-at-home orders, self-isolation, and even hospitalizations. If you are someone who has recently contracted the virus, or you suspect you may contract the virus in the future, you are most likely worried about how it may affect child custody, especially if your former spouse or partner is unable to care for your children for one reason or another. That is why it is always best to plan ahead for such a situation. Fortunately, our experienced Bergen County estate planning attorneys can help you do so.

One of the things you can do is create a power of attorney, wherein you will name a legal guardian who can care for your child, should you and your former spouse or partner be unable to do so. This can be a trusted family member or friend whom you know will always look out for your child’s best interests. There are several different types of powers of attorney available, though these situations typically call for what is known as a “Limited Power of Attorney.” These types of powers of attorney give someone you trust the right to act within a designated time limit, such as becoming a legal guardian during a pandemic if you and your former spouse/partner are unable to do so.

If you do not create a power of attorney and are unable to care for your child, one of your family members may still go to court and ask to be appointed as a kinship legal guardian. That being said, it is always best to prepare beforehand to ensure the right person cares for your children. For any additional questions, please do not hesitate to give our experienced Bergen County estate planning attorneys a call today. We are here to help.

Contact our experienced Bergen County firm

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience helping clients to understand and protect their legal rights before, during, and after the divorce process in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Ridgewood, Paramus, Teaneck, and Fort Lee. To speak with our team of divorce lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your concerns about your divorce, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.

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