PHENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – It’s no secret the pandemic has put a lot of stress on many families. According to Phoenix attorney Nicholas Boca, with the Cantor Law Group, Covid-19 is making divorce and child custody cases more complicated.
Disagreements about vaccinations, masks, and travel create more turmoil for parents. “Without the pandemic, it’s heated, it’s already heated,” said Boca. “You have two parents that are going through the divorce process, fighting over their livelihood, fighting over children, whatever they think is best for their children with someone they disagree with. It’s already contentious, and you add in the pandemic, and it’s a very polarizing issue right now. It’s even more contentious.”
Arizona law is not entirely clear if vaccination is considered a major medical decision, and that’s created some confusion about whether a parent with joint custody has to get the approval of the other parent to vaccinate their kid. There are also disputes about whether children should wear a mask in school or public places or if a child is safe hanging out with one side of the family that isn’t vaccinated.
Marriage and family therapist Nikki Aragon said if parents can’t reach peaceful resolutions, it’s the children who may suffer most. “How do you figure who to align with?” said Aragon. “You love both parents, trusting both, trying to take good care of you, and when you are getting opposite messages from them, that’s very hard to reconcile.”
Family law attorneys like Boca do their best to convince clients to compromise, even during a pandemic, but it’s not easy. “Ultimately, at the end of the day, what we don’t want is two people that hate each other raising a child,” said Boca.