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Date Published: 02/26/2021

Parenting Amidst Divorce in New York – Will Parenting Ever Be “Routine” After 2020?

Before the pandemic of 2020, contested custody disputes over how decisions are to be made between divorcing parents could generally be segregated into two buckets: (1) the “major” decisions, such as where to enroll a child in school, medical treatment, or whether or not to have a child treated by a therapist; and (2) the “routine daily decisions” – a sacred collection of day-to-day decisions that a divorced parent could make on his or her own without needing to seek the consent of the other parent.

After the Covid-19 outbreak, the once, seemingly defined bucket of “routine daily decisions” has become a gray area. New York courts faced with making a determination about custody must consider the “best interests of the child”. Making that determination after the pandemic presents a host of new challenges. What was once taken for granted – taking your child to socialize with a friend, taking your child to school, or just grabbing a bite with your child has transformed into a mine field of complexities that might impact a custody proceeding. With that in mind, is there a way out, or a means to find solutions to mitigate these complexities in contested custody proceedings, or is expanded conflict over matters that were once considered “routine” simply going to be the norm following the pandemic? Our panelists look forward to sharing their views on these evolving topics.

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