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Child Custody Challenges During the Pandemic!


As a divorce attorney and mediator with over 35 years of experience, I’ve seen it all! Nothing surprises me. But divorce cases I am handling during COVID -19 have been real eye-openers. Fortunately, I have some great solutions!!

A devoted dad, having some difference of opinion with his wife, met with me on Skype for a free consultation and asked me about custody at the beginning of the pandemic.

He was concerned because his wife told him to take their young daughter to their condo in North Carolina for safety reasons, as New York was a hot spot for the virus. He was reluctant to do so, but he did, and as soon as he got there, she told him she wanted him to take their daughter back to the city so she could see her. By that time, there was a shelter in place order, so it was not safe to leave or to travel.

Now his wife started accusing him of keeping her daughter away from her and that he was kidnapping their child. He’d had enough! He had already been considering divorce, since this was not the first time his wife’s judgment, in reference to their child was in question. Her behavior over the last year had been out of control. He was done! He told me he wanted to battle this out, and take her to court for full custody.

Since the courts were closed due to Covid-19, I told him he couldn't go to court. I suggested we try to work things out in mediation, which has been working really well, especially with Zoom as my new mediation partner.

During the mediation process, the wife realized that the issue was not that the husband was withholding their child from her, and didn’t want to bring her back to New York, but that what she was asking him to do would put their child at great risk. She also learned that this marriage was over and her poor judgment, in reference to their daughter, was a big part of the reason.

During the 3rd meeting the wife finally admitted she was hiding a difficult secret. She told her husband she had been depressed and drinking a lot (secretly) over the last year, and was having a lot of trouble raising their child. She too, wanted a divorce, and said she needed professional help. I offered the names of a few therapists who are part of my team for her to speak with, and she chose one to work consult with.

As a temporary solution with regard to her seeing her daughter, we arranged for Skype and FaceTime visits.

We are currently working on child custody and support aspects of the divorce, and hope to arrive at a fair and reasonable separation agreement soon.

Mediation is a remarkable process. It bears consideration because of all the positive aspects. In mediation, a neutral party, usually lawyer/mediator, acts as the facilitator of the parties' discussions and negotiations. Divorce mediation is quickly becoming the new normal.

In the mediation process I developed, psychology plays a major role in helping people come to an agreement. Mediation is the non-adversarial approach to divorce. It is certainly better than fighting, spending a fortune, and having lawyers and judges make decisions for you.

If you are struggling with child-related issues during this difficult time, call me. Let me show you how mediation can help you and your family to move forward with peace and dignity.

During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our 1 Hour consultations are FREE and are conveniently conducted virtually by telephone or TeleDivorce by Zoom or Skype to reduce risk and maintain safety.

Call me to explore how mediation works!!

I look forward to speaking with you.

Continue to Stay Home, Stay Healthy & Stay Safe!

Warm regards,


Call New York Divorce Lawyer, Lois Brenner now to book your free consultation. 212.734.1551