Coronavirus fears creating custody battles

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DENVER (KDVR) -- Medical professionals are on the front lines in the fight against coronavirus, but COVID-19's challenges extend far beyond the emergency room.

Those challenges are now reaching Coloradans' living rooms.

The FOX31 Problem Solvers spoke with a woman named Sarah who fears coronavirus could spark a custody battle because she says her ex-husband is putting their 16-year-old daughter's life at risk.

"He goes back and forth between 'if we're going to get sick, we're going to get sick,' to 'conspiracy theory' and not really taking precautions," said Sarah.

Sarah isn't alone. Divorce attorneys tell the Problem Solvers they are hearing from numerous parents who are worried about or are refusing to share custody of their kids during this pandemic, despite court orders to do so.

"Both parents should be on the same page as it relates to CDC guidelines," explained Scott Trout, a divorce attorney with Cordell and Cordell.

Trout says both parents in a situation like this need to create a plan.

"You should also set agreements about keeping the home safe in terms of visitors, limiting the amount of visitors," Trout advised.

Defying court orders is not an option.

"Both parents should get the same access they had before the crisis, during this crisis and after this crisis," Trout said.

However, Sarah fears what will happen if she and her ex-husband aren't able to get on the same page.

Her ex-husband is still working and seeing friends and she fears he could expose her daughter to COVID-19.

"Until he does isolate and stop going to work and take this more seriously, I have to draw a line and put my whole household at risk. Moving forward, I don't know what avenues or venues I have legally," Sarah said.

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