How vaccine choices and judges rulings are affecting co-parenting.

Presentation by Family Law Attorneys Evan Schein and Samantha Cooper.

Since March 2020, we have been living in a new world of divorce. No one could have anticipated the various issues in family law surrounding custody and finances that would arise from this global pandemic. As we approach the two-year anniversary of the pandemic and the 2020 court shutdown, we are still living in a state of uncertainty where the pandemic impacts custody and financial matters.

In 2020 we saw the emergency of countless novel custody issues. What happens when one parent is taking substantial safety precautions against COVID-19 and one parent is not? How do parents navigate children going back and forth between their homes? We saw a greater use of technology for purposes of access with “visits” taking place over FaceTime and Zoom. We saw relocation issues, particularly when there was a mass exodus from New York City and other major cities.

The shift from 2020 to the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines in 2021 has resulted in a new slate of issues and conflict. Generally, in custody matters in New York, Judges are to be guided by the “best interests of the child” standard. But what does that really mean? If a parent chooses not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, should they be able to freely spend time with their young child who is ineligible to get vaccinated themselves? According to New York County Supreme Court Justice Matthew Cooper, not without a strict COVID-19 testing regimen. When one parent wants to vaccinate their eligible child against COVID-19 and one does not, who makes the decision? According to Monroe County Supreme Court Justice Richard Dollinger, the parent who wants the child vaccinated. These issues are just the beginning of what attorneys, clients, and other professionals who work with divorcing and separating couples need to know. .The disagreement does not end once divorced. What about parents who are already divorced and share joint custody? How do they resolve their disputes surrounding COVID-19?

From a financial perspective, 2020 was the year of “wait and see.” With great uncertainty, many people were hesitant to make large financial decisions. Litigants with businesses were holding off on valuations, concerned that a pandemic valuation would be non-reflective of the true value of their business. Now, with the start of a new year in 2022, people are realizing that this ever-changing world is the new normal and attorneys and clients must adjust accordingly. Ultimately, COVID-19 has shifted the divorce landscape and we will likely continue to see new issues arise for months and years to come.

Join family Law Attorneys, Evan Schein and Samantha Cooper as they discuss this matter and the details of a recent case where a New York City judge ruled in Evan’s client’s favor that the father be vaccinated against the virus in Join family Law Attorneys, Evan Schein and Samantha Cooper as they discuss this matter and the details of a recent case where a New York City judge ruled in Evan’s client’s favor regarding vaccination and time-sharing.

Evan Schein

Evan Schein is a partner with the family and matrimonial law firm, Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein LLP in New York City. He is the Head of Litigation for the Firm. Evan’s practice is devoted exclusively to family and matrimonial law. Evan also leads the family law sports practice.

Evan has been cited in publications and news outlets such as the New York Post, NBC, CBS, Newsweek, the Daily Mail, The New York Law Journal, 1010 Wins Radio and several other national news media outlets for his work on prominent New York family law cases.

Evan is also the host of the Schein On Podcast where he provides an inside look into the world of divorce.

Evan has been recognized in the New York Metro Super Lawyers Edition from 2013 to 2021. He is a frequent lecturer for various organizations and bar associations in New York and across the country.

Samantha Cooper

Samantha Cooper is an associate at Berkman Bottger Newman & Schein, LLP. She is a graduate of Tulane University and Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law where she concentrated on family and children’s law. Samantha’s practice focuses exclusively on matrimonial and family law matters.

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