Legal Guidance

Project S.A.R.A.H. was a cosponsor for an event which provided guidance on legal matters during COVID-19 which includes court changes in NY, custody and visitation, and impact on domestic violence survivors. Click here to see the discussion which took place on April 1, 2020, and click here to view the follow-up from May 14, 2020.  

Here are some main points from the discussion between NY attorneys Erin Bistricer and Rachel Marks: 

  1. This is uncharted territory for everyone and lawyers/court don’t have all the answers at this point. 
  2. NY state family and supreme courts are open but mostly remote. They have been hearing limited cases at this point. Courts are hearing emergency writ cases such as restraining order violations of not returning a child. Child support collection units are still functioning and open remotely. 
  3. Many Batei Dinim are putting Gittin on hold but some, including the Beth Din of America, would provide virtual arbitration if both parties consent (and if safe/ appropriate for the case) and may be willing to consider doing an emergency Get case if there would otherwise be a lost opportunity. 
  4. Centers providing supervised visitations are now closed so individuals are encouraged to find alternate plans to continue to have meaningful contact with their children, even if it means not being with them physically. 
  5. Keep documenting interactions with doctors which may be recommending contact or no contact and questionable behavior of ex or child/ren’s parent. 
  6. Prioritize child/ren’s needs and put differences of parents aside where at all possible. Be kind and reasonable when working out parenting time. 
    • Writs are being heard and can be filed if needed. 
    • Be clear, explain your position, don’t be confrontational, and set boundaries of expectations. 
  7. Don’t allow parenting time unless given medical guidance to decide otherwise if you know: 
    • Your child’s parent has been tested positive for COVID-19  
    • Your child’s parent needs to be self-quarantining but is not doing so. 
    • Your child’s parent is not following appropriate social distancing as being recommended by the CDC. 
  8. By no means should this time period be used as an opportunity to control or restrict a parent or ex-partner 

At Project S.A.R.A.H., we have legal resources available for consultations for individuals with questions regarding court proceedings and custody issues which come up due to COVID-19. To speak with a Project S.A.R.A.H. representative please call us at 973-777-7638 ext. 154.