Extending Your Student Visa

A student visa that lets you study at the university of your choice is a terrific thing for you. But what happens if your studies take longer than you planned? On top of exams and term papers, you may have to worry about your student visa expiring. That’s where an immigration lawyer can be your best friend. Understanding how immigration laws work can be the first step to making sure that you keep your student visa in good standing. My blog is all about immigration issues, especially those faced by foreign students. Check out the articles for more information that you can use to complete your studies in the country you chose to study in.

Navigating Visitation During the Pandemic

Law Blog

Until a viable vaccine becomes available and is widely administered, self-quarantining and social distancing will remain critical to avoiding spreading COVID-19. This presents a challenge for divorced parents trying to navigate child visitation during this time. Here are a few options for handling this situation to keep everyone safe.

Rearrange the Schedule

Whether you and your spouse developed your own visitation schedule or the court came up with it for you, now is a good time to set aside any differences or bad feelings you may have and look at rearranging the schedule to something that reduces the risk of transmitting the disease between your homes.

For example, your ex-spouse has the kids during the week and you take them on weekends. You may want to change it so they're staying with your spouse for a month and them visiting you for a month. It can take anywhere from 2–14 days after exposure to the virus for symptoms to show up. So, a month should be a decent amount of time to ensure the kids are virus-free before they change homes.

Ideally, the kids should remain in one place for the duration of the pandemic. If that's not possible, limit movement between you and your spouse's home as much as you can.

Use Alternative Options for Visiting In-Person

It can be difficult not seeing the kids in person, but there is currently no cure for COVID-19 and treatment options are limited. If you, your kids, or someone you live with have underlying health issues that could result in a particularly bad outcome if infected with COVID-19, then remaining separate is the safest bet.

That doesn't mean you can't see them at all. There are many alternatives to in-person visits. For instance, you could video chat with the kids or email them. A fun option is to go old school and write letters to each other. This is a particularly fun activity for young kids because it lets them get creative.

Indoor activities are problematic because of the lack of air circulation lets virus particles remain in one spot long enough to infect the people in the space. So, if you must visit face-to-face, opt for outdoor activities, such as going to the park. Keep the visit short, wear a mask, avoid getting too close for too long, and use hand sanitizer.

Request an Emergency Custody Order

Unfortunately, some people are having a difficult time processing the seriousness of the pandemic and refuse to take the proper precautions to avoid becoming infected or infecting others. If your spouse is one of those people and you're concerned they may be putting the kids at risk, you can ask the court for an emergency custody order.

When you file a petition for an emergency custody order, you'll have to go to court and convince the judge that there is an imminent danger of harm to the kids requiring changes be made to the custody and visitation agreement in your case. If the judge agrees with you, they will temporarily reassign custody or end visitation until you and your ex can hash it out in regular family court.

Now, whether the judge considers irresponsible behavior during a pandemic as an imminent danger depends on the circumstances of the case. For instance, if your child is immunocompromised but your ex is taking them to crowded places or not wearing a mask when outside the home, the judge may see that as potentially subjecting the child to unnecessary harm and limit your ex's access to the kids for the time being.

Handling visitation during this troubling time can be challenging. Consult with a child custody lawyer for advice on how best to handle the situation.


25 November 2020