Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic also means fighting for custody of her child, for one Spokane mother who finds herself in a custody battle for her daughter all because of her job as a health care worker.
The mother works at the Eastern State Hospital, where a positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed and that was all the confirmation needed by the mother's ex-partner, and the father of her child.
According to court documents, "I am fearful that because (the mother) continues to work at Eastern State Hospital this may put (our child) at needless risk… this is endangering our child by potentially unknowingly exposing (our child) to the virus."
Outside of Spokane, COVID-19 has spread into custody cases across the country.
Families are struggling to balance visitations versus stay-at-home orders on the east coast, according to a report by the NBC 10 in Providence, Rhode Island.
In Texas, the consequences of COVID-19 on custody cases was such a glaring issue, the state's supreme court ruled newly-implemented school closures wouldn't change custody guidelines. "Possession and access shall not be affected by the school's closure that arises from an epidemic or pandemic, including what is commonly referred to as the COVID-19 pandemic."
While it may seem uncommon that the COVID-19 pandemic would have a direct effect in child custody cases, the Spokane mother at the center of this all says it could be. She fee;s like COVID-19 was being used as a legal tool against her and just like she thinks she may be the first parent/health care worker to go through something like this, she believes she won't be the last.
A Spokane mother is being taken to court by her child’s father, who claims the mother’s job as a health care worker is “endangering our child by potentially unknowingly exposing [child] to (COVID-19),” according to court documents.
The father is asking a judge to “issue an immediate restraining order,” according to court documents, and keep the child away from her mother, until she proves she does not have COVID-19.
The mother works at Eastern State Hospital, where an employee tested positive for COVID-19 last week.