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COVID-19, reporting of family law decisions and the family courts: a public disinfectant?

Date:28 MAY 2020

In a rather shocking judgment a Miami court has ordered that Theresa Greene an emergency room doctor will temporarily lose her joint custody of her four-year-old child due to her working with Coronavirus patients. The emergency order has granted her ex-husband full custody of their daughter who previously shared joint custody with the mother with time divided equally between both parents.

This temporary suspension of custody has wide-reaching consequences. Clearly on surface the order appears draconian. Depriving an emergency room doctor of the care of her only child could clearly cause personal anguish to both the child and the mother; a doctor working so hard to save lives. No one knows how long this pandemic will last – but six months for example in a four-year-old’s life is evidently a significant and formative period of time.

The publishing of the judgment also serves as an interesting reminder of how different countries deal with publicity in children cases.

In England and Wales it would not have been possible for this judgment to be circulated in a way which would identify the people involved. Section 97 of the...

Read the full article here.