One issue of utmost importance, and which is causing concern and disruption during the COVID-19 epidemic, is parenting time exchanges and related custody issues. Notably, the Governor’s most recent order carves out an exception to the shelter-in-place order (see paragraph 5(f)) as follows:
Care of Others. Individuals may care for a family member, friend, or pet in another household, and may transport family members, friends, or pets as allowed by this Executive Order, including the transport of children pursuant to existing parenting time schedules or other visitation scheduling pertaining to a child in need of protective services (“CHIPS”) proceeding.
The exception emphasizes that parenting-time exchanges should still occur pursuant to Court Orders or other agreements—and parents should not be using the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to withhold parenting time from another parent, absent extenuating circumstances or for clear safety reasons (i.e., such as one parent or household member being infected with COVID-19).
If you have questions about the Governor’s Order, or any other custody, parenting time, divorce, or related issues during the pandemic, please contact one of our Family Law Attorneys.