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Parenting Time in a National Emergency?

Mar 26, 2020

Author: Heidi Koeneman

In the midst of the current COVID-19 national emergency and global pandemic, parents everywhere are heeding the call to stay inside. And for parents with shared custodial arrangements, the inclination of some parents is to remain “hunkered down” in their home, fearing that leaving their home or allowing their kids to drive off with the other parent would be violating the law, or CDC mandates. Are they right? The Indiana Governor’s Executive Order  compelling all Hoosiers to “hunker down” expressly provides an exception to the stay at home order when it is necessary travel to enforce a court order or parenting time arrangement.

There may be some necessary communication between parents to ensure that neither home is under a quarantine or that members of either household are not experiencing flu- like symptoms. However, the order to stay at home does not provide a reason to deny court- ordered parenting time.  Traveling in a car with you to the safety of your children’s mother or father’s home is necessary travel and our courts will be expecting parents to follow their court orders and the law.  The challenges of e- learning, cancelled spring break plans and parents working remotely require better communication between co-parents and probably more than a little bit of grace. If the national emergency has changed your schedule and you have questions regarding your parenting time arrangement or custody order, contact our family law team today.