COVID-19 and Parenting Time

COVID-19 and parenting time.

March 24, 2020

To Our Clients, Colleagues, and Friends:

Effective today, Governor Whitmer Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19) takes effect which requires all non-essential workers as defined in the Order, to Stay Home Stay Safe for the next three weeks at least, starting at midnight on March 23, 2020

 COVID-19 and parenting time?

The Executive Order provides a list of exceptions to the rules including addressing compliance with custody and parenting time orders.  Section 7(b)(4) states:

  1. Individuals may also travel:
     4.    As required by law enforcement or a court order, including the transportation of children pursuant to a custody agreement.

Further, last week on March 16, the Michigan State Supreme Court issued a Statement on Matters Concerning Children – attached – which provides in pertinent part:

“The Supreme Court wants to remind parents that all court orders for a child’s custody,      parenting time and support are still in force.  Only a new court order can change that.  Parents should continue to follow their court orders.”

When reading the Governor’s Stay Home Stay Safe Executive Order together with the Michigan Supreme Court’s Statement on Matters Concerning Children, all parties should comply with all existing custody, parenting time and support orders unless and until they are changed.  The Governor’s Stay Home Stay Safe Order does NOT prohibit parents from leaving home to pick up or drop off their children to the other party’s residence to comply with custody and parenting time Orders and Agreements.

We are advising our clients to comply with all custody, parenting time and support Orders and to carry a copy of the relevant custody or parenting time Order or Agreement with them at all times while transporting children (or traveling to or from an exchange) to show to any law enforcement officer who may inquire as to why that party is not at home.

Stelmock Law Firm, PC is closely following developments with the global COVID-19 pandemic, and we are continuing to take measures to protect the health and safety of our personnel and their families. As with you, the situation is forcing us to change the ways we do business, but our commitment to providing outstanding client service remains unchanged.

Rest assured that none of our operations have been interrupted, the Law Firm has when reasonable, restricted communication with clients to e-mail, telephone, and videoconferencing instead of in-person meetings.  Despite this unprecedented pandemic and the actions and reactions it demands, we will continue to be responsive, minimize disruptions, and accommodate clients’ and colleagues’ protocols.

If Stelmock Law Firm, PC is currently handling a matter for you, please contact your attorney and his or her legal assistant as you have already been doing. If you are not yet a client and require legal assistance,  please contact us at 734.927.9782 and we will be happy to help.  If you have questions concerning COVID-19 and parenting time please call.

Please stay safe, and we will update you if circumstances change.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Stelmock
Managing Attorney