COVID 19 NEWS
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We were able to enter what is almost certainly one of the first ‘shelter in place’ visitation orders in a family law case. The parents had at best a difficult history, to put it mildly, and there have been restraining orders against one of the parents throughout.
The custodial parent had commenced a quarantine of the children in the home, in part to protect her parents, who although they were an integral part of her normal child care routine, were at high risk.
Father protested regarding the impact on his visitation, but ultimately agreed to limit his public activities so as to allow visitation to proceed.
A copy of the order:
By agreement of the parties, it is hereby:
ORDERED ADJUDGED AND DECREED
1. During the current COVID-19 virus crisis and state and federal declared emergency, neither party shall bring the minor children of the parties to a public place absent agreement of the other party. This does not pertain to any need to take the children to their respective medical providers if necessary.
The parties have agreed to engage in “shelter in place” at least until April 13, 20201 in order to avoid exposure of the children to COVID-19. For avoidance of doubt, “shelter in place” shall mean that neither party (nor any other person with whom they reside) shall go out to a public place (whether they have the children or not) other than for emergency purposes or for an essential need such as to purchase food. Father’s visitation shall continue as previously agreed upon by the parties starting Friday, March 20, 2020.2 Neither party will have a person who is not a member of the household present during the time the children are in their care, nor will they have a person who is not a member of their household in the home, regardless of whether the children are in their care. Both parties shall inform each other, through counsel, in the event that either of them begins to exhibit symptoms of COVID-19. In the event that a government order is put into place prohibiting the necessary travel to facilitate pick up and drop off, visitation will be suspended until such time as travel is permitted. In the even that such an order is issued, Plaintiff shall facilitate daily telephone communications between the children and Defendant.
2. The parties shall make efforts agree at a later date on a time for father to make up the missed visitation with the children from March 16, 2020.
THE NEXT PAGE IS THE SIGNATURE PAGE
1 Which date shall automatically extend in the event Executive Order 20-13 is extended through out the period that order is in effect.
2 Father represents through counsel that he has not been out of his home except as within the scope of the foregoing since Sunday, March 15, 2019.