Do I Have To Comply with My Parenting Plan During COVID-19
Tennessee’s schools are closed for the rest of the school year. Many families are trying to adjust their schedules and have questions surrounding their parenting plan during this pandemic.
How does the pandemic affect my parenting plan?
Parents are encouraged to follow the school-year calendar for custody on school and non-school days even if schools are closed.
Should parents follow court orders and child exchanges during this pandemic?
A parent who violates an existing order may claim immediate risk of harm to the child or children as a defense. However, the general risk of community infection may not be enough to avoid being held in contempt. First responders and medical professionals who risk exposure to Covid-19 are being taken to court by ex-spouses who want to keep them away from their children.
How to Navigate Your Parenting Plan During the Pandemic?
During the pandemic most state and county family courts are closed, or open ONLY for emergencies involving abuse or endangerment. This means that even if parents want to modify pre-existing custody agreement they cannot do so right now.
If you believe that sending your child to your ex’s home could pose a risk to your child’s health, you can ask your ex to agree to temporary changes in parenting plans. If your child’s health is at risk, you may want to ask a judge to intervene. You or your attorney may be able to obtain an emergency temporary child custody order from your local family court. Please keep in mind that there are NOT universal laws to follow during this pandemic. COVID-19 is unchartered water for both divorced parents as well as divorce / family law attorneys. Please contact us for help!