Monday, Governor Larry Hogan ordered Marylanders to remain in their homes during the current Coronavirus crisis. Many parents are concerned about what this new order means for their current custody arrangement
Health is First
As always, the health of you and your child is paramount. If the coparent is sick or has been exposed, you absolutely should not put your child in harm’s way. Further, if you need to leave the home because of domestic violence, the order does not limit your ability to do that. In fact, the commissioners are still accepting new domestic violence petitions.
Court Ordered Travel
Governor Hogan’s order detailed what activities are essential and thus permissible for people to leave their homes. Among the listed essential activities is “travel required by… a court order.” If you have an existing custody order, this travel is still required. The shelter in place order by itself is not a reason to deny visitation. It can still be contempt.
Communication with Coparent
We have seen an increase of disputes among parties dealing with a coparent. Communication is needed so that everyone is on the same page. Sometimes video conferencing and Facetiming is the only way that the other parent can see their children now. Unfortunately this is the temporary new reality. If you do not have a court order it is unclear if you can travel to exchange the child. If you feel your child is in danger, the courts are still hearing emergency actions. You still have to follow the appropriate procedures for those actions. It can be a difficult process.
We Can Help
Our firm is open for business. We are accepting new clients and setting up video conferences. We have the experience and talent to help you in these times of trouble. Contact us today if you have concerns about your child access situation.
W. Timothy Sutton