We are getting many calls and emails from current and former client’s with questions related to parenting time orders and the Covid-19 pandemic.
Just as this is a new issue for you and your children, this is a new issue for our court system. Our courts expect parents to make reasonable decisions for the health and safety of their children. Currently, courts in Genesee County Family Division Courts are closed except for very limited emergency functions. See this PDF link for details: https://7thcircuitcourt.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/LOA-2020-5J.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2qFx5zaCtPupNhnydTPWG3p2HRTrlbnZT9CD2MZGyYpP2kkOlaj45iWKQ
Parenting Time and Covid-19
Court orders should be followed absent an agreement between the two parents. If one parent is violating the order, the other parent may file an ex parte motion for the other to appear and show cause. This is outlined in MCR 3.606.
The court may opt to grant the show cause hearing and set a date by way of signing an ex parte order. At that point, the parent in alleged violation would have to appear and “show cause” why the should not be held in contempt of court.
A showing of good cause may be met upon a showing that the health and safety of the minor is at risk. Parents should sit down immediately and discuss the Covid-19 issue, what practices are in place in both houses to minimize the risk and come to an agreement as to how to proceed in the current environment. Below are a couple helpful links from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) parents can consult and use to establish guidelines.
Please contact our office with any questions you may have. If your parenting time is being withheld, or you are having questions about whether or not you should continue doing parenting time exchanges, we are here to help.
I can be reached anytime by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our office line is 810-845-3772. You can also submit questions to us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/attorneypaulscott/