On March 23, 2020 the Governor of Indiana, Eric Holcomb, signed an Executive Order that will go into effect on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The ten page document cracked down on Hoosiers regarding closing of businesses, staying at home, social distancing measures and what qualifies as “essential” travel.
As a result of this, those who are under custody and parenting time orders are wondering, “Do I still need to take my child to see their parent on their scheduled parenting time? The answer is, “Yes!”.
Under the Executive Order issued, on page 8, paragraph 16, the order details what qualifies as “essential”. Section e of this paragraph answers this question.
For purpose of this Executive Order, the phrase “Essential Travel” includes travel for any of the following purposes. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with all Social Distancing Requirements..
a. Any travel that is related to the provision of, or access to, Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses and Operations, or Minimum Basic Operations.
b. Travel to care for the elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
c. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
d. Travel in order to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction.
e. Travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport pursuant to a custody agreement.
f. Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside of the State of Indiana. However, individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of Indiana remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.
What if my child’s parent lives in a county with high numbers of coronavirus cases? Do I still take my child for parenting time?
The simple answer to these questions are, Yes.
However, we are not living in simple times! Be mindful that the best interest of the child and their safety and wellbeing is paramount during this time. Therefore, if you know that the other parent may have had contact with someone who is positive for the virus and they are in quarantine, or they themselves are positive for the virus then do not place your child in harms way. Exceptions have always been made when exercising parenting time when it comes to the safety of the child. Before making any extreme actions, like denying a parent their parenting time, please contact your attorney immediately to discuss what can be done.
These are strange times we are living in. Your lawyer’s office maybe physically closed, but we are working and we are here to answer your questions and needs. Do not hesitate to call, email or text