How Does Coronavirus Affect Parenting Time?

How Does Coronavirus Affect Parenting Time?

By: Gordon & Perlut, LLC

COVID-19 and restrictions caused by this pandemic are creating additional problems for many parents who are subject to the terms of Court-ordered parenting time schedules.

The biggest challenge is many parents are concerned about exchanging children for parenting time during travel bans because they question if it is safe for children to travel between two different households. While parents are trying to argue the stay-at-home order in Illinois is a basis for keeping the children at one parent’s house, this is not true. Gov. JB Pritzker’s executive order specifically states, “essential travel” includes “travel required by law enforcement or court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.”

One situation we have seen developing over the past few weeks is a difference in how strict each parent is in enforcing the “stay in place” mandate. While most parents interpret the rule strictly and restrict any type of meetings outside of the family home and allow no one inside (such as with friends), others are not as strict. Gordon & Perlut has already filed an emergency Petition where one parent was allowing their child to see his friends, thus exposing himself and others to the virus in a clear violation of the Gov. Pritzker’s order.

Obviously, there are always exceptions and different set of facts and circumstances may warrant a different requirement. For example, if one parent or household member has been exposed to the virus, then you may need to file an emergency motion to stop parenting time – if there is no agreement between the parents. Therefore, when in doubt, consult an attorney. However, absent any unusual circumstances, parenting schedules are to remain in effect.