Daviess Circuit Court Judge Gregory A. Smith stated his Court has received several calls concerning parenting time and the virus.
The first thing to know is that the Courts expect parents to comply with the specific terms of their court order regarding parenting time and custody. Courts will treat this spring break as the same block of time it would have been had school shutdowns not occurred. Judge Smith encourages parents to work together and make reasonable efforts to ensure that parenting time occurs as ordered, even if exchange locations are impacted by COVID19 closures/mandates.
Currently, Gov. Holcomb's Stay at Home order does not restrict exchanges. (See Executive Order 20-08 para. 16 (e) defining essential travel as: ATravel required by . . . court order, including to transport children pursuant to a custody agreement.@)
If exchanging a child is unsafe due to illness or exposure in either parents' home, the parent(s) could file a written agreement signed by both parents, or may wish to electronically file an Emergency Petition to Modify their orders. In short, the Courts of Indiana expect parents to be flexible and cooperate for the best interest of their children during this time of uncertainty.
Judge Smith submitted seven (7) suggestions to prepare and to protect your children's health and rights to parenting time, no matter what's to come, while working to keep your children safe.