Child Custody Issues Arising During Stay At Home Order

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Child Custody Issues Arising During Stay At Home Order

April 7, 2020 | Parenting (Child Custody)

Child Custody Issues Arising During Stay At Home Order

The COVID-19  stay at home order imposed by Governor Pritzker specifically allows parents to leave their residences for court ordered child custody exchanges (also known as a parenting exchange). Therefore, the stay at home order, by itself, does not provide a basis for parents to disregard a court ordered parenting exchange.

However, some parents are not following the stay at home order or are allowing people inside their homes. These parents are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Most important, their families (and anyone else they have contact with) are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.

What happens if your Ex is Not Following the Stay At Home Order and is Putting your Children in Danger?

All child-related issues are determined by applying a “best interests of the child” standard. A parent who is not complying with the governor’s stay at home order is not acting in the best interests of the child. This includes a parent who is letting other people into his/her home.

First, you should speak with your ex in effort to get on the same page (See Article, Dad Can’t See Son for Seventh Birthday) . If this is unsuccessful then you could file an emergency petition to temporarily suspend your ex’s parenting time. Alternatively, you could ask the judge to order your ex to comply with the stay at home order. If there is a court order in place then your ex could be held in contempt of court for not complying with the stay at home order.

Before filing an emergency petition it is important to consider the degree to which your ex is violating the stay at home order and, consequently, the level of danger your ex is putting your child(ren) in. Right now, divorce judges across Chicagoland are essentially only hearing emergency orders. Therefore,  specific and alarming facts need to be alleged in an emergency petition for the judge to consider the issue an emergency. The health and well-being of children involved in a divorce is one of the most important issues a divorce judge deals with; a judge should take seriously allegations that a parent is endangering his/her children by ignoring the stay at home order.

The Botti Law Firm, P.C. has been practicing family law in Chicagoland for 50 years.  Please contact us at (630)573-8585 to schedule a free phone or video consultation with one of our attorneys.

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Contact the Botti Law Firm, P.C. to learn more about our different practice areas and how we can best address your legal concerns. Call (630) 573-8585 to speak with one of our attorneys.

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