Standing Order for Parenting Time During Pandemic
03 April 2020IN: Family Law
Rutherford County, Tennessee and the 16th Judicial District have a Standing Order addressing Parenting Time during a Pandemic or Epidemic. The order resolves confusion over caring for children during extended school closures and “lockdown” or “shelter-in-place” orders.
Residential Schedule During School Closure
Parents are to follow their parenting schedule as though the children are in school during any extended school closure. This means parents are to follow the day-to-day schedule and any schedule for Spring Vacation, Summer Vacation, and any other school breaks.
Safe-at-Home and Shelter-In-Place
There has been confusion over the differences between “Safe-at-Home” and “Shelter-In-Place” orders. Parties are to continue following their parenting schedule during “Safe-at-Home” and “Stay-at-Home” orders. People are still free to leave their homes to work and shop at essential businesses and follow their parenting schedules. This will change under a “Shelter-in-Place” order. The child shall be returned to the primary residential parent within four (4) hours of a “Shelter-In-Place” or “Lockdown” order. The child will remain with the primary residential parent until the order is removed.
Suspension of Visitation Caused by Illness
Visitation shall be suspended for 14 days if the child, parent, sibling, or other family member is diagnosed with COVID-19 while the child is in the home. A doctor’s note confirming the diagnosis is required.
Parents may make alternate agreements for parenting time. These agreements will need to be in writing.