Since the declaration of the COVID-19 national health emergency on March 12, 2020, things have quickly begun to unfold within the state. On Friday, March 13th, many courts made the difficult decision to begin limiting court proceedings in an effort to reduce general socialization and help flat line the rapid spread of COVID-19. On March 14, 2020, Governor Brian P. Kemp signed a public health state of emergency to address COVID-19 in Georgia, followed by the mandated closure of all public schools for the remainder of the school year.
How Does the Coronavirus Pandemic Affect My Parenting Time?
During this pandemic, many questions have arisen whether a parent is required to send a child to the other parent for their parenting time. Many counties have issued clarification or amended orders relating to this issue. The general consensus is YES. Most courts have stated, “visitation will continue to be governed by the previously published school calendar regardless of any break or homeschooling necessitated by the current public health crisis. Spring break, holiday, and summer visitation periods will continue to be governed by the controlling school calendar in the manner stated in the applicable custody order in each case.” In other words, despite the pandemic, you must allow visitation per the parenting plan. Here are a few orders:
What Should I Do?
We know you may be conflicted, but we highly encourage you to speak with the other parent regarding a mutual agreement of what is in your child(ren)’s best interest during this time. If parenting time is missed, go ahead and agree on make-up dates for the non-visiting parent and confirm in writing. If an agreement cannot be reached, abide by the parenting plan in place, as failure to do so could result in a contempt. During these uncertain times, open communication will be key. If the child(ren) has been exposed to COVID-19 or displaying symptoms, communicate that to the other parent and become proactive in working towards a resolution.
Our office has been in strict compliance with the recommendations of the CDC. To protect our clients, staff, and attorneys, we have transitioned to working remotely. However, we are still here to assist you. Give us a call, 678-432-1100.