Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Governor Whitmer’s March 23, 2020 Executive Order and Custody/Parenting Time

On March 23, 2020 Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order No. 2020-21 titled “Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.”  This order specifically addresses custody agreements and the order does not prohibit travel for parenting time exchanges.

Individuals may also travel: As required by law enforcement or a court order, including the transportation of children pursuant to a custody agreement.” Executive Order No. 2020-21 7(b)(4).

The Michigan Supreme Court has also weighed in on the issue of custody and parenting time orders:

“The Supreme Court wants to remind parents that all court orders for a child’s custody, parenting time and support are still in force. Only a new court order can change that. Parents should continue to follow their court order.

If future government decisions restrict travel or, if a child’s safety is an issue, parents should work together to keep the child’s access to both parents as close to the normal arrangement as possible. Remember that children might also be nervous about current events and need reassurance from parents. If it is necessary to share parental responsibilities in ways different than the court order provides, parents should cooperate with each other to further the child’s best interests. If parents are not able to agree between themselves how to do this, their court order continues to control what they should do.”

Parents should continue to follow the custody and parenting time orders issued by the Court.  In the event of a health or safety concern, speak to the other parent about your concerns if possible or reach out to an attorney immediately.  Violation of a court order may result in contempt proceedings.

If you have any questions regarding custody and parenting time exchanges, contact Breitmeyer Cushman PLLC.


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