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COVID-19 and Parenting Orders

The attorneys at GillespieShields practice family, employment, civil, criminal, probate, appellate, and immigration law.

Parenting Orders During the COVID-19 Pandemic

A frequent question clients have asked us is if their parenting orders should still be strictly followed in light of Governor Ducey’s COVID-19 executive orders to stay home.

The short answer is, yes.

The longer answer has been provided by the Maricopa County Superior Court, who recently issue a pretty comprehensive statement on the subject. It can be found here: https://superiorcourt.maricopa.gov/media/6082/covid-19-and-parenting-plans-maricopa-county-revised-version-4-3-20.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1lAP2eDK769-VMR93znj3shbkIeU3-w6Cq_koAl0kO9vm98F5cM4iBH4I

 

There are a few points worth emphasizing and noting about this statement. The first applies always, even though many parents lose track of it: An order is an order unless and until it is modified. Parents are free to change their arrangements, but we have seen many, many parents/clients get into trouble when they try to do this on their own. Any agreement should be in writing. It should be clear and unequivocal. I can’t tell you how many times through the years a client has told me he or she has reached an agreement with the other side. My first inquiry is whether it’s in writing. (It usually isn’t.) If it’s not in writing, it’s not an agreement. My second inquiry is to see the “agreement.” More often than not, I have to tell the client that the agreement is not clear enough or simply isn’t an agreement at all. Many “agreements” do not address a time frame. That leads to more questions about how long the agreement is supposed to last, which is especially important for any temporary arrangements. There are other concerns, but the point is, when we run into one of these complications, something that was in theory simple is no longer simple, and bad things result, like contempt petitions, nasty letters from lawyers, or police calls. Moral of the story: You are always free to reach agreements, but please talk with a lawyer to make sure it’s done correctly.

Another main point is to think with your head. If you or your child is showing symptoms, be a responsible adult about it and take the proper steps.

At Gillespie, Shields, Goldfarb & Taylor, we are here for you. We continue keep our offices well staffed. We are happy to help any way we can. Hang in there. We will all get through this together.

 

Disclaimer

The information contained on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for legal advice concerning your individual situation. We welcome you to contact us via phone, electronic mail, or through this website. However, contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.  Please do not send us confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship is established.

 

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