Answers to Frequently Asked Questions:
-In light of the Johnson County Stay At Home Order can I ….handle my custody arrangements with my children per normal?
Yes….this allowed under Johnson County’s order
Consistent with Administrative Order NO 20-06 paragraph 11:
“…11. All in-person supervised visitation or exchange in any family case previously court-ordered to be conducted by court personnel or a third party provider is suspended until further order of this Court. The judge ordering supervised visitation may permit the use of remote supervised visitation. Exchanges shall still occur without regard for the suspension of supervised exchange programming. Exchange are to occur in another safe manner, such as: alternate agreed exchange supervisors, safe public place exchanges, curbside exchanges, or the use of online check-in tools. This Order does not affect any other parenting plan…” See Admin Order 20-06 attached.
I understand that as co-parents you may disagree on how to handle day to day parenting time issues, and this includes handling sickness, fever, exposure, etc during the COVID-19 Pandemic. You may feel the other parent is allowing your child(ren) too much access to other people, should keep your child(ren) away from others because of fever, ect. But unfortunately now is not the time to fight, you need to grieve the loss of control. If you and your co-parent have joint legal custody, each of you must use your own good judgment during your respective parenting times. If you can agree to delay an exchange, that’s fine. But if you can’t your child(ren) should be exchanged. The conflict not exchanging the child(ren) creates greater conflict then benefit.
What you can do is:
- If your child(ren) falls ill, COMMUNICATE everything about your child(ren)’s illness to the other parent, in writing. Symptoms, what medication is given when, and how often. OMIT unnecessary commentary.
- Insure all prescription drugs are transferred at exchanges to ensure your child(ren) does not go without his/her medication, and such eliminates further unnecessary trips outside of the home.
- Follow the Stay At Home, order your children are non-essential to the workforce, and should be at home, absent requiring child care while you are performing duties at an essential job (in that instance, if your co-parent is stay at home, and your child is having to leave your home and be exposed to others, he she would not otherwise be exposed to, it would be in your child(ren)’s best interest to consider him/her as an option during your working hours in order to limit further exposure)
- Document any contact your child has had with third parties and notify the other parent if any of those individuals are diagnosed or suffer symptoms consistent with the COVID-19 .
- Absent immediate relatives do not allow any third parties into home.
- Implement Common Hygiene Measures:
- Encourage your child(ren) to clean his/her hands often (as well as those around him/her);
- Encourage your child(ren) and all members of your household to cover coughs and sneezes, throw used tissues in the trash;
- If anyone in your home is sick, notify your co- parent and limit your child(ren)’s exposure to that individual;
- Encourage your child(ren) to not touch his/her face;
- Ensure you clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your household daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Follow all government directives
- Encourage virtual contact between your child(ren) and his/her other parent as long as such does not interfere with family activities occurring in your home. With an ever changing world, this provides a source of consistency.
-Is My Child Advocate deemed essential under Johnson County’s Stay At Home Order
e. For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” means….
xxi. Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, real estate services, and insurance services...”