Court Ordered Visitation During The COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 6, 2020, Governor Beshear entered an Executive Order 2020-215 and declared a State of Emergency in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Shortly thereafter, the Supreme Court of Kentucky entered Administrative Order 2020-13 and Amended the same with Administrative Order 2020-22. This Amended Order placed restrictions on court services and in-person access to the Courts through May 31, 2020. The Supreme Court of Kentucky recognized that these restrictions may cause confusion and issues as it relates to parents complying with current custody and parenting time Orders.
Therefore, on March 27, 2020, the Supreme Court of Kentucky issued Administrative Orders (2020-14 and 2020-32) to provide guidance and assistance to parties of custody and parenting time Orders. The goal of this being to assist parents in navigating the current circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. The Supreme Court of Kentucky stated that parents shall fully follow existing Court Orders regarding custody and parenting time during the pandemic.
The Supreme Court of Kentucky further stated that reasonable accommodations shall be made to account for extenuating circumstances related to the COVID-19 emergency. For instance, existing Court Orders may be temporarily modified or suspended if certain aspects are present (i.e. parent tests positive for COVID-19 or shares a household with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, etc.). If you are unsure whether or not your situation rises to the level of need to modify or suspend an existing Court Order, please contact the Goldberg Simpson, LLC and our attorneys can provide you assistance.
If each parent (and any other parties to a case, such as a grandparent where visitation for a third party is in place) agrees that there is a reason to temporarily modify or suspend the terms of a Court Order during this time, then they may informally agree in writing to deviate from the written Order. That agreement ideally would be filed with the Court so as to keep all parties and Courts informed as to what is being followed. Electronic filing (E-Filing) is nearly mandatory at this time, as Courts are restricting all in-person activities unless a specific exception applies.
Our family law attorneys here at Goldberg Simpson, LLC, have been in touch with our clients who have pending divorce, custody, and/or other family court matters during this time. Please feel free and do not hesitate to reach out to our office if you have specific concerns regarding your case if you do not have an attorney.
The full Supreme Court of Kentucky Administrative Order 2020-32 can be found here: