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Vanessa L. Prieto Law Offices, LLC
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Courts Issue Emergency Orders That Impact Child Time-Sharing Plans In Fort Lauderdale


The coronavirus pandemic has impacted every area of our lives. For people involved in child time-sharing arrangements who have parenting plans in effect through the Broward County Court, it is important to be aware of temporary orders that have been issued and how they could impact your case.

Administrative Order Addresses Parenting In Broward County Domestic Relations Cases

Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Florida Department of Health are advising residents throughout the state to take certain precautions to prevent becoming infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19). In addition to school and business closures, the pandemic has impacted how our state courts function. In an effort to reduce the risks of community spread, courts have been closed to all but essential business since March 2020.

On April 2, the 17th Judicial Circuit Court for Broward County issued Administrative Order 2020-30, which temporarily addresses Parenting in Broward County Domestic Relations Cases. The temporary order specifies the following:

  • To reduce the number of emergency filings and hearings, it is in the best interests of parents and their children for the parents to continue to perform their duties and responsibilities in regards to co-parenting;
  • Each party should share in any additional parenting responsibilities that arise during this time;
  • Both parties should make every effort to comply with all court rules and any existing court orders in place;
  • Neither party should unreasonably restrict the other parent’s access to the child.

The order will remain in place and in full effect until it is formally lifted by the court.

Complying With Temporary Order In Regards To Parenting Plans

In addition to the above provisions, there are other guidelines regarding parenting plans addressed in the administrative order that you need to be aware of. These include:

  • Time-sharing schedules: Regardless of whether your child’s school is still in session, parents need to follow regular time-sharing arrangements as detailed in your parenting plan until the last day of classes as listed on the school’s 2019-2020 calendar. After this date, you should switch to your summer parenting plan.
  • Time-sharing exchanges: Make other arrangements via email, text, or a parenting app regarding exchanges of children between parents if these normally took place at schools or daycares which are now closed. If the parents cannot agree on a location, it should occur at the police station or sheriff’s office nearest the school or daycare.
  • Stay-at-home orders: If stay at home orders restrict movement and exchanges of children between parents, the parent with the majority of time in the arrangement should keep the child until the order is lifted. Any lost time the other parent suffers can be made up at a later date.
  • Communication between parents and children: Video-conferencing and phone calls should be increased to allow ongoing and frequent contact during this time.

Let Us Help You Today

For additional legal guidance on how emergency orders apply in your case, call or contact Fort Lauderdale child custody attorney Vanessa L. Prieto online today.

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