Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Notice

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Custody, Parenting Time and Visitation during COVID-19 Emergency

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed June 1, 2020

Does COVID-19 change my custody, parenting time or visitation order?

During the COVID-19 emergency, all orders for a child’s custody, parenting time, and visitation are still in force. Only a new court order can change that. Continue to follow your court order. If you need to change your parenting time schedule, work with your child’s other parent to find a schedule that works for all of you.

If you cannot agree, you must follow the court ordered parenting time. If you do not agree on changes, you can only change your parenting time schedule if you get a new court order. See What if my case is not on this list of emergencies, but it is an emergency?

Work together with your child’s other parent so you can keep your parenting time as close to your normal schedule as possible.

Even though the Governor declared a state of emergency, it is important to keep transferring your child between you and their other parent, follow your parenting plan.

If you need to self-quarantine, you and your child’s other parent must do your best to allow for parenting time.  Both parents should cooperate to allow for parenting time by video conference or telephone.

Important

If you have parenting time at a supervised visitation center, and the center is closed, you may be able to get an emergency order. Write a statement that explains why this is an emergency and file it with your motion.  A judge may decide it is not an emergency. See What if my case is not on this list of emergencies, but it is an emergency?

What if I think my child should not go to the other parent’s house because of COVID-19?

If you think you have an emergency parenting time matter, file a Complaint for Modification and a Motion for Temporary Orders. Write a statement that explains why this is an emergency. A judge may decide it is not an emergency.  If you still think you have an emergency, see What if my case is not on the list of emergencies, but I think it is an emergency?

See Asking the Court to change a parenting time or visitation order.

What if the other parent will not let me see my child because of COVID-19?

If you think you have an emergency matter related to parenting time, file a Complaint for Modification and a Motion for Temporary Orders. Write a statement that explains why this is an emergency. A judge may decide it is not an emergency. See What if my case is not on the list of emergencies, but I think it is an emergency?

See Asking the Court to change a parenting time or visitation order.

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