Can I still see my child if someone in the other parent’s house gets quarantined because of COVID-19?
On April 1, 2020, the presiding judge of the Orange County Superior Court, Family Law Division issued the following administrative order to assist parents with understanding their co-parenting responsibilities during the COVID-19 crisis. That order is as follows:
April 1, 2020
Superior Court of California
County of Orange
ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER NO. 003
IT IS ORDERED that parties with custody/visitation orders shall follow the guidelines set forth below.
- Definition of Spring Break, Summer Break/Vacation or Holidays: While the schools are closed, parenting time shall continue as if the children are still attending school in accordance with the school calendar of the relevant district. “Spring Break”, “Summer Break/Vacation” or other designated holidays, means the regularly calendared breaks/vacations or holidays in the school district where the children are attending school. The closure of the school for public health purposes will not be considered an extension of any break/vacation/holiday period or weekend.
- Denial of Parenting Time: COVID-19 is not a reason to deny parenting time. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, parents are considered fit to care for their children and make decisions regarding the day-to-day aspects of parenting while the children are in their care. This day-to-day care includes following all Health Authority and County Public Health directives regarding social distancing and sanitation-related measures (such as frequent handwashing).
- Supervised Parenting Time: All supervised visitation is to be conducted virtually via videoconferencing or by telephone.
- Transparency: Unless the parties are restrained from communicating, parents are encouraged to communicate about precautions they are taking to slow the spread of COVID-19. A parent is not permitted to deny parenting time based upon the other parent’s unwillingness to discuss their precautionary measures taken, or belief that the other parent’s precautions are insufficient.
IT IS SO ORDERED.