If there is a custody order currently in effect for your child(ren), then you should know that Governor Wolf’s Stay-at-Home Order permits travel required by a court order. This has been interpreted to include travel for exchanges of child custody under a custody order. In fact, the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas issued a Custody Directive on April 7, 2020 stating that custody orders are to be complied with at this time unless emergency circumstances exist. If a custody order requires the parties to exchange custody in a public location that may increase exposure to COVID-19, the parties should consider agreeing to exchange custody at a residence or another location to which they agree. The Lancaster County Court has set forth a procedure for requesting a temporary modification of a custody order for parties who believe they are in an emergency situation. Lancaster County Custody Conference Officers have recently begun to hold scheduled custody conferences by video conference technology. If you have an upcoming custody conference, your attorney should receive instructions on the steps needed for the attorneys and parties to participate remotely in the scheduled conference and should be in touch with you in advance of the scheduled conference day.
If you have questions about child custody or about any other domestic issues, such as divorce or support, please contact the attorneys in our family law practice group.
**This update is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relationship where one does not already exist. This article was published on May 14, 2020. Please be aware that the laws and regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic are being updated rapidly. Please check back or contact us for the most up-to-date information.**